Judging from newspaper headlines, one would think the Syrian rebels are surrounded by friends. Turkey and Qatar have joined America and Europe in lending them verbal support, and now even Saudi Arabia is adding to the chorus. But the support doesn’t extend far beyond rhetoric. The Wall Street Journal reports that, despite their promises of aid, the Saudis appear reluctant to actually provide this aid themselves.If the Syrian rebels are surprised by this, they haven’t been paying attention to regional politics for the past sixty years. The Palestinians know all too well that verbal solidarity from Arab “allies” has done very little to help their situation on the ground. History is merely repeating itself today in Syria. Seen in this light, Assad’s defiance makes more sense; the rebels appear much less intimidating if Arab promises of aid are empty.On another note, the Saudis have expressed concerns that the Syrian rebels are religious fanatics. This gives one pause when one considers what type of Islam the Saudis would consider fanatical.