U.S. Policy May Drive Saudis Into Alliance Of Convenience With Israel (JEWISH PRESS) By: Micah D. Halpern 03/28/12)
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Saudi Arabia is, to use a term the royals would, “greatly displeased”
with the United States. Displeased with U.S. foreign policy regarding
Iran and equally displeased with the decisions the White House is
making about Syria.
From the Saudi point of view, the United States coddles Iran and
indulges Syria. And the Saudis want the United States to suffer for
The current U.S. policy of advancing talks with Iran is seen by the
Saudis as nothing more than another way of giving the Iranians more
time to enrich their uranium and develop nuclear weapons. And
the “wait and watch’” policy the U.S. has adopted toward Syria is,
according to Saudi Arabia, destructive to the region.
Saudi Arabia believes that what is best for Syria right now is to
oust Bashar Assad. It would save the lives of innocent Syrians and,
just as important, it would send a message to Assad’s best friend and
ally, Iran. The Saudis believe it should be incumbent on the U.S.
stop Iran. But if the U.S. is unwilling to accept that mantle, Saudi
Arabia will do it together with other players in the region. And that
move might be very upsetting to Washington.
The Saudis’ frustration is so intense that it may even drive Saudi
Arabia into some kind of defense and intelligence alliance with
On February 24 a meeting called The Friends of Syria was held in
Tunis. The U.S. joined Saudi Arabia and more than seventy other
Western and Middle East countries and international organizations to
discuss the future of Syria and offer support for the opposition
forces there. Hillary Clinton spoke to the group and gave voice to
the U.S. view in support of continuing discussions with Iran and
against military intervention, even limited, in Syria.
Prince Saud al Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, was so livid that
he walked out on Clinton’s presentation.
Al Faisal only a short while before had reviewed with President Obama
what the Saudis consider America’s gross misunderstanding of events
in the Middle East. The Saudi had attempted to persuade the American
president that Iran wants to topple Middle East regimes and harm the
U.S. He explained that the U.S. need look no further than the strings
Iran pulled in Bahrain just a few months ago and the strings they are
pulling right now in Syria. As he walked out on the secretary of
state, he reportedly said: “If that is the case then I can only
assume that you will not take any action. We will find ways to solve
these to problems.”
When it comes to Iran and to Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel are now
on the same page. The ideal alternative for Saudi Arabia right now is
to resume the intelligence cooperation with Israel that had been
broken off. Several months ago the Saudis gave tacit approval to
Israel to fly over Saudi Arabia in order to strike Iran. That
permission was later rescinded. Today, it looks like Saudi Arabia
with again give Israel the green light.
The Saudis see the Iranians as mortal enemies. They are religious and
cultural enemies. The Iranians are not Arabs. The Saudis and the
Iranians share neither the same religion nor the same culture.
Because of this tension the Saudis regularly work to undercut and
even topple Iran’s Shiite regime.
The U.S. is not the only world power not in sync with Saudi Arabia on
issues concerning Iran and Syria, but it is the only power Saudi
Arabia thought it could work with. The Saudis have thrown up their
diplomatic hands when it comes to Russia. While the Saudis want to
oust Assad in Syria to teach Iran a lesson, the Russians want just
the opposite. The Saudis feel that if they can neither unseat nor
destabilize Iran itself, they must unseat Iran’s proxy in Syria. That
policy is a direct tit-for-tat for Iran’s effort last year to oust
Bahrain’s Sunni leaders and Saudi Arabia stepped in to save them.
Russia is, both militarily and scientifically, deeply invested in
Syria and has no intention of jeopardizing that investment. Saudi
Arabia does not care about Russia investments; for the Saudis, it is
all about pride. The Saudi investment goes toward sponsoring all anti-
Assad activity in Syria – even sponsoring al Qaeda in Syria. Russia
recently reported that 15,000 foreign al Qaeda fighters have entered
Syria. Their objective is to oust Assad at all costs.
The Saudis are so upset by with what they consider to be immature
diplomatic decision-making by the White House that the royal family
is threatening Washington with exactly what Washington fears most
from Iran – skyrocketing oil prices. The Saudis have said the U.S.
must act seriously on the Iranian issue or the price of oil will hit
$150 per barrel. Everyone, including the Saudis, knows this is a
presidential election year in the U.S.. And they all know that higher
gas prices may just be the kiss of death for Obama’s reelection
Go easy on Iran by advancing dialogue and upset Saudi Arabia, which
will increase the price of oil – or please the Saudis and go hard on
Iran, which will increase the price of oil. This is the no-win
situation into which Barack Obama has maneuvered the U.S. (© 2012
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