Making a welcome return to the dancefloor…the old friend known as my enemies’ enemy.
The new ingredient is that the Saudis now view Israel as facing the same threat they now confront: Shiite radicalism. While before they simply said that Israel should just do whatever the Palestinians want to end the conflict, now they are saying that they will work with both Israelis and Palestinians to craft a solution.
That is the meaning of the meeting which Yediot Achronoth reports took place two weeks ago between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and a top Saudi official. Yediot reports the meeting took place in Jordanian King Abdullah’s Amman palace late at night, after Olmert was flown there along with Prime Minister's Bureau Chief of Staff Yoram Turbowicz, Mossad Director Meir Dagan, and Military Secretary Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni.
The only details Yediot has are these: “The main issue was the threat posed by Iran by its attempts to obtain nuclear weapons and spread Shiite terror in the region. Olmert and his hosts reached an understanding at the meeting that secret intelligence cooperation should be continued against the Iranian threats.”
via. So we now have, apparently, an emerging partly confessional front against Iran. And it follows from this that the emerging confessional front line will be in Iraq. Pat Lang on moves towards partition:
A "rump" state of Iraq extending from (but not necessarily including) Baghdad to the Kuwait border. Wealthy in oil, dominated by the Shia Arabs and friendly to Iran, it may be impossible for this state to maintain its capital in Baghdad. So far, its security forces show no sign of being able to control the situation there.
-An insurgent "redoubt area" dominated by Sunni Arabs and international jihadis will cover all of what is now called the "Sunni Triangle" and perhaps much of Baghdad as well. This "land of insolence" will be poverty stricken but supported by many states and individuals in the Sunni Islamic world as a bulwark against further expansion of the area of Shia triumphalism. The idea has been "floated" of an economic compact between these three successor entities which would provide the Sunni Arabs with considerable oil revenue. This idea underestimates the actual hatred among these groups, but, nevertheless, such an accord should also be the subject of creative diplomacy.
This tends to be a recipe for further disintegration, since both Sunni insurgents and Shi’a militias are split over how unitary a state Iraq should be. But it ties into the Thirty Years War in Reverse thesis.