World: On the Fretful Sidelines

The gulf states: caught in a crossfire of conflicting allegiances

In the first flush of Iraq's attack on Iran two weeks ago, the other Arab states were rooting for an Iraqi victory, almost like so many partisan soccer fans. Once again Arab legions were marching off to war, this time not against Israel but against the Persians, who, though Muslims, are ancient foes of the Arabs. The prospect of a quick and decisive victory seemed at hand, and happy Arab throngs gathered at bazaars, coffee houses and street corners to listen to radio reports of...

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