13.03.2014 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Why Obama is flying to Saudi Arabia

658On the background of the upcoming elections in the U.S. Congress in November of this year, we can note a remarkable intensification of the political struggle between the Republicans and Democrats. Criticism of Obama’s policies is growing both in the country and abroad. In these circumstances, the political strategists of the White House have already started their work, trying to gain positive points for Obama and his team by hook or by crook, resorting to biased presentation of facts in the media and carefully concealing outright failures of the current head of the White House.

Political strategists in Washington have already learned to hide the true state of affairs and to wangle; after all, they receive big money for that work. It is enough to recall that the presidential elections in 2012, where they took an active part, were the most expensive elections in U.S. history, and Barack Obama and his rival Mitt Romney were the first who managed to attract more than $1 billion for only one presidential campaign. In general, according to previously published estimates in the American media, the cost of the presidential elections and congressional elections in 2012 reached a tremendous amount – about $6 billion! A whole army of political strategist of the White House took part in it, and they tried to weigh public opinion on behalf of Obama, not only in the U.S.A., but also abroad.

The year 2014 brought even more work for political strategists in Washington. And the reason is not only the increasing criticism of the current administration by the Americans, due to the absence of any substantial progress in the implementation of election promises made by Obama. The dissatisfaction with the policy of force, conducted by Washington, is expressed by countries where the U.S. is trying to carry out its dictates, and since this policy is ubiquitous, opposition to the actions of the White House is growing and strengthening everywhere. And this year is crucial for many of these countries as well, as it is an election year in a large number of key regional countries.

Thus, a successor to Hamid Karzai will be elected during the presidential elections in Afghanistan in April, and Washington is unlikely to be able to put its protégé in this office. Parliamentary elections will be held in India by the end of May, where the opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may win over the ruling party Indian National Congress (INC). The results of the parliamentary elections in Iraq are to be announced by the end of March of this year, and the future of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Washington’s puppet, will be determined. In August, Turkey will elect its president, and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, who has had a series of political disagreements with Washington, may take part in the struggle for this office. In October, parliamentary elections will be held in Lebanon and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have diverse attitudes to the ongoing policy of Washington.

The separation of Kosovo from Serbia, initiated and authorized by Washington and Barack Obama personally in higher international institutions in 2009, also has unexpected results for the White House – in September of this year, Scotland will hold its own historic referendum on independence, which could result in its separation from the United Kingdom. The instrument has been launched for Crimea’s exit from under the jurisdiction of the “renovated Ukraine”, where political strategists of the White House, in the person of McCain, Nuland and their assistants, have been actively destabilizing the political situation during recent months, using huge funds of U.S. taxpayers (according to Nuland, this was not less than 5 billion dollars), and brought to power international criminals such as D. Yarosh and his ilk.

In these circumstances, the White House is preparing a series of PR-actions aimed at restoring the image of the head of the White House and his team. In this respect, political strategists in Washington set much store by Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for late March, where he intends to make a new address to the Muslim world, that would be more “meaningful” than the address in Cairo in 2009. This step of Washington is primarily intended for getting support of the Muslim diaspora in the United States and abroad, showing his presidency as a very “advantageous for the Muslims”. As we have learned, Obama intends to emphasize that the course, pursued by him, is distinguished by “peacemaking”, especially in comparison with the policies of the previous president George W. Bush, a member of the Republican Party who unleashed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As his “victories”, Obama expects to draw special attention of the Muslim world to the fact that his policies resulted in the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, which had already begun.

However, let us see if we can call Obama’s policies in these countries a victory, and whether the deaths and injuries of thousands of American soldiers there are justified?

According to the data published by Iraqi government on February 3, more than one thousand people in this country, most of whom were civilians, were victims of violence only in January of this year; according to the United Nations, about 140,000 people in the province of Anbar, where militants had intensified their activities, were forced to flee from their homes to escape the violence. January was the bloodiest month in the country in over five years of the “peacekeeping operation of the United States and its allies”. There are two possible scenarios for the future developments: a bloody and protracted interfaith war and disintegration of this formerly (i.e., before the military intervention of the U.S.) rich country into several parts. However, in any of these cases, it will be the Iraqi Muslims who will bear the hardships of the results of Washington’s policy.

The picture of recent events in Afghanistan also does not appear to be advantageous for the Washington Administration. The 120,000 contingent of the International Security Assistance Force must leave the country after losing more than 3,000 people and failing to defeat the radical Islamist Taliban movement during the presidency of Obama. After all, President George W. Bush sent troops into Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban. Thus, the withdrawal of the U.S. troops, presented as “the completion of the military campaign and the victory of Barack Obama’s political line” by political strategists in the White House, is actually an outright escape from this country on the background of increasing crime over the period of American occupation by “peacekeepers” there, and disparate growth of production and export of drugs.

In addition, we should not forget the thousands of innocent civilians killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the already traditional “erroneous strikes of U.S. drones”.

Citizens of these countries will hardly listen in awe to Obama’s address to the Muslims from Riyadh in late March. Yes, it is not only the case with the Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan, anti-American sentiment has increased everywhere in recent years, primarily due to the policies pursued by Obama.

As for the Saudi Kingdom, it is clear that it feels no enthusiasm to pick up the baton of 2009 from Egypt, providing its platform for Obama’s PR-campaign. First of all, the Saudi monarchy can see the Egyptian “example”, where the current owner of the White House made his first address to the Muslims and discussed the plans for strengthening cooperation with M. Mursi in 2009, and soon this protégé of Washington was removed.

Moreover, not to get a “black mark” from the White House, Riyadh has reluctantly and dramatically changed its position on many issues in recent days. First of all, this applies to the support of extremist opposition and foreign militants in Syria, in particular, a decree was adopted to prohibit the Saudis to participate personally as mercenary militants in other countries. At the same time, however, Saudi Arabia undertook the organization of the upcoming supply of air defense systems to Syrian rebels on the orders of Washington, in order not to subject the White House to criticism from the international community, as was recently reported by The Wall Street Journal. The fact that this decision was imposed on Riyadh from outside is evidenced by previous statements by the representatives of the Arabian monarchy that “supplying air defense systems to militants is undesirable, as they may get into the hands of radical Islamists”.

Serious personnel changes were made in the security agencies of the kingdom under the dictate of Washington.

Moreover, the White House contributed to the fact that the KSA had to deteriorate its relations with Qatar recently (by recalling its ambassador from there), which had been used as a financial instrument to support Syrian opposition for a long time by Riyadh.

The Saudi monarchy will also have to withstand the pressure of Washington, which insists on softening its position on Iran and Syria, as American political strategists expect to use a peaceful dialogue and refusal from an open confrontation with these countries as “achievements of the Obama Administration”.

The senescent Saudi monarchy will have to do even more, just to stay in power, not anger the White House, and at the same time, to create the most favorable conditions for Obama’s PR-campaign in Saudi Arabia!

However, will it bring the success to the White House that American political strategists really want? – Times are changing and the world is getting smarter, despite the attempts of Washington’s political envoys to fool everyone.

Vladimir Odintsov, political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“.