After digesting Iran, the Islamic Revolution looked out hungrily over the region. And the Sunnis looked back at them. The rival Sunni counter-revolutionary brand, al-Qaeda, after a splendid start in Afghanistan made the grave strategic error of attacking America on September 11 (foreshadowing Zarqawi’s ill fated decision to duplicate the error in Iraq, and by fighting a losing battle against the US in Iraq, fatally weakened the Sunnis against the Shi’ites). The September 11 attack led not only to al-Qaeda’s ouster from Afghanistan, but to the subsequent destruction of the key Sunni-controlled buffer state of Iraq. With Saddam gone and the Sunnis defeated under the inept Zarqawi, the Shi’ites would gain the upper hand in the struggle to control the subsequent vacuum. Then the international and American left, misjudging the situation again, would agitate to abandon Iraq to the last man standing. And neither King Abdullah nor his fellow rulers at the Gulf Cooperation Council had any doubt who that would be.