Ali is talking about Andrew Sullivan using his "30 years War:Sunni vs. Shia, etc., in Iraq" analogy. All the talk is cool, but there's a serious problem with the analogy: no one knows anything about the 30 Years War! You heard me right. For an anology to work like so: X ⇒ Y, you need to know a about X to map inferences onto Y, for the nature of Y is unfamiliar and X is familiar. The idea is that the 30 Years War will convey information to those not in the know about the current conflicts in the Middle East which emerge from sectarianism. But again, the problem is that hardly anyone knows enough about the 30 Years War to really map anything novel from it to the current events. Though straight up, who is our Wallenstein, because that was a hardcore thug!