Obama’s lonely ‘Arab Summit’

Ever since he decided to chase the mirage of a “Grand Bargain” with Iran, President Obama has pretended that the only opposition comes from Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu and “hardline” Republicans in the Congress.

He was to highlight that claim by hosting a summit for “key Arab allies” at Camp David this week.

Yet the exercise has instead shown the failure of Obama to sell his narrative to “key Arab allies” even before the first round of orange juice is served at Camp David.

Of the six heads of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, only two, the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, will attend.

Even the offer by Obama of a separate tete-a-tete in Washington could not persuade Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to attend what Riyadh sources describe as “a photo-op” aimed at hoodwinking the American public…

Related: The Financial Times* is reporting that “Gulf Arabs fear Iran with cash as much as Iran with the bomb.” Excerpt:

One reason this is going to be difficult for him to sell to Gulf Arab leaders at this week’s meeting at Camp David is that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies feel this balance has already tilted alarmingly towards Shia Iran. Some of their officials can be heard fulminating about Tehran’s ambition to recreate a Persian empire in Arab lands. They fear that if the framework nuclear deal agreed in Lausanne in April is formally concluded next month, an Iran freed of international sanctions on its economy could lock in its Arab gains and become unstoppable…

…Iran was the big winner from the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which toppled the Sunni minority tyranny of Saddam Hussein and installed Shia majority rule…

…In civil war-riven Syria, the minority regime of Bashar al-Assad, which has already morphed into a national militia network under IRGC guidance, is a ward of the Iranian state and its proxies such as Hizbollah, the Lebanese paramilitary movement…

…In this context, European and Arab officials emphasise, Gulf leaders are not worried about Tehran eventually getting a nuclear bomb so much as a post-sanctions Iran getting its hands on real money.

They have seen how much Iran can do with hardly any money, and how little they themselves can do, with vast cash piles accumulated before last year’s oil price crash. Syria highlights how important money now is…

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  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    If the Persian Iranians and the Arabs want to go at it, good. Muslims killing Muslims works just fine for me. Distracts them from attacking the rest of us. 🙂

    • Frau Katze

      Collateral damage in the form millions of refugees though. It will hit us too.

      • DavidinNorthBurnaby

        Not if we don’t let any in.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    And yet Iran, Assad and their Shiite stooges are having a hard time in western Syria and Iraq. A stalemate means that the bloodbath will continue indefinitely.