As I was thinking about Iraq today I found myself humming. "I got you, Babe". No, it was not just the wakeup call on Groundhog Day - another day; another bomb. Sonny and Cher - Sunni and Shi'a - seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Cheryl Sarkisian LaPiere was the daughter of John Sarkisian, himself half-Iranian. A truck-driver who left her mother early in their marriage, he was, of course, neither Sunni nor Shi'a, but an Armenian Christian, part of the Armenian oppression by Otterman Turks. (Just as the Iranians deny the Holocaust, so the Turks deny the Armenian genocide.) Sarkisian was briefly reconciled to her mother, Georgia Holt (herself part-Cherokee, Irish, German and English, such is the melting pot of America), when Cher was eleven, and he died in 1985
Cher married the older Sonny Bono and together they formed one of the most successful singing duos the pop-world has seen. When their marriage fell apart Sonny had to give up being a celebrity and was demoted to being a US congressman. I liked his comment on illegal immigrants, "What can I say; they're illegal." He died a spectacular death and was buried in the same cemetery as Frank Sinatra. Cher, meantime, remains a superstar. With an Oscar.
What does this tell us about Iraq and Iran - Sunni and Shi'a? Probably that they need each other. Bang, Bang, my baby shot me down.