Alliances are as vital to foreign policy as a website that works is to online health care enrollment, but Obama has given every sign of not understanding the concept of alliances. When Hillary Clinton came to Moscow bearing her misspelled Reset button, the button was real and reset every alliance to zero.
During his two terms, Obama has managed to wreck nearly every alliance the United States had. The only alliances that survived were so low-pressure that even he couldn’t manage to destroy them.
Obama’s alliance vandalism pushed aside allies and courted enemies. If a country hated the United States, overtly and openly, then he was there bowing to it as low as he could go. If a country had an existing alliance with us, it was in big trouble.
From Latin America to Eastern Europe to the Middle East, the shock waves of the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton reset passed leaving behind destroyed relationships and empowered enemies.
Poland learned that Obama cared more about showing Vladimir his flexibility than about defending the nations liberated from the grasp of the red bear. Israel learned that Obama would put Iran first and Egypt and Tunisia found out that Obama only had eyes for the Muslim Brotherhood.
It took a lot for Obama to lose the Saudis, but now even they have turned on him. America’s greatest Middle Eastern frenemy was an enemy who pretended to be our ally. The frenemy game had paid off for Saudi Arabia with American soldiers being sent off to protect the House of Saud, but by Obama’s second term, the Saudis had figured out that they could do better by being our open enemies than by pretending to be our friends.
The Saudis, who had always been noted for being subtle, stopped being subtle when a member of one of their think tanks openly declared, “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.”
There is no better metric of contempt in a region where everyone wears a false face than honesty like that. The Saudis have decided that we are no longer even worth lying to. They believe that we have become so worthless that they can tell us what they really think of us.
There’s no easier way to tell that you’ve hit bottom than when the people who have been sponging off you decide to move on like lice fleeing roadkill or rats abandoning a sinking ship.
For generations the Saudis piggybacked their foreign policy on the United States, (though American diplomats liked to fool themselves into thinking that it was the other way around), but now the Saudis have decided that the United States under Obama only serves as a willing tool for open enemies.
From their Iranian Shiite enemies, they have learned that Obama only responds to confrontation and intimidation. If a country isn’t openly threatening to nuke the United States, it no longer gets listened to. So the Saudis have abandoned the behind-the-scenes diplomacy that they used to be so good at and have begun engaging in open confrontations.
Their United Nations Security Council tantrum and their warning that they will no longer even pretend to filter their arms shipments to the Syrian rebels through the CIA are their attempts at getting Obama’s attention by slapping him around.
Considering the long history of Saudi political influence in the United States, it’s a sign of a complete breakdown in foreign policy that they really think that their best option for getting Obama to do what they want is to engage in public spats.
It’s not that the United States should be doing what Saudi Arabia wants, which in this case involves bombing Syria, but it’s a profound failure of foreign policy when your allies are convinced that their only way to get your attention is by humiliating you in public and worse still when they expect it to work.
The fault lies in a leader whose foreign policy is completely unmoored from realpolitik. Obama’s first and foremost consideration is his ideological program with no concern for the real world consequences of implementing it. That is as true of his foreign policy as it is of his domestic policy.
Obama has done to America’s allies what he did to America by trashing their interests for ideological reasons with no concern for their feelings.
Ideology drives the Obama agenda. And American allies, like Americans, are expected to be grateful for the privilege of sacrificing their own interests for his political agenda. It hasn’t worked out that way in the real world. The millions of Americans who work for a living may have no other option but to endure the depredations of a radical activist, but American allies have begun making different arrangements.
While America’s foreign policy agenda is weighed down with Green Energy and Muslim self-esteem, Russia is beginning to politically dominate the old territories of its red empire. The Middle East has imploded into war and violence. And Latin America is once again dominated by a bankrupt left.
None of this is good news. Neither is the growing Saudi attitude that if it can’t manipulate American foreign policy as well as Iran can, that it should start acting like Iran by buying Russian weapons and threatening the United States.
A strong administration could have put the Saudis in their place. A weak one will just roll over for them. The only saving grace of our relationship with the Saudis was that they were discreet about their control of our foreign policy. If they win their staring contest with Obama, they will no longer be discreet and America will be further weakened and humiliated as a result of liberal soft power politics.
Obama may have traded national interests for ideology, but the rest of the world still has interests that it is not about to sacrifice for ideological constructs like the Arab Spring. American allies have lost their ability to communicate with Obama. They don’t understand how to reach him and explain that while he thinks the United States no longer has national interests, they still do.
The Saudis have given up trying to talk to Obama and are just threatening him. They are one of the last former allies adapting to the power vacuum left behind by America’s departure from the world stage.
Obama is losing the Middle East and soon he will have lost the world.