Op-Ed: Obama Fallout: Saudis Broker Port Said to Putin's Navy
Mark LangfanThe writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original...
Since the beginning of the 19th century, Egypt's Port Said, because of its location near the Suez Canal, has acted as a global city located on the very hub of world commerce.
In fact, Rudyard Kipling once said of Port Said "If you truly wish to find someone you have known and who travels, there are two points on the globe you have but to sit and wait, sooner or later your man will come there: the docks of London and Port Said."
Using the Suez Canal, it is 7200 miles (11,600 km) from London to Mumbai. Without using the Suez Canal, the trip going around South Africa is 12,300 miles (19800 km). In ordinary life, time is money. In war, time is victory or death.
Just a short while ago, Port Said welcomed American warships, and allowed them priority passage through the Suez Canal. At the end of October 2013, the Chief of Russian Military Intelligence General Vacheslay Kondrasco met with Egypt's General Sisi for 3 days, probably to discuss major new weapons' deals.
And in the future, the USS Eisenhower, - and its aircraft carrier strike group of 4 surface and 1 or 2 nuclear submarines - may have to wait a very long time to get to and from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. The United States may very well have lost Egypt's Port Said to the Russians.
On November 2, 2013, in a stunning rebuke to Obama's cut-off of arms and $260 million in cash aid, Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, in a rare interview, warned Egypt would look to new military sources beyond the United States to meet its security needs, and that the United States "would have to deal now with the Arab peoples, not only with Arab governments".
Citing the "turbulent" state of the Obama administration's ties with Egypt, its 35-year staunch ally, Fahmy informed Obama, by way of a press interview, that Egypt would have to develop "multiple choices, multiple options" to chart its way forward - including military relationships.
Fahmy sent a stark threat to Obama's handling of the post-Morsi Egypt: "If you're going to have interests in the Middle East, you need to have either good relations with the country that is the focus of the Middle East, or at the very least well-managed relations".
Fahmy continued, and deftly introduced Egypt's new military source: "That's Cold War mentality. I'm not trying to bring in Russia vis-a-vis America. I'm trying to bring in 10, 20, 30 new partners for Egypt. The Egyptian government is committed to diversifying its relationship, not at the expense of our friends but over and above ... . This is not a position against an American policy, it's a position that is consistent with Egypt's interests."
One wonders why Obama has reacted so negatively to Egypt's secular counter-revolution. After all, the French Revolution went through countless revolutions, counter-revolutions, and counter-counter revolutions over scores of years, and they turned out to be a democracy. But Obama has not only choked off US direct aid, he has quietly assured Egypt is cut off from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid as well.
Obama's incendiary reaction to Sisi's counter-revolution seems to indicate a pro-Iran policy of "topple US allies, and support US inimical enemies."
Obama understands that without Egypt, the world's most populous Arab Sunni Arab country (85 million people) firmly on Saudi Arabia's side against Iran, Saudi Arabia is dead-man walking.
The Muslim Brotherhood wasn't on the Saudis side, to put it mildly. And Obama seems to want the House of Saud and secular Egypt to disappear.Yet aren't secular Egypt and the House of Saud the two pillars of the American Muslim Middle East policy for 30 and 80 years respectively? Obama has trashed all that..
Obama stated his current foreign-policy as clearly as a bell in Chicago in 2002. Before the US went into Iraq, Obama believed that none of the terror states of Hussein's Iraq, Assad's Syria, or Iran were the problem of the United States. Then-State Senator Obama explained whom he believed were the true enemies of the United States who needed to be fought, and destroyed.
You can hear Obama give the speech if you click here.
"You want a fight, President Bush?
"Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.
"You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.
"Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair. The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not — we will not — travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain."
Obama couldn't have stated his foreign policy since 2008 any clearer than he did in 2002. Obama ran on his 2002 speech in 2008, and has been implementing his 2002 speech from 2009 to 2013.
Since 2009, Obama has, indeed, been fighting the "battles that [Obama] needs to fight" against the US "so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians. . . ." Obama has engaged the United States to "willingly join" those battles against Obama's enemies, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptians, and for his allies, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.
Obama didn't said outright that his real foreign policy was to strengthen America's enemies and betray Americas allies. Obama also told everybody they could keep the healthcare plan they liked. Well, you can't keep your health insurance, nor can you keep your comparatively moderate Sunni Arab allies.
The Saudis have realized that, and are cutting bait with Obama and the US.
It seems as though the Saudis have explained it to the Egyptians as well. For now, Arab Egypt has awakened to the incipient danger of the Persian snake through the venomous tendrils of Iran's Hamas. The battle of the Persian lackeys, Hamas and Hezbollah, against Fahmy's "Arab peoples" will start to take shape in earnest.
The Egyptian generals knew when they took out Morsi that they had crossed the Rubicon in relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. Obama, by cutting the aid and treating Egyptian secular patriots like common criminals, has sharpened the Egyptian generals' realization that Obama, while courting Iran, is a mortal enemy of not just Egypt, but of the entire Arab world.
When the Saudis hinted they were turning away from the United States, did anyone think they were referring only to themselves? No, they were taking the Egyptians and the Suez Canal with them. And the assets the Saudis and the Egyptians can offer the Russians are huge. Port Said is perfect for Russia huge warships. With Port Said, Russia will envelope and secure its key eastern Mediterranean asset, Cyprus.
The key part of the puzzle is how Russia is going to straddle both camps. Once Putin sees Obama's pro-Iranian nuclear weapon policy, he may react before Iran has nuclear-weaponized and can threaten Russia's southern flank and its gas monopoly to Europe
These are some of seismic shifts that are quaking the Middle East due to the fact that Obama has made good on his 2002 pledge to get rid of the Saudis and the Mubarak Egyptians.
As for Israel, Obama knows that with Saudi Arabia and secular Egypt wiped out, and a nuclear-weaponized Iran in control of the world's Persian gulf oil supply, his Zionist problem won't be a problem for much longer.