When you have a region beset by that many civil wars at once, it means there is no center, only sides. And when you intervene in the middle of a region with no center, you very quickly become a side.
A center... a side... another side. Sides with no center... a region. I get it...
Another fact you may not know is that Thomas Friedman has spent many years writing about politics. For this reason, some consider him to be an "expert."
But power-sharing doesn't come easy in a region where kinship and sectarian loyalties overwhelm any sense of shared citizenship. Without it, though, the dominant philosophy is either: "I am strong, why should I compromise?" or "I am weak, how can I compromise?" So any onslaught we make on ISIS, absent national unity governments, will have Shiites saying the former and Sunnis saying the latter. That's why this is complicated.
Let me tell you why this is complicated: some people are strong, and others are weak. That's why this is complicated.
That is what we are dealing with here — multiple, venomous civil wars that are the breeding ground of the ISIS cancer.
Venom does not cause cancer.
Thomas Friedman is a highly paid and influential professional writer, widely considered to be an expert on politics and the Middle East.