Last week President Barack Obama assembled his ill-fated “summit” with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.) Because of the distrust in Mr. Obama held by most of these leaders only two of the six leaders actually attended. So overt was this snub of Mr. Obama that Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa cancelled his attendance in favor of joining Britain’s Queen Elizabeth for a horse show.
The purpose of the meeting was ostensibly to garner support from GCC members for Mr. Obama’s current negotiations with Iran over its development of nuclear weapons. In fact, it was a clumsy attempt to bully those leaders into accepting an agreement that they all know will be violated routinely by Iran and which violations will be ignored by Mr. Obama. They all knew it and thus avoided wasting their time listening to Mr. Obama monopolize the conversation prior to the inevitable photo op. These men understand that when Mr. Obama is speaking he is simply telling them what he thinks they want to hear with no intention whatsoever of actually following through on it.
But Mr. Obama labored on, meeting with lesser lights from these gulf nations. Still he failed to garner any meaningful support for the Iran negotiations. Instead, as reported by US News & World Report, on Monday:
“The joint statement ‘emphasized that a comprehensive, verifiable deal that fully addresses the regional and international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program is in the security interests of GCC member states as well as the United States and the international community.’”
Wow! That is the moral equivalent of stating that ceasing to beat your spouse is a key to the best interests of a marriage. Maybe theycould promise to do good and avoid evil.
But here is the rub – the routine promise that Mr. Obama thinks others are dumb enough to accept:
“GCC assistant secretary general Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg told a press conference May 15 that the Camp David summit ‘exceeded the expectations of most of us’ by reassuring GCC states of an ‘unequivocal’ commitment to their security. President Obama also stressed, Aluwaisheg said, that an impending nuclear deal with Iran does not represent a ‘pivot’ toward Tehran.” [Emphasis supplied]
Before accepting such a bald face lie, the Arab leaders may want to give the leaders of Israel, the Free Syrian Army, the leaders of the Ukraine, and the leaders of Yemen a call about how such assurances worked out for them. It took less than a nanosecond for Mr. Obama to shove our Arab allies under the bus as evidenced by Mr. Obama’s response to Mr. Aluwaisheg’s comments. Again US News & World Report continued:
While reassuring the GCC that the United States has its back, Obama also made clear that “the purpose of any strategic cooperation [between the United States and the GCC] is not to perpetuate any long-term confrontation with Iran, or to even marginalize Iran.”
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“The US-GCC Joint Statement made no mention of a safe or no-fly zone in Syria, which had been an aspiration for some GCC countries and Turkey.
“White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told the Washington Post, ‘We have not seen a no-fly zone as being a viable option that can contribute to essentially changing decisively the situation on the ground given the nature of the fighting that’s taking place in urban areas and across the country.’
Last week, this column reported on the remarks by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on May 6 that a no-fly zone in Syria is ‘a difficult thing to contemplate,’ describing the establishment and enforcement of ‘safe zones’ as ‘a major combat mission.’”
So much for the promised “unequivocal commitment” to our Arab allies’ security.
A friend of mine, from the time I worked for the telephone company in Colorado, had a button he would wear when similar assurances were given employees during reorganization plans. It read KMAGBYOYON – translated “kiss my a** good-bye, you’re on your own now.” I still have the button and would have included a picture of it here but tech savvy I am not.
Saudi Arabia’s new monarch King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has already gotten a belly-full of Mr. Obama’s duplicity. When Mr. Obama abandoned the leaders of Yemen to the Iranian backed Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia stepped in to assist the government of Yemen. It began a successful series of aerial combat missions. Mr. Obama objected because it might interfere with his negotiations with Iran and gave Yemeni and Saudi officials assurances that Iran would agree to implementing a cease fire but Mr. Obama failed again to deliver on a commitment. The announced cease fire fell apart almost before it began and the Saudis are now back to their air campaign despite Mr. Obama’s objections.
The Saudis, along with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and now King Abdullah of Jordan, have proven to be far more suspicious of Mr. Obama than other allies. Good for them. They are more likely to keep the lid on Iran and the Islamic extremists than Mr. Obama ever will. And for what it’s worth – one American citizen to them – don’t rely on Mr. Obama’s negotiating skills with Iran or his fortitude in implementing any compliance requirements. You need to stand tall, resist with all your might and rely on the Congress to drive a stake through the heart of Mr. Obama’s Iranian negotiations.
But this is more than just Israel and our Gulf allies distrusting Mr. Obama. In their private conversations they must be wondering about the American voters. They can understand how the voters could be fooled the first time by Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric and unquenchable promises (Hope & Change) but they must be disquieted by the fact that we would return such a man for a second term after it was clear that he was such a feckless leader that our allies no longer trusted us and our enemies no longer feared us.