Iraq is surrounded by assholes. Excellent writing by Fouad Ajami, as usual:
"The Iraqis should be envious. Their new order, midwifed by the Americans, had been delivered into a hostile environment. The neighborhood was treacherous. To the east bulked Iran, presumably a Shiite sister republic of the new Iraq but in truth a spoiler determined to thwart the American project there. Those in the know understood that the Shiite faith could never bridge the Arab-Persian divide, and that Iran would be a burden on post-Saddam Iraq and its leaders.
To the West, there was the Syrian regime. There but for the grace of God go we, the Syrian rulers thought. Syria presented an exquisite illustration of political cynicism—an Alawite tyranny providing a conduit into Iraq for Sunni jihadists from all Arab lands drawn by the thrill of battling and killing American soldiers and Iraqi Shiites. To divert attention from itself at a time of its own panic and vulnerability, Syria's regime did all it could to set Iraq ablaze.
Everywhere Iraqis looked there was trouble. The Turks had schemes of their own and proxies in Iraq (the Turkomen community), and they were keen to monitor and limit the aspirations of the Kurds. Jordan was hostile. Saddam had long been a hero in that country, and the Sunni pan-Arab doctrines had long held sway among Jordanians and Palestinians alike in that binational state.
Nor were the two most influential Arab states, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, favorably disposed toward the new Iraq. To the rulers in Cairo and Riyadh, the jumbled mix of freedom and tumult, and the defeat of the Iraqi Sunnis, were heralds of trouble. Iran was pushing ever deeper into Arab affairs, the balance of power in the region was being altered. There had been uncontested Sunni primacy in Arab lands, but Baghdad—a city of great meaning and consequence in Arab-Islamic history—had fallen to the Shiite stepchildren, and the Americans had brought it all about.
Libya is blissfully free of the poison of that primitive Sunni-Shiite schism."