Could you really blame Iraq if it stopped defending its Saudi border?

Al-Arabiya, Saudi Arabia’s answer to a question nobody asked Al-Jazeera, except without Al-Jazeera’s admittedly debatable level of editorial independence from its government, is reporting that KSA had to deploy 30,000 troops along its border with Iraq to protect against encroachment by the Islamic State, after the Iraqi army abandoned its positions there. The Iraqi government is denying the story, but I have to say, if they haven’t already abandoned the border, it’s high time they do.

The Iraqi army has its hands full just holding on to Baghdad, maybe trying to retake Tikrit and Baiji, and trying to prevent Sunni extremists from blowing up the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, which would probably trigger a full-scale sectarian war. Why would they divert precious military resources toward defending the road out of Iraq from IS fighters? Hell, if IS wants to skirt the rest of Iraq and march straight into Saudi Arabia, Nouri al-Maliki himself ought to go out and personally throw rose petals on the ground in front of the IS fighters as they march on.

I guess Baghdad might feel differently if the Saudis were helping to combat IS in Iraq and Syria, but since wealthy Saudis have actually been financing IS for quite some time now (an overreach that embarassingly cost Bandar Bush b. Sultan his job not that long ago), defending those same Dr. Frankensteins from the monster they’ve created wouldn’t be too high on my list of priorities if I were Maliki.


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