President Barack Obama shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at the start of a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2015. (photo: Reuters)
Robert Fisk | The Independent | Reader Supported News | April 20, 2016
Saudi Arabia’s million barrel a day output, plus its strategic location in the Middle East, means the West must pay obeisance to the regional head-choppers
oor old Barack. Off he goes to Riyadh to talk to his so-called ally, Saudi Arabia. The Sunni Wahhabi kingdom long ago run out of patience with the US president, who befriended Shiite Iran and who failed to destroy the Alawite (read: Shiite) regime in Syria. So why is Obama even bothering coming to the Gulf? Does he have any friends left among the kings, emirs and princes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates and Oman?
Obama won’t be entering the Saudi lions’ den. The Saudis were never as brave as lions – which is why they let the decidedly unprincely Osama bin Laden lead the Arab legion in Afghanistan – but the little cubs now trying to run the country are very angry.
The ambitious, ruthless deputy crown prince and defence minister, Mohamed bin Salman, launched the kingdom’s crazed war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen last year, convinced (without evidence) that Iran was arming them. The young Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubair – brilliant former Washington ambassador, a man with a silken, dangerously eloquent tongue – has no hesitation in denouncing Western weakness.