Qatari: U.S. intervention in Iraq would be seen as war on Sunni Arabs
A former Qatari ambassador to the United States offered up a warning to the Obama administration Monday that any military intervention on behalf of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki would be seen as an act of “war” on the entire community of Sunni Arabs.
Saudi, Kuwaiti groups helped create Islamist monster in Iraq they can't control
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Saudi Arabia and other petro-powerhouses of the Gulf for years encouraged a flow of private cash to Sunni rebels in Syria. Now an al-Qaeda breakaway group that benefited from some of the funding has stormed across a wide swath of Iraq, and Gulf nations fear its extremism could be a threat to them as well.
In phone calls this week with the leaders or foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, US Secretary of State John Kerry heard a chorus of disapproval for any kind of US military operation to help al-Maliki, such as airstrike or train-and-equip missions, according to US officials familiar with the conversations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to publicly discuss the private exchanges.
New York Times
A Balancing Act on Iraq
Mr. Obama has called on Mr. Maliki to form a broadly representative government of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds as a condition of any military action by the United States. The American ambassador in Iraq and a senior State Department official have been pressing that issue in Baghdad. Even so, Mr. Maliki on Tuesday refused to reach out to Sunnis. Maybe Iran can make him hear the message.
The Irish Times
The West bears some responsibility for rise of fundamentalism across region
The cross-border conflict waged by the radical Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) is blowback from a policy of promoting fundamentalists that has been adopted for more than half a century by western powers and their regional allies as a counterweight to secular Arab nationalism.
The sectarian myth of Iraq
Tony Blair has been widely derided for his attempted justification of the 2003 Iraq invasion, and his claim last weekend that he's blameless over the current turmoil. Unfortunately, though, many of his critics have also bought into a central plank of his argument: that Iraqi society is no more than a motley collection of religions and ethnicities which have been waiting for decades, if not centuries, to slaughter each other and plunge the place into a bloodbath.