I'm not a close student of governments in the Middle East, but an article from a Lebanese newspaper sounds distressingly accurate. Rami Khouri writes:
"...the agony of Iraq mirrors a wider Arab pattern of state mismanagement and mediocrity. Recent decades leave no doubt that the major modern Arab political problem is that entire countries are managed like private clubs by individual families. Such personalized states do not function efficiently or serve their people well, which ultimately leads to their fragmentation or total collapse.
"This frightening, decadesold pattern continues to this day. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Palestine, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia and Bahrain have all suffered debilitating civil conflicts, often coupled with fragmentation or collapse. The oil-rich Gulf states have avoided major political violence mainly because they have avoided anything that looks like political rights and activity among their citizens."