Obama and the Saudis

obamaabdullah

His foreign policy is like putting diesel into a car instead of gasoline.”
-satire of KSA King Abdullah on US President Obama’s foreign policy

The United States maintained a strong tie to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades due to its stable monarchy and enormous supply of oil on which the US economy (and its allies) depended.  Many US administrations looked past the KSA’s human rights abuses to keep the relationship on solid footing.

That warm relationship between the countries existed until US President Obama began to change the traditional order of foreign relations.  Obama did not favor stability; he did not reward allies.  Instead, he advanced a new foreign policy paradigm in which he would undermine allies and try to build bridges to enemies.  He would favor public opinion over the rule of law.

Obama’s “New Beginning” speech in Cairo in 2009 was indeed a new beginning.  Within two years, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, began calling for removing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power.  Shortly thereafter, the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power in a democratic election, just as the MB’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, won elections in 2006.  The stability of the monarchies and dictators throughout the Middle East soon began to implode, and the “Arab Spring” shook the stability of the region.

As Saudi King Abdullah watched Egypt, his ally and neighbor to the west collapse with the assistance of the United States, he watched Obama establish warmer relations with his enemy, Iran to the north.  Remarkably, Obama seemed content letting the Iranians obtain nuclear weapons.

In Syria, Abdullah watched Obama let Iranian ally Syria prance right through a bright red line that Obama had drawn loudly and publicly, after Syrian President Assad used chemical weapons in his civil war.  Was this an ally to be trusted in the volatile Middle East?  How long before he turns on his kingdom to reform and open elections to the masses?

More importantly for him, how long before Obama’s actions enable a firestorm in the Middle East that destroys his kingdom?


Sources:

King Abdullah hated Obama: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397044/nbcs-engel-king-abdullah-could-not-stand-president-obama-brendan-bordelon

White House “New Beginning” speech in Cairo: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/

Fouad Ajami on the Arab impression of Obama: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703499404574558300500152682

Related First One Through article:

Obama’s confused foreign policy: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/obamas-foreign-policy/

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Obama’s Foreign Policy

Summary: Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Both liberal and conservative commentators had a lot to say after US President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address in January 2015.  They were not positive.

The liberals attacked their president as being divorced from reality.  They highlighted several areas:

  • Iran continues towards nuclear weapons despite assurances to the contrary
  • Islamic State takes over Iraq after Obama calls them “JV” and claims that US forces have stopped their advance
  • Yemen falls despite Obama recent assurances
  • Assad controls Syria after Obama’s claim of helping moderate opposition forces (so marginal, can it be called true?)
  • Russia gets a mere slap on the wrist for invading Ukraine and taking over Crimea despite treaties with Ukraine

Conservatives have often berated Obama for practicing a policy which coddled enemies and rebuked allies:

  • Continued snubbing of ally Israel, particularly the Prime Minister Netanyahu (calling him “chicken*hit”, not meeting with him, walking out on him…)
  • Not showing up for unity rally in Paris after terrorist attacks (one of the only major western allies to not send anyone)
  • Refusing to help ally Canada with approving the Keystone pipeline
  • Pulling all troops out of Iraq after thousands of American forces died, to let the country fall into a terrorist haven

Here is a music video early in the Obama presidency which showed these paths started from the earliest days of his presidency (music by Genesis):


Sources:

Liberals attack Obama “asleep at the switch“: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxsyVO23G38

Mainstream media saying Obama “not close to reality“”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FcQE32_HSU

Criticism for snubbing Paris rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yt5xqO0FgI