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Monday, May 24, 2010

Israel's Arab allies

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of Arab (mostly Sunni) countries that would be quite happy to see Israel attack Iran.
The Arab states clearly see Iran’s strategy. The Saudi royal family is well aware that its eastern province, where 90% of the oil is located, has a majority Shiite population that is unhappy with their treatment. The Saudis have publicly accused Iran of harboring al-Qaeda members targeting the kingdom.

Bahrain is a majority Shiite country, and Iranian officials have even talked about annexing the country. The Bahrainis have accused Syria, Iran’s ally, of training terrorists that are targeting them. Kuwait has busted a seven-strong cell of Revolutionary Guards agents that prepared attacks in the country in the event of an attack on Iran.

The United Arab Emirates is about 15-20 percent Shiite and has frequently clashed with Iran in its disputes over three Gulf islands. Even Fatah in the West Bank has publicly taken an anti-Iranian line, consistently denouncing Hamas as a proxy for the regime and attributing Iranian influence to their sabotaging of any negotiations. Remarkably, the Saudis and Fatah placed the blame on Hamas for the 2009 offensive in Gaza, and the Saudis even arrested a prominent cleric who said that attacks on Israelis were permissible in light of the Israeli offensive.

No country has suffered from the ideological extremism and terrorism of Iran and their Syrian allies more than Iraq. Even Israel cannot say that tens of thousands of its citizens have been killed indirectly and directly by the Iranians, with violence threatening to propel the country into civil war and cause the collapse of the government. Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite, and his secular Sunni allies who won the most votes in the most recent national elections are perhaps the most outspoken opponents of Iran’s activity in their country.

Prime Minister al-Maliki, whose coalition came in a close second, isn’t vocally against the Iranian regime but he used his military to fight a wide-ranging offensive against Iranian-backed militias. The view of the relationship between religion and government in the majority Arab Shiite country of Iraq makes them a distinct threat to the Persian extremist Shiites that rule Iran. A new poll found that only 18 percent of Iraq’s Shiites have a favorable view of Iran’s role in their country and only 17 percent have a favorable view of Ahmadinejad. The rest of Iraq’s sects, the Kurds and Sunni Arabs, have an even greater disdain for the Iranian regime.
And the Arab regimes could care less whether Israel makes 'peace' first with the 'Palestinians.'

The Arabs are smart enough to see what matters. Why isn't Obama?


At 3:24 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Obumbler isn't exactly winning the Mr. Popularity Contest in the Muslim Middle East.

What could go wrong indeed


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