The Saudi dream of remaking the Middle East in its own despotic Sunni image has failed to take wing. From Rannie Amiri at antiwar.com:
Books will be written on the designs of the Saudi regime to reshape the greater Middle East. Entire chapters could be dedicated to the depth of United States and Israeli involvement and their shared partnership with the House of Saud and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to do so. The titles may even stipulate it as a Saudi-U.S.-Israeli Project for emphasis. That said, the role played by Saudi Arabia within this alliance is not insignificant.
The undertaking has directly touched nearly a half-dozen Arab countries, unified largely by their common effort to resist the import of radical, extremist groups unleashed in retribution for not abiding by the diktats of the Gulf dynasties. Others opposed monarchical rule, their royal proxies or a Saudi-directed foreign policy and attempts to impose a uniform media narrative.
The scope of such a discussion is certainly worthy of a comprehensive and detailed analysis but only a summation is given here. Consider it the last page of the last section of the last chapter.
The Saudi Project has failed. Utterly.
With the fall of Saddam Hussein, alarm bells sounded in Riyadh and other GCC capitals. He was an unpredictable ally yet one perceived to be adept at stemming ostensible Iranian and hence (according to the sectarian mindset), Shia influence from reaching the Arabian Peninsula. Many Gulf states have sizable Shia Arab populations, marginalized politically and socioeconomically particularly in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Suddenly, a popularly-elected government assumed power on their doorstep. Imperfect as it was, the Iraqi government reflected the demographics of the war-torn, Shia-majority country. The creation and rise of the Islamic State (IS) was part and parcel of their plan to make sure it would not succeed and indeed, implode. Islamic State funding came primarily from Saudi Arabia. Its Wahabi textbooks were published in the Kingdom. As the former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca said, IS leaders, “draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles.” With the liberation of Mosul and the eviction of IS from other Iraqi cities, it was clear there would be no “caliphate” or return of an authoritarian, presumably Sunni, strongman to Baghdad. Banking on Iraqi exasperation with corruption, poor security and endless terrorist attacks, the people did not take the bait and turn on the government.
To continue reading: The Saudi Project Has Failed