This paragraph from the WSJ’s helpful account of all the forces combining to revive the foreign policy of George W Bush strikes me as salient:
King Abdullah, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also argued to Mr. Obama that the U.S. was allowing three of its chief historic rivals in the Middle East—Iran, Russia and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah—to dominate the battlefield in Syria and help President Assad push back recent rebel gains. Mr. Assad’s survival, they said, would tip the regional balance of power in Tehran’s favor.
So fucking what? You’ll notice the usual suspects: Sunni autocrats ganging up on the Shiite resurgence. My point is and was: the US has no reason to side with Shia or Sunnis in the Middle East. The notion that the US needs to take a position on a question of doctrinal division within Islam is, in a word, absurd. Backing the torturing dictators of Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the man who just razed Taksim Square against the Shiite dictators in Iran, Syria and Qatar furthers no interests of the United States.