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Saudi Arabia … Obamaism, Confrontation

Saudi Arabia … Obamaism, Confrontation

Sunday, 24 April, 2022 - 09:00
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The Wall Street Journal published a story about Saudi-American relations that can only be described as part of the organized disinformation campaign to vilify Saudi Arabia.


Some might say that it is just a story, and it is not worth the commenting. But this is not true.


We must be aware of the seriousness of what is written because it has a profound impact on legislators, voters, study centers, book authors, and economic elites, not to mention its international influence.


We will not discuss the content of the story, but rather the basis of these misleading campaigns to demonize Saudi Arabia, which I have written about repeatedly.


The campaigns against Saudi Arabia in the United States are not new, they date back to before the September 11 terrorist attacks.


It is not the product of the work of activists and lobbies, but rather the product of Obamaism.


Since 2009, and with Barack Obama's accession to power, the campaign to vilify Saudi Arabia and the countries of moderation was launched in an organized manner and with official leaks.


Here are two examples, quoting Obama himself, that show the former president’s ideological hostility to Saudi Arabia, as well as the stark contradiction of the American media.


The first example, in April 2015, in an interview with journalist Thomas Friedman, Obama says that Saudi Arabia suffers “very real external threats, but they also have some internal threats.”


He adds that “unemployed youth” and “destructive and nihilistic” ideologies threaten the Kingdom from the inside.


The second example is a lengthy interview with “The Atlantic,” April 2016.


In that interview, Obama said that “the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs have funneled money, and large numbers of imams and teachers,” and moved on to accuse the Saudis of supporting “Wahhabism.”


The Atlantic’s reporter then recalls Obama’s first foreign-policy commentary of note in a 2002 speech, before he became president.


In that note, Obama criticized President Bush for his alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which he described as “so-called allies in the Middle East.” He also called on Bush to stop “tolerating corruption.”


The reporter also reminds of Obama’s hatred towards misogyny in Saudi Arabia.


Obama has argued in private that “a country cannot function in the modern world when it is repressing half of its population.”


In meetings with foreign leaders, Obama has said, “You can gauge the success of a society by how it treats its women.”


The former president went on to say that the Saudis need to “share” the Middle East with their Iranian foes.


Well, Obama said it, and Saudi Arabia is changing, and Saudi Arabia has changed completely after that, as it broke with all manifestations of extremism, and Saudi Arabia led the largest war on corruption in the history of the region.


Women in Saudi Arabia have obtained rights that women in “democratic” Arab countries and Iran have not.


Under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the direct planning and implementation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has opened the doors of all sectors for young people, in a way that surpasses the entire region.


What has changed after all that with the US campaigns? Nothing! Rather, it increased. It all could be traced back to dominant Obamaism.


Nowadays we see the Democrats themselves opposing Obama's trotting behind Iran.


Fareed Zakaria wrote in “The Washington Post” a remarkable article about the need to reform the relationship with Saudi Arabia.


“In international relations, strategy is chosen over ideology,” he wrote in what can be considered the first dissent from Obamaism.


Accordingly, we are opposed to honest criticism but rather are against Obamaist ideology. Most importantly, the change taking place in our country is to serve our interests, as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said, and not to please the Obamas and others.


Therefore, we must not get angry and boycott, but confront and explain.


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