|A large part of the puzzle slips away from the US orbit|
U.S.-Saudi Crackup Reaches Dramatic Tipping Point
- David Ignatius
Last Friday, Saudi Arabia refused to take its seat on the UN Security Council, in what Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief, described as "a message for the U.S., not the UN," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Saudi concern about U.S. policy in the Middle East is shared by the four other traditional U.S. allies in the region: Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Israel. They argue (mostly privately) that Obama has shredded U.S. influence by dumping President Mubarak in Egypt, backing the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, opposing the coup that toppled Morsi, vacillating in its Syria policy, and now embarking on negotiations with Iran - all without consulting close Arab allies.
Saudi Fear U.S. Falling for Iranian Charm
- Angus McDowall and William Maclean
Saudi Arabia's warning that it will downgrade its relationship with the U.S. is based on a fear that President Obama lacks both the mettle and the guile to confront mutual adversaries, and is instead handing them a strategic advantage. Riyadh is locked in what it sees as a pivotal battle with its arch-rival Iran, a country it believes is meddling in the affairs of allies and seeking to build a nuclear bomb.
The Saudis Know Iran Is Fooling Us - Clifford D. May
Years ago, the Saudis began pressing Washington to take serious action against Iran, to eliminate the Islamic Republic's nuclear-weapons facilities, to "cut off the head of the snake," as the Saudi ambassador (the one whose assassination would soon thereafter be on the menu) vividly phrased it.
The Saudis had a point.
Saudi-U.S. Breakup? Where Else Will They Turn?
- Karen Elliott House
In a tribal society like Saudi Arabia's, it is well understood that weakness breeds contempt and invites aggression. Yet for the Saudis, there is no alternative protector. The kingdom has courted Russia and China in recent years, but they won't protect the Saudis from the primary threat of Iran. Indeed, they support the regime in Tehran.
(Wall Street Journal)
A Lawyer in a Region of Thugs - Fouad Ajami
We will ultimately discover that Iran's rulers are hell-bent on pursuing a nuclear-weapons program while trying to rid themselves of economic sanctions. The sanctions haven't stopped Iran from aiding the murderous Assad regime in Syria, or subsidizing Hizbullah in Beirut. And they will not dissuade this regime from its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
A sound U.S. diplomatic course with Iran would never have run so far ahead of Israel's interests and of the region's moderate anti-Iranian Arab coalition.
The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution.
(Wall Street Journal)