Incredibly Convoluted Chart Shows Just What A Mess The Middle East Really Is

The Big Pharaoh, the preeminent Egyptian blogger, tweeted a chart that attempts to map the relations between different groups in the Middle East.

As you can see, it is a convoluted mess. The red lines show who hates whom, the blue lines show who supports whom, and the green lines show who has no clue about a group.

There are a few issues with the chart, some of which were pointed out by readers of the Washington Post.

  • Israel may technically be at war with Syria but “does not feel it can trust the Sunni-dominated rebel forces any more than it can the current regime.” So the Hates/Supports arrows for Israel are a bit of a oversimplification.
  • There should be a Hates arrows going from Israel to Iran, and Iran Lebanese proxy Hezbollah should be on the chart.
  • There are no Hate arrows going toward the U.S., which is probably an oversight.
  • The al-Qaeda-linked faction of the Syrian rebels also hates the U.S., Lebanon Shias, Iran, Turkey, and others.
  • It’s tricky to say that al-Qaeda hates Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states since those countries, especially Qatar and Kuwait, have been directly and indirectly arming radical groups.

Taking those qualifications into account simply accentuates how complicated the Middle East has become.

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