The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is being treated with great alarm in Arab capitals in the Gulf. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are instigating their media (which dominates Arab discourse) to portray as horrors the U.S. defeat and resumption of Taliban rule. Ironically, when the Taliban first came to power in 1996 they obtained recognition from just three regimes in the world: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The rise of the Taliban could not have been possible without direct Saudi and UAE (and Qatari) military and financial investment. Then head of Saudi intelligence (who mysteriously left his post only days before Sep. 11), Prince Turki, was one of the few foreign leaders who actually met Mullah Omar and negotiated with him.