AS the United States embarks on a historic mission to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, it will be struggling to overcome the largely negative legacy of four decades of involvement in the Middle East.
In the wake of Friday's decision by the Arab League to send a symbolic force to Saudi Arabia, anti-American demonstrations erupted in Jordan while leftists in Egypt condemned the presence of Western troops on Arab soil.
Iraq's President Saddam Hussein has called on Arabs to wage a holy war to expel the outsiders from the heart of the Islamic world.
Such calls have widespread popular appeal because of centuries of Western domination of the Middle East. …