Leaders of Gulf nations to embarrass Obama, skip US summit; administration denies ‘snub’

It’s not getting anywhere near the media attention of Tom Brady’s supposedly racist decision to skip a White House event, but the new king of Saudia Arabia delivered an unmistakable, calculated diplomatic insult to President Obama and his appeasement of Iran on Sunday.

King Salman backed out of Camp David summit after publicly committing to the trip, The New York Times reported Monday.

Salman apparently has better things to do than meet with the president of the United States. A more junior Saudi delegation, headed by the country’s interior minister and defense minister will attend the meetings instead. And their Saudis aren’t the only Gulf no-shows, just one of four Arab states that won’t be sending their top men to Washington.

Making the intentional embarrassment even worse, the Saudis waited until after the White House announced Friday that the arrangements for a meeting had been complete, according to The Times.

Salman has been king only since the January death of his brother, so he’s deliberately skipping his first official summit with a U.S. president. In diplo-speak, it’s a middle finger, a raspberry, and that weird thing Italians do with their arm when they’re mad – all rolled into one.

And it’s all because of Obama’s heedless pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran – the avowed enemy of Israel and the sectarian enemy of Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim powers in the region.

According to The Times:

The official said that when the king met Secretary of State John Kerry in Riyadh last week, he indicated that he was looking forward to coming to the meeting. But on Friday night, after the White House put out a statement saying Mr. Obama would be meeting with King Salman in Washington, administration officials received a call from the Saudi foreign minister that the king would not be coming after all.

There was “no expression of disappointment” from the Saudis, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “If one wants to snub you, they let you know it in different ways,” the official said.

It’s worth remembering that this is the same White House that deliberately snubbed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back in March, with some trumped up excuse about “election ethics,” which coming from a Democrat is almost too funny to write without laughing.

Speaking of laughing, Obama’s spin machine managed to get out their dubious version of events in major media, denying the obvious, like this one that was on CNN.com and other websites.

On the king’s decision a source familiar with the Saudi thinking tells CNN that the absence was not meant as a “snub”.

“It is not a snub. It is not intended to send a message,” the source said.

Any bets on whether that “source” is code-named “Marie Harf”?

The Saudis aren’t the only Gulf heads of state who found other ways to pass the time while sending underlings to deal with the leader of the world’s most powerful country.

The king of Bahrain, the sultan of Oman and the president of the United Arab Emirates will also be taking a pass, though their refusal isn’t in the same league as Saudi Arabia’s stiff-arm. UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is having health problems and wasn’t expected to attend anyway.

To be clear, conservatives shouldn’t be gloating. The humiliation — the very blatant humiliation — of an American president by even an allied foreigner is no cause for celebration.

But the Obama administration and its clueless State Department has spent six years alienating Israel, the one true ally America has in the Middle East, has now alienated the strange-bedfellows business partners of Saudi Arabia.

And it’s all in favor of pursuing what allies call a losing, near catastrophic deal with one of America’s deadliest enemies on earth.

That’s an insult to the rest of us.

Twitter users knew exactly what was going on.

And how about this one, for perspective of the U.S. media and its lapdog role in the Age of Obama?

It really is a shame.

 

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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