CHARLOTTE, NC, March 28, 2014 – One thing Middle East countries know about is lying. Which means Barack Obama will have his hands full during his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The little boy who cried wolf has far exceeded his prevarications and the Gulf States are not buying what Obama is selling.
If you don’t believe the U.S. has serious problems in the Middle East because American media has under reported Obama’s failed foreign policies in the region, then read some opinions from the other side.
Sayed Zahra, a columnist for Bahrain’s Akhbar Al-Khaleej, had this to say in advance of Obama’s visit:
“What Obama will hear from Saudi leaders will not be diplomatic statements or words of flattery. They will surely express to him, openly and clearly, all their reservations and fears regarding the American administration’s policy and their objection to this policy, and demand that he take a firm position in addressing these reservations and fears.”
That said, Zahra goes on to emphasize the obvious which has become a hallmark of the Obama’s strategy in all things domestic and international
“In his conversations and public statements during the visit, Obama is expected to stress the depth of the relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, as well as America’s commitment to the security and stability of the Arab Gulf states. He will also speak of developing relations, etc. But the problem is that these positions and views are worthless and meaningless, whether they are stated publically or in secret, for American officials voice them constantly while the American policy that is the source of the Saudi and Arab fears remains unchanged.” (Emphasis added)
Strong words to say the least, but Zabra is not alone in his views. During Obama’s brief stop in Rome for an audience with Pope Francis, Rush Limbaugh jokingly said the president stopped in Italy because he misread the itinerary and thought word “Vatican” said “Vacation” instead.
It was a stark reminder of how far the U.S. and Obama have drifted from the reality of serious international problems. As Limbaugh was joking, Jamil Al-Dhiyabi, deputy editor of Al-Hayat in London, wrote:
“Saudi Arabia has red lines regarding its security and the security of the Gulf and the region, which is rife with unrest and instability, and is (threatened by) countries and elements boasting that they have become Washington’s closest allies. This may be the root of the crisis between Riyadh and Washington. Saudi Arabia expressed great chagrin over the White House’s policy on the Egypt events, after it became clear that Washington welcomed the MB takeover of the Egyptian revolution.”
Adding further to the discomfort expressed by the Saudis is the fact that the Obama administration has at least a half dozen advisors in the White House who are directly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The chasm widened after Washington adopted weak and hesitant positions vis-à-vis the Bashar Al-Assad regime’s determination to kill its own people (in Syria,” said Al-Dhiyabi.
Later, referencing the administration’s efforts to diplomatically calm the Saudis, Al-Dhiyabi wrote:
“It is this that brought about the quick adjustment of President Obama’s itinerary for his Europe visit at the end of this month to include Riyadh.”
Sadly, Al-Dhiyabi’s insights were also an ironic twist that seemed to prophetically emphasize Limbaugh’s humorous comment about Obama and the Vatican.
In advance of the president’s Middle East visit, another columnist for Al-Riyadh, Dr. Mutlaq Al-Mutairi, noted that U.S. policy “is preparing Iran to enter into political and security agreements at the expense of the Gulf cannot be interpreted as commitment to protecting (our) security.
“If this is a new path in U.S. policy, the price will be steep for the Gulf states, which will not wait until their land and history become part of that price. If this stems from weakness in American policy, the Gulf states must not pay the price for this weakness.”
Perhaps American media does not recognize the U.S. weakness that is perceived by the rest of the world. Or, if they do see it, they fail to report it. Maybe the press refuses to acknowledge Obama’s falsehoods which have become almost a daily occurrence.
In light of the president’s side visit to Rome, even Pope Francis anticipated Obama’s spin by issuing an immediate press release to counter the president’s remarks about the focus of their conversation.
Barack Obama is under the illusion that his “silver tongue” is a panacea for everything. He believes he can diplomatically mislead the world with disjointed words and meaningless rhetoric. He forgets, however, that untruths are a fundamental tenet of Middle Eastern culture. The Middle East may not have invented the concept, but they certainly perfected it.
Consequently, distortions of words and their meanings by our president will not be as gullibly accepted in Riyadh as they are at home.
As Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once said, “the chickens have come home to roost.” You can believe that the Saudis will know if there is a fox in their henhouse.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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