Few moments really convey Obama’s impotence better than his Saudi allies openly mocking him by telling Egypt not to listen to him because they’ll get their money anyway.
Obama’s soft power strategy comes apart when someone actually challenges it, and the end result is neither soft power, nor hard power. Nor power of any kind over anyone except the Americans caught in the net of his bureaucracy.
Saudi Arabia said Monday that Arab and Islamic countries are ready to step in if the United States or any other country cuts aid to Egypt in the wake of the military crackdown on protesters in the nation.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal said that his country and others would “provide a helping hand” to Egypt if aid is withheld.
“Concerning those who announced stopping their assistance to Egypt or [are] threatening to stop [it], the Arab and Islamic nation is rich with its people and capabilities and will provide a helping hand to Egypt,” al-Faisal said, according to the SPA state news agency.
Egypt probably better not cash those checks too soon. The Saudis have kicked in money and will add more, but they’re not terrible reliable. Just ask the Palestinian Authority.
What the Saudis are doing though is calling Obama’s bluff by checkmating his aid strategy. The Saudis can’t provide the heavy weapons to Egypt that America can, but it’s not as if Egypt is preparing for a war where it will urgently need jets and tanks. Not unless Turkey tyrant Erdogan loses enough of his marbles to kick up his Ottoman threats to eleven.
Al-Faisal, who was meeting with French President François Hollande in Paris, argued that no coup had in fact taken place in Egypt.
“The uprising of 30 million Egyptians cannot in any way be described as a military coup, as military coups take place under the cover of darkness,” he said, according to SPA.
“All countries that take such negative attitudes toward Egypt should know that the blaze and ruin will not be limited to Egypt alone, but they will be reflected on all those who have contributed or stood by problems and disorders taking place in Egypt today.”
In case there was any ambiguity, the Saudis are all in against the Brotherhood. That lines them up with the UAE and against Qatar and Turkey.