This article was published in The Daily Caller. This version has some small improvements.
By Barry Rubin
Earlier this week, The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth interviewed King Abdallah of Jordan. Here’s how King Abdallah responded to Weymouth’s question, “Do you and other leaders in this area believe you cannot rely on the U.S.?"
"I think everybody is wary of dealing with the West....Looking at how quickly people turned their backs on [Egyptian President Husni] Mubarak, I would say that most people are going to try and go their own way. I think there is going to be less coordination with the West and therefore a chance of more misunderstandings."
This is devastating.
I'm not shocked that the king thinks that way but I am shocked that he says so openly. In other words he isn't afraid of Obama's being angry and thinks he has nothing to lose because things aren't going to be better. That's how far the situation has deteriorated.
Imagine that instead of going to Jordan (which is also an Arab country in addition to being a pro-American, moderate one) for advice on building the opposition leadership in neighboring Syria, the Obama Administration went to the non-Arab, Islamist Turkish regime!
Jordan is now turning to Saudi Arabia, another country that is no longer relying on Obama, to be its protector and source for financial aid.
Jordan has been the most long-term, consistent ally of the United States in the Arab world, continuously for more than 40 years. Yet the king cannot trust those in the White House any more. They dumped Mubarak, they might dump him.
Therefore, no one will stick his neck out on behalf of U.S. interests or requests. Moreover, they are going their own way. While Washington extolls Islamist forces or things that benefit them in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey, they don't seem to care at all about Israel, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia, the scattered survivors of recent developments and Obama's pro-Islamist policies.
Iraq's disinterest in having a continued U.S. troop presence arises from several issues but Baghdad's determination to go its own way is also connected to this situation. And in Afghanistan, the government knows that it cannot depend on a U.S. government that is not only withdrawing but has subverted the Kabul regime, proven powerless in dealing with Pakistan, and openly talks of political negotiations with the Taliban and even al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups (the Haqqani Network).
The U.S. policy formulated around 1955--allying with moderate Arab monarchies and nationalist regimes--as well as that originating in the 1970s--adding Israel to that list--has been undone by the Obama Administration. When the king of Jordan openly complains you know that U.S. credibility among pro-Western Arabs is pretty close to zero.
Technorati Tag: Saudi Arabia and Middle East and Obama.