Bedtime in the Middle East; Pruden on Politics

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Bedtime in the Middle East; Pruden on Politics


Byline: Wesley Pruden, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Politics make strange bedfellows, as we all know, and sometimes it's a weird bed, indeed. You can bet that when Israel and Saudi Arabia snuggle under the covers together, it's a king-size bed, and there's an enormous bundling log between them.

The governments in both Jerusalem and Riyadh, each with a wary eye on Tehran, have separately concluded that Barack Obama and the Americans are unreliable partners in peace. These Arabs and the Jews have begun, on their own, planning a realistic response to the Iranian bomb that portends only catastrophe for everyone in the Middle East.

Once enemies, Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and the Saudi government are working on contingency plans for destroying Iran's nuclear-warfare facilities, if necessary, after the West - sans France - and Iran conclude a deal later this week in Geneva to appease the Iranian appetite.

Both the Israeli and Saudi governments are convinced that the international talks to place limits on Tehran's military nuclear development amount to appeasement and will do little to slow the development of a nuclear warhead, The London Sunday Times reported over the weekend.

As part of the growing cooperation, Riyadh is understood already to have given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran. Both sides are now prepared to go much farther. The Sunni kingdom is as alarmed as Israel by the nuclear ambitions of the Shiite-dominated Iran. Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table.

Everything was greased for the deal 10 days ago until the French, of all people, balked and exposed Mr. Obama and David Cameron, who scattered like cocker spaniels at the prospect of facing a fit of hissing by a long-tailed tabby. French President Francois Hollande arrived in Israel on Sunday for a visit and received the kind of welcome once reserved for American presidents (before this one).

President Obama, in fact, is well on his way to disrupting old and valuable friendships throughout the region. His treatment of Israel and Saudi Arabia will be read and analyzed and read again by allies throughout the world. He imagined that by bowing so low to the Saudi king that he bumped his head on the toe of his wingtips he could scuttle any Arab fear of the future. …

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