Thursday, January 17, 2008

WINEP: "Bush in Arabia: Work in Progress or Waste of Time?"

Simon Henderson at WINEP, here
"... The reported public reaction to his speech indicates that both the leaders and the people of the Gulf states were less than persuaded...The Gulf states are reportedly concerned about the chaos in Iraq, what they see as a continuing U.S. bias in favor of Israel, and whether isolation is the best way to deal with Iran. They also view Bush, with just a year to go in the White House, as a lame duck president... Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told his French counterpart that Washington's confrontational behavior toward Iran was not the answer; if the Gulf Arabs have a problem with Iran, he argued, they should talk to Tehran, as neighbors should. Indeed, when Sarkozy departed only hours before Bush arrived, the flag poles on the drive from the airport were flying both the French and U.S. flags -- an apparent diplomatic signal that the United States is not the kingdom's only ally..."

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