Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Awaiting Repair | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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“Moderate Arabs” or the vast majority of Arab countries were natural allies of the United States; both with regards to bilateral relations or positions on international conflicts. Arab countries provided it with energy, regulated oil prices through OPEC and gave it land and naval bases in Qatar and Bahrain.

Egypt, the largest of these countries, sided with Washington entirely and did away with the most important strategic Soviet stronghold outside the Soviet Union. It was in both Arab and American interests to liberate Kuwait and to prevent the international oil system from being negatively affected.

Arab governments have ignored attacks and campaigns wielded against them in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in order to maintain harmonious world order in almost complete accordance with mutual understanding with America. Soviet threats did not scare them and neither did the Iranian policies and threats that came after.

The primary factor in the continuation of the general Arab position was the principle and the irreversibility of promises, along with a list of interests, of course, and the Arab fear of communism. This pyramid of relationships and partnerships did not suffer from any strategic imbalance except when Barack Obama came onto the scene. This can be seen from the renunciation of the Palestinian cause and the unprecedented intervention in the affairs of Egypt whilst it is suffering from an existential ordeal. It can also be seen in its treatment of the Gulf Cooperation Council as a strange organisation that does not have the right to intervene and is not important as a result of the US shift towards Iran that is accompanied by the president’s praise of Iranian pragmatism.

The structural collapse of the US-Arab relationship brought about by Obama was not repaired by his casual approach to the situation. He even abandoned usual diplomatic language to present his famous principle and his conclusion that the Arabs have no one to blame but themselves.

Obama did not let down America’s adversaries in the Arab world, but rather its allies. He wondered around pleasing Russia, Iran and Iraq. A country like America has the right to search for new friends anywhere, but it is not fitting that that is done at the cost of the security and integrity of previous friendships.