The Saudis told the Obama administration, well, effectively, to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Saudi Arabia on Friday sharply rejected American calls for gestures towards Israel, a central component of US efforts to pave the way for peace talks.
“Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach has not and – we believe – will not achieve peace. Temporary security, confidence-building measures will also not bring peace,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said at a State Department press conference. “What is required is a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final status issues: borders, Jerusalem, water, refugees and security.”
Let me translate for you: “We’re not doing a damned thing until Israel gives in to all of our demands. Then we’ll think about maybe doing something besides forcing Israel to accept all of our demands.”
And here’s the laughable response by Hillary Clinton.
Yet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared alongside Saud following their meeting Friday afternoon, downplayed his comments and the extent to which the attitude damages the US’s Arab-Israeli peace program.
Asked repeatedly whether Saud’s comments made America’s efforts more difficult, Clinton responded, “No, I don’t think so at all.”
Let me translate for you again: “Yes, they pwned us, and no, I’m not going to admit it.”
Obama’s Cairo speech has accomplished absolutely nothing other than getting the Arab world to decide that since Obama was going to pressure Israel, all they had to do was sit back and watch the fireworks. As Barry Rubin points out:
Indeed, the administration itself helped sabotage its own policy. By coming out of the starting-gate so critical of Israel, the administration unintentionally signaled Arabs to sit back and enjoy a U.S.-Israel confrontation And since the new U.S. government made its desire to avoid friction with Arabs or Muslims clear, they knew there would be no cost for defying Obama.
Professor Rubin thinks that the Obama administration is now switching gears on mideast policy. It seems that they would have to, since their private outreach to the Arabs has been utterly refuted (sometimes in a most public, humiliating way, as above).
So much for the smartest administration ever. This ship is foundering on the Scylla and Charybdis of the Persian Gulf. (Ooh, cool. I remembered how to spell them even all these years out of college.) ((See, this is why I never get linked by the big guys. I simply can’t be serious and harumphing like the rest of them. The snark will always out.))