Air Force One landed in Saudi Arabia this morning, the birthplace and epicenter of Islam. President Obama is meeting with Saudi King Abdullah to discuss three top White House priorities:
- Building better U.S. relations with a 1.3 billion Muslims.
- Strategizing on how the Saudi-crafted “peace plan” can be presented to Israel in a way that will persuade the Netanyahu government to make painful concessions to the Palestinian leadership.
- Calming Saudis fears that the U.S. is going to allow the Iranian to build nuclear weapons by doing nothing decisive and effective to stop Tehran.
The Saudis — home of the Sunni brand of Islam — are absolutely terrified at the prospect of Iranian Shia Muslims (whom they consider heretics) going nuclear. They don’t believe the U.S. has the will to stop Tehran in time, or perhaps even the true desire. They fear the White House may have made the calculation that a nuclear Iran is inevitable (like North Korea) and maybe not so bad after all. They are not alone. Egyptian leaders and numerous Gulf state leaders feel the same way. They are nearly panic-stricken that the U.S. will cut them loose and allow a nuclear-armed Persia, their historic enemy, to dominate the epicenter. Interestingly, there is an historic and unprecedented convergence of self-interest forming between Israel, Egypt, the Saudis and the Gulf state Arabs against Iran.
They want Washington on their side against the apocalyptic, genocidal death cult that is currently running Iran. But thus far, President Obama appears to be convinced that he can sit down with the Iranian leadership, have a few carmel lattes with them, and convince them to give up their atomic ambitions. That’s what worries these Arab leaders, as it should.
Should be an interesting week.
Obama visits Saudi Arabia, Cairo – why not Israel? - Christian Science Monitor
King Abdullah Greets Obama in Saudi Arabia - Washington Post
Israel not going to bomb Iran: Foreign Minister - AP