Mar 19 2011
U.S. Middle East influence has evaporated due to Barack Obama’s abandonment of Egyptian ally, Hosni Mubarak, causing distrust and instability.
And we’re not even talking about the Israel-Palestine mess here.
WND –Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are beginningto fray at the edges as the Sunni Saudi kingdom dispatched 1,800 troops to next-door Bahrain in an attempt to quell revolt against that nation’s Sunni-ruled regime, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The U.S. had urged Saudi Arabia not to do that.
That, analysts say, is just a tip of the iceberg of decisions that are being made that reveal the extent to which U.S. advice now is ignored, or even repudiated, across the Middle East, and they say a part of that is because of President Barack Obama’s perceived abandonment of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally.
Saudi Arabia and Jordan both were in alliance with Mubarak in their efforts to contain Iran, which is dominated by Shi’aIslam.
But the abandonment of Mubarak – the U.S. called for his departure and hailed the opposition forces providing a front for the radical Muslim Brotherhood – has caused the Saudis to believe they have to act on their own without having to consult any longer with the U.S., analysts say.
The basis for a more unilateral Saudi approach stems from an early Saudi appeal to the U.S. to support Mubarak inthe face ofincreasing demonstrations at the time in Egypt, even if the government had decided to use troops against the demonstrators.
For years, the U.S. has supported the autocratic rule of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which itself is beginning to face increased demonstrations for change and greater reform within the kingdom. While the U.S. worked behind the scenes for a graceful Mubarak exit, demonstrators remain concerned that the U.S. backs the interim military regime which has promised the reforms the demonstrators seek.
Now, the U.S. has not condemned Saudi Arabia’s introduction of troops into Bahrain or, for that matter, the sending of additional troops by other Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates at the request of the Bahraini regime of King Hamad ibn Isa Al-Khalifa. Nor has Washington criticized the regime for making the troop requests.
The U.S. strategy is to help open up the Bahraini political system without the government being overthrown, analysts say. However, the arrival of the Saudi troops has indicated more of a heavy-handed approach in stopping any protests, with military force if necessary.
Regional analysts are suggesting that Washington’s continued backing of autocratic regimes in the Middle East may indicate a loss of clout in itsforeign policy while condoning “a level of force” inthe face of democratic demonstrators.