Christians butchering each other but Sunni and Shiite Muslims going at it.
Gwynne Dyer describes how the future of Islam could - perhaps - play out.
From the start of the conflict in Europe, however, each European state tried to help its co-believers in neighbouring countries, and alliances were increasingly shaped by religious considerations.
In the second phase, these alliances dragged most of Europe into the catastrophic Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), fought mostly in the middle of Europe but involving armies from as far apart as Sweden and Spain.
The main battleground, Germany, lost between one-third and one-half of its population. Nobody won, of course, and in the very long run everybody just lost interest in the question. But it was a very great waste of lives, time and money.
The Muslim world is already caught up in the first phase of a comparable process, but it is not condemned to go the whole distance.
...The new Saudi king, Salman, is 80 years old and infirm, so in practice most decisions are made by his nephew, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef (aged 56), or his son, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (aged 30). There is intense competition between the two men for the succession to the throne, and the decisions coming out of Riyadh have been much bolder than ever before.
The past nine months have seen a major Saudi Arabian military intervention against the Shia side in the Yemeni civil war, the creation of a Saudi-led alliance of almost all the Sunni-majority Arab states, and now the execution of a Shia leader in Saudi Arabia that was clearly calculated to cause a diplomatic breach with Iran.
It’s dynastic politics, in other words, not some inevitable geopolitical juggernaut. But it was similar dynastic politics half a millennium ago that triggered the worst phase of the Christian wars of religion.
It's hard to see how what the Infidels are doing is going to ease rather than worsen the religious tensions in the Muslim world. If our ongoing Crusade is against terrorism then we're allied with the wrong Muslims. However, as Dyer observes, most of the big players - that would include the American legion - have already lost the big picture.