Has the Shiite Crescent Disappeared? Saudi Arabia and the US Alliance against Iran
No one loves a lame duck president. George W. Bush’s mid-January visit to Saudi Arabia was a case in point, and it failed to return the US-Saudi relationship to the status it enjoyed before September 11, 2001. Flush with oil selling for around $100 a barrel and confidently using that financial influx for massive investment in infrastructure and a preparations for an eventual post-oil economy, the Saudis have little patience for a president weakened by failure in Iraq and subverted by his own National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that seems to call the Bush administration’s judgment into question.