Gee, it sounded like such a good war when it started. Saddam had overrun Kuwait. Iraqi forces were on the Saudis border and supposedly threatening them too. We had us one of those "just" wars everybody likes to much.
We bombed the living hell out of Saddam's army in Kuwait and destroyed most of his war waging infrastructure throughout Iraq and then a 48-hour land war and, voila - we win! It was about the most one-sided military victory ever and we even had video recordings taken right from our missiles' nose cones. Cool or what.
So we restored Kuwait to the Kuwaitis or at least the oligarchs who run that oil state (curious how petro-states evolve into oligarchies) and they couldn't have been more grateful, could they? Apparently not.
WikiLeak's diplo dump had a few eye-openers about how our good buds in Saudi-Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and, yes, Kuwait continue to shovel big bucks to Islamist radicals, including al Qaeda. Say what? We went halfway around the world to save their asses and they're paying guys to blow our asses off with IEDs?
Actually our Kuwaiti buddies are a pernicious bunch of little pricks. The Kuwaiti bosses have now given al-Jazeera the boot, complaining the Arabic news service defied government warnings not to cover recent political developments in their country. Recent political developments like video of police attacking opposition assembly members at a meeting to discuss their government's crackdown on freedoms.
From Egypt to Saudi Arabia to the UAE to Kuwait we're propping up a gaggle of anti-democratic thugs, a lot of whom think it's just dandy to use the West's oil money to finance Islamist radicalism. If we really can't, or won't, live without their oil maybe we should crack down and start supporting democratic reform in these countries. Radical groups like al Qaeda can't survive without the backing of the Arab Street but by supporting oppressive Arab regimes we're helping to keep the Islamists' lifelines open.