You can call him the 'Great Satan,' he likes being called 'great' - NEDRET ERSANEL

You can call him the 'Great Satan,' he likes being called 'great'

US President Barack Obama's Riyadh visit, which began without being greeted by the king, seems to have ended with Obama's undertaker suggestions. We can interpret the “end” not only as the duration of the visit, but also as the freezing of Saudi Arabia-US ties until the new president takes office.

Obama's words cover not only Riyadh, but all Gulf countries. News summarizing the trip says, “US President Obama told Gulf leaders that 'They have nothing to gain from clashing with Tehran,' and gave the message, 'share the region.' Experts advocated that the Gulf countries will no longer entrust foreign security to the US.”

Even though Obama stating at the Gulf Cooperation Council, “look at us, we continued our dialogue with Iran despite them calling us the 'Great Satan,'” reflects how “large” American pragmatism is, this mind does not signify much for Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Ankara.

The analyses made in Saudi Arabia through this means show that the matter is being approached at the national security level. As a matter of fact, these interpretations are heard from the different balances and plans of Saudi Arabia's internal politics, and it is not possible for the dynasty to get caught up in a diplomatic dance with the US and skip these.

Surely statements such as, “We need to review our relations with the US” or “we cannot wait for the old days to come back,” cannot be ignored.


As for the president's two-hour one-to-one meetings with the king, the US press interpreted this contact as positive. A good or bad situation here cannot be in question. If merely a list of the incidents in the region was drawn up and each one of them was discussed for a maximum of five minutes – not more – the discussion would end without reaching a solution any way.

And especially if they discussed the recent news containing both Washington and Riyadh, regardless of what was said in official statements, there is no way that they are going to leave without a “fight.”

The protocols took place immediately after president-looking Obama's Saudi Arabia summit and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Istanbul summit.

Before Obama threw tempting bones at Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia in particular, saying “share the region with Iran,” all Muslim countries were confessing to the Bosporus saying, “whatever happened to us is happening because of them, while we want more, it is the US and Russia taking the bigger slice.”


Just before the visit started, a report that was presented to the American Congress, which also included Saudi Arabia's role in the September 11 incident, came up on the agenda. It was obvious from the way it came how it would go, but the Kingdom was threatened through the 28-page censored sections. And since this card was played right at the time King Salman of Saudi Arabia was in Ankara, the response was sent from here.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Affairs minister showed the US the “We will use our $750 billion in your country for different investments” threat. And right after it was understood that Obama, who walked around the Oval Office with a baseball bat in his hand from time to time, was left empty-handed.

Expert economists stated that the country just got out of a crisis, that it is in a period of remission, that the country would experience problems if it lost not $750 billion but even $100 billion, and that it would have global effects.

Then immediately after it came that report and two statements about the proposed law that is expected to follow and which is presumed will take allied countries to American courts.

First, the parliamentarians advocating the report made a statement along the lines of, “the timing is not right, for example, if the [People's Protection Units] YPG attacked another country [referring to Turkey], they would not want to carry its responsibility,” and fled.

Secondly, the White House entirely shelved the topic, declaring that “in the event such a law is passed, the president would veto it.” As you would appreciate, there is no term in diplomacy that expresses this situation. Instead, we can say, “tucking one's tail between one's legs.”

But do you know what happened next? Completely different news was heard: “Saudi Arabia is going to take out a loan for the first time in 25 years… Saudi Arabia, one of the world's richest countries, which is experiencing tough times due to low oil prices, is going to take out a $10 billion loan. It was stated that Saudi Arabia would take a $10 billion loan from a consortium of global banks. The five-year term loan is also paving the way for the country's first international bond issuance. The budget deficit of Saudi Arabia, which has consumed a financial reserve of $150 billion since the end of 2014, is expected to rise to 19% of its gross domestic product (GDP) this year.”

Of course the country has no issue getting a loan. The real matter is institutions such as IMF starting months in advance and pumping to the global public the propaganda that Riyadh is on the brink of economic collapse.

While the king was in Turkey, the obvious credit rating institutions such as Fitch Ratings, updated Saudi Arabia's note as minus and in March, Moody's made the “economize” call.

Wouldn't the Saudi economy recover if oil prices increased or if it encouraged this? If you have a front in both the US and Russia-Iran energy wars, this is how money that goes to waste ends up being so high.

Note: As I was writing this column, I received news that Israeli and Russian planes clashed in Syria. As a matter of fact, when Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu was in Russia. You somehow knew this was going to happen, didn't you?


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