KSA, US need each other
Ironically, US didn’t want to be involved in these two wars. During WWI, many Americans were thanking the Atlantic for its separation from Europe during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, who was busy with internal affairs of his country. It wasn’t until 1917 when America went to the war after the sinking of the Motor Vessel, the Lusitania. But, after the end of WWI, US returned its focus on the home front with limited attention to the outside world. At the near end of Wilson’s presidency, the world wanted US to be part of the League of Nations, which US didn’t want to join, even though America’s signature was in the Versailles Treaty (WWI Peace Treaty).
When WWII broke out in 1938, US stood idle and as a matter of fact, it was so neutral that America was the main supplier of raw materials to Japan during the first years of the war.
It was however Japan that dragged US into the war by attacking Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. At the end of WWII, the United Nations Organization (UN) was formed and New York City was chosen to be home of this newly formed organization which was formed to end all conflicts and prevent wars. US by now had become undisputedly the super power. In any conflict or a dispute in the world after that it was required to mediate or intervene.
The world clearly saw the capability of US. The only country in the world that has a presence on the Seven Seas, US became the most powerful country with a strong economy, thus adding burden on its governing administration too. In addition, the American home front is very demanding. One third of the world’s wealth is in US.
But, is the world changing or is it the pressing need back home that US wants to do: Governing the inside and forgetting the outside? Simply put, US and the whole world can’t afford seeing the Red, White and Blue out of any political formula.
In March 2012, I wrote an article in Arab News, “Syria — Where are the Americans?” And later on I had to write an article, “America: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” which was published on Jan. 26, 2013.
I ask this question again: On Syria, where are the Americans after President Barack Obama drew a red line for Syria if it used chemical weapons against its own people? The answer is that the Americans didn’t interfere in Syria to end the biggest atrocities in modern time. Instead, they went to Iran, the country which backed Bashar Assad and even provided him and his regime with all the financial and military aid. And this is how all the political rift started between Saudi Arabia and US. And this rift was not too secret. The whole world noticed. This is one reason why people around the world are watching the outcome of Barack Obama’s visit to the Kingdom when he holds talks with Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
President Obama’s visit is very important because the two countries have the capabilities to solve several issues. The visit will strengthen the bond between the two nations. The relation is based on strategic need with mutual understanding of each other’s interests. The visit comes amid regional and world turbulent times. The situation in Syria is becoming unbearable, Iran intentions are not clear, Egypt is approaching a milestone in its way out of the Arab Spring and Libya is in chaos and most important is the issue of Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Riyadh and Washington had in the past cooperated on many issues of global interest. The meeting between the two top leaders is expected to be candid and the visit is expected to find solutions to regional and international issues. The Saudis and Americans have differences on many issues, but, like every time both countries will be able to navigate around these issues and solve them. Saudis and Americans are known for their ability to adjust the sails if they can’t control the wind.
And finally, in the past year, the world was following the Obama drive to modify or change the health care system. It is an important issue for Americans and it is apparent that the health issue is taking a big part of the American administration and may be the world events didn’t get the attention it should. But, US and the world can’t afford seeing things going unnoticed by the American administration. America can’t even afford blinking an eye. Actually, it did blink and look at what happened in Ukraine and the Crimea. Or maybe we should think about more civilian casualties in Syria and the nine million Syrian refugees.
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