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Emerging Fault Lines of the New Middle East

It appears that two of our strongest "allies" in the war on terror aren't on speaking terms.

In a serious rebuff to U.S. diplomacy, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has refused to receive Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the eve of a critical regional summit on the future of the war-ravaged country, Iraqi and other Arab officials said yesterday.

The Saudi leader's decision reflects the growing tensions between the oil-rich regional giants, the deepening skepticism among Sunni leaders in the Middle East about Iraq's Shiite-dominated government, and Arab concern about the prospects of U.S. success in Iraq, the sources said. The Saudi snub also indicates that the Maliki government faces a creeping regional isolation unless it takes long-delayed actions, Arab officials warn.

The official reason for the Saudi decision, Iraqi officials said, is that the king's schedule is full.

Full schedule eh? Kind of sounds like what happened in Jordan last year:

President Bush 's scheduled face-to-face with al-Maliki was abruptly shelved Wednesday night, a casualty either of a reluctance to include Jordan's King Abdullah II -- as the Iraqis explained -- or, fallout from the leak of a secret White House memo that questioned the Iraqi leader's ability to govern.

Both the Saudis and the Jordanians are undoubtedly extremely dismayed by the direction of events in Iraq. They see the US bogged down battling ragtag bands of foreign jihadists and Sunni insurgents who have turned Iraq into an ungovernable failed state. They realize that the Iranians are inexorably expanding their influence in Iraq by arming and training friendly Shiite militia forces and that the Maliki government will not be a friend of theirs.

In short, they see the emerging fault lines of the new Middle East (courtesy of George W Bush) and they do not like what they see.

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Comments (6)



I ask this with all sincerity.
When in history, after centuries of hostility between two or more peoples have things been patched up within less than 8 years?

I see that even Catholics and Protestants are having a difficult time getting along in Ireland.

It simply amazes me that people want this thing in Iraq to be roses and ice cream after such a short period of having freedom handed to them. Neither Germany nor Japan were fixed overnight I can't see where the Iraqis will be able to fix their problems overnight either but apparently no one seems to care that they do under our protection.

Frankly I don't believe the left cares one iota about the Iraqi people as much as they "fake" caring about "the underdog" in other parts of society. I keep hearing that they(the Iraqis) should be left alone and we should get out of there. That attitude shows the caring side of the left doesn't it.

I've just resigned myself to the fact that the left simply doesn't care what happens to Iraqis after we leave. The left says they care about human suffering, well Iraq could redefine human suffering if we leave, but do the left care? No not unless they can profit politically from it. Now not that the right won't try to profit politically from suffering, but I just don't see it as much.


Your blog would better served by not throwing out straw men that are easy to dismiss in your posts.

"They see the US bogged down battling ragtag bands of foreign jihadists and Sunni insurgents who have turned Iraq into an ungovernable failed state."

That whole sentance is just a run on weak straw man position that is obviously not supported and innaccurate. It's a waste of my time to read it, let alone comment on it, but it would be nice to see this extension of wizbang succeed.

You can surely provide left leaning posts without the lefty drama that is often seen in the comments section.

Steve Crickmore:

Chip, the US armed forces, with almost no resistance, helped those two countries, Germany and Japan restore democracy, not impose a completely alien political system and political culture on a carved out Mid-Eastern country, with no democratic traditions.



well then, if we restored democracy in those two nations, it should have been that much easier to leave there almost immediately, no?


It could simply be the fact that Saudi Arabia is formally, and staunchly Sunni, and believes the Shiite government in Iraq has evil intentions for the Sunni's in Iraq. THey might not want to legitamize a government they might have to oppose in the near future. Saudi Arabia has already suggested that in the case of a full blown civil war in Iraq, that they would likely support the Sunni's.



We didn't go into Iraq to patch up the centuries-old rift between the Sunnis and the Shiites.

I didn't say we did go there to patch up a centuries old rift, but we are there. We are there to give the Iraqis a freedom they've never had, and at this point they are not sure what to do with it. We went with the intention of removing a madman that was killing his own people and could have potentially been a source for WMD for terrorists. After 9/11 we couldn't very well sit with our hands....this has all been said before I shouldn't have to repeat it.

I don't seem to remember anyone on the right whining about Bosnia as loud as the left is these days about Iraq. Did they? Perhaps, I just don't recall hearing about it.

It's just funny how now the left is saying that we should have dome something militarily in all these other countries that never threatened our country, but want us to leave the Iraqis under the rule of a madman that murdered his own people and seemed hell bent on violating the cease fire agreement after the first Gulf War.

Larkin, I enjoy your posts, I enjoy the discussions you have had, you are a good debater, I respect that.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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