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Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Throws Saudi Arabia Under the Bus

The White House released a mealy-mouthed statement supposedly summarizing the results of discussions at yesterday's security conference--the one that was boycotted by most of the important Gulf leaders. Here is the part concerning Iran and its nuclear weapons program:
The United States is prepared to work jointly with the GCC states to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state's territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the UN Charter. In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to determine urgently what action may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force, for the defense of our GCC partners.

As with Operation Decisive Storm, GCC states will consult with the United States when planning to take military action beyond GCC borders, in particular when U.S. assistance is requested for such action.

In this spirit, and building on the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, the leaders discussed a new U.S.-GCC strategic partnership to enhance their work to improve security cooperation, especially on fast-tracking arms transfers, as well as on counter-terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity, and ballistic missile defense. They reviewed the status of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, and emphasized that a comprehensive, verifiable deal that fully addresses the regional and international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program is in the security interests of GCC member states as well as the United States and the international community. The United States and GCC member states oppose and will work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region and stressed the need for Iran to engage the region according to the principles of good neighborliness, strict non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for territorial integrity, consistent with international law and the United Nations Charter, and for Iran to take concrete, practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with neighbors by peaceful means.
(Underline added). I wonder if it was copied from our agreement regarding the protection of Ukrainian territory?

Charles Krauthammer's take on the whole thing was succinct and to the point:
“This was absolutely pathetic. If this was meant to reassure the Gulf states, I’m sure their hair is still standing on end.” He then read from the statement, drawing attention to each “weasel word,” before adding, “I mean, I have never seen a statement with more caveats in it, which would give less confidence to any ally. And Obama, if you noticed was reading that. That wasn’t a bad ad lib, that wasn’t a Jeb answering the wrong question. He was — that was a prepared statement for a summit that is meant to assure the Gulf Arabs that we’re not selling them out. That was a sellout announcement. … They should be terrified.”
Don't take it personally, though. Obama throws everyone under the bus when they have outlived their usefulness.

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