During a recent visit to Cairo, Putin was received with imperial honors. The streets of Cairo were decorated by giant portraits of the Russian ruler; Egyptian jets accompanied the Putin’s aircraft in the skies of Cairo and honorary cavalry escorted a limousine with Putin and al-Sisi.
The visit resulted in an agreement to build a nuclear power plant and a decision to cooperate in all areas, including the military one. As a first sign of cooperation, Putin gave an AK-74 to al-Sisi as a gift. It was a meaningful gesture, especially given the fact that Moscow and Cairo signed an arms deal worth 3 billion dollars.
In the '90s it was hard to believe that Russia would ever be able to return to the Middle East. Not only has Moscow returned, but it has returned triumphant.
The very same day, coincidentally, in an interview with Vox Journal, President Barack Obama said that "we occasionally have to twist the arms of other countries that won't do what we need them to do".
In reality, he actually twisted the arm of his own country.
Strategic partners as bargaining tools.
Russia’s success, as well as that of China, which is negotiating a New Suez Canal Expansion project with Egypt, is Barack Obama’s "achievement".
For six years he has been "twisting the arms" of the USA’s strategic allies. As a result, America has lost its influence in the region and it will be extremely difficult to regain it, if that is at all conceivable.
For the last 50 years, the US had relied on the "Tripod"of the Middle East: Riyadh, Jerusalem and Cairo. Under Obama, US-Egyptian relations were torn to shreds; alliance with the Saudis, Kuwait and the UAE poisoned by mistrust; now Israel is afraid to repeat the sad fate of Czechoslovakia in 1938.
Since the late '70s, the US and its allies were united (despite the conflict of interests and polar ideology) by the hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the cradle of Islamic fundamentalism, including al Qaeda, and the Shiite regime in Tehran with its puppets.
Obama turned the whole system of relations on its head. He pushed away Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel and began to flirt with their worst enemies.
this was a conscious choice of the president.
According to the Egyptian Rose El-Youssef magazine, in December 2012, six famous American MB activists became prominent advisers to Obama: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
The Turkish MB branch, Justice and Development Party led by Erdogan, and Qatar, the financial and media sponsor of MB, have become main allies of Washington in the Middle East.
After re-inauguration, Obama said he would cooperate with the three major regional powers: Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Egypt at that time was ruled by the MB. In Turkey they are still ruling. In Iran? We know exactly who is who in Iran. Saudi Arabia and Israel were not mentioned at all, and after al-Sisi came to power Egypt was out of work as well.
The US president's chattering about democracy and moral values are blatant cynicism. Erdogan has essentially become a dictator. Dozens of generals, journalists and dissidents were imprisoned in Turkey without charge or trial, based on fake charges, but the West couldn’t care less. In Egypt, Sharia was entrenched by the MB. They mercilessly pursued secular liberals and turned a blind eye to Salafist atrocities against Copts. Iranian political prisoners are subjected to rape and torture. Obama, apparently, believes that rape is the right way to have sex.
Egypt: on the side of "jihadists"
Egypt became the first victim of the betrayal. Hosni Mubarak, a traditional ally of Washington,was thrown to crowds in Tahrir Square, as a bone to hungry dogs, in the name of the mythical democracy in the Arab world. After Al-Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi’s regime, the White House froze arms shipments to Egypt and the Egyptian army didn't get combat helicopters in its fight against Islamists in Sinai.
When the US, together with the EU, began to patronize the MB with the compassion of Mother Teresa, al-Sisi warned that the US has turned its back on the Egyptians, and that the people of Egypt would not forget this.
Obama and Kerry neglected this warning. In February, the representatives of the State Department met with a delegation of MB. According to Jen Psaki, they discussed "issues of democracy and human rights".
Since the MB supports Islamists in Sinai, we can assume that it was the "human rights" of terrorists from the "Ansar Beit al-Maqdis" group related to ISIS that they were talking about.
Just a few days after the meeting in Washington, MB in Egypt called on its supporters and followers to take part in "uncompromising jihad".
Saudi Arabia: Carte Blanche to "Shiite Crescent"
In 2009, Obama bowed before the Saudi monarch. This didn’t preclude Obama from betraying the monarchy in the most difficult of times for Riyadh.
When the Saudis sent troops into Bahrain to save the ruling dynasty from Shiite upheaval, operating from Tehran, the State Department expressed its dissatisfaction.
With the support of the US, Iran gained access to the strategic Ras Musandam pinnacle in Oman on the other end of the Strait of Hormuz, giving it a perfect base from which to advance into the heart of Arabia.
The rapprochement between the US and Iran behind the backs of Riyadh and its allies and the gradual lifting of the sanctions against Teheran was the lowest point in relations between the White House and Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis felt betrayed: US basically gave carte blanche to Iran to create "Shiite Crescent" from Bahrain to Lebanon.
Any step taken by Riyadh and its allies irritated the White House. The US helped Qatar, France and the UK to overthrow Gaddafi, but condemned Cairo when Egypt and UAE air forces bombed Islamist positions in Libya. The Washington considered it a "destabilizing factor".
When Islamic organizations in the US and Europe linked to MB, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS), were added to the "black list" of terrorist groups by the Saudis, Kuwait and UAE - the White House demanded "clarification".
Since Dwight D. Eisenhower Saudi Arabia was the main strategic ally of the US in the Middle East. Under Obama it has ceased to be one.
Israel: The spirit of Munich
Israel experienced the preferences of the new "Big brother" right away. In his first term, the President humiliated America's strategic ally by aggravated shoutouts and arrogant moralizing.
Obama associated the peace process with freezing construction in the 'West Bank' and Jerusalem - even Arafat never demanded that. Abbas had to follow Obama’s policy.
The president's assistants barely concealed their pathological dislike of Israel. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Philip Gordon and others saw Israel as the main cause of all the troubles in the world.
John Brennan called Jerusalem “Al-Quds,” and encouraged rapprochement with "Hezbollah".
Martin Indyk, a self-hating Jew who blamed Israel for the failure of the Camp David negotiations, was appointed as a special Middle East envoy of the peace process.
Acts and statements of American leaders stunned Israelis; for instance, a comparison of terrorist attacks victims in Boston with the violent
provocateurs on the "Mavi Marmara", made by John Kerry in Istanbul.
During a visit to Lebanon in June 2014, Kerry called on Hezbollah "to engage in the legitimate effort to bring this war to an end". It's like asking gangsters to act as peacemakers.
The administration has regularly hinted that it could reconsider its right of "veto" in the UN. According to media speculation, EU anti-Israeli demarches were initiated by Washington.
In Jerusalem, negotiations with Iran are perceived as appeasement or worse.
During the operation in Gaza, the State Department condemned Israel; Obama demanded to stop the operation and threatened to freeze all military supplies. The State Department gambled on Hamas backers - Turkey and Qatar, as opposed to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
"There’s no confidence in the Obama administration"
But that's not all. America is no longer perceived as a superpower, it has become a source of headaches. Americans look like weak, naive and incompetent “suckers” - at best - and treacherous liars - at worst.
Obama's "red line" in Syria is vanishing and negotiations with Iran have become the "red line" for the Arabs.“There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” – said prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of former king Abdallah.
Russia and China are considered countries that don't betray their allies in trouble, even if they are cruel. The US and Europe are perceived as the ones that are willing to give up strategic partners for the sake of short-term interests and doubtful ideology.
Treachery and cowardice in the Middle East mean political death. The local people have long memories. A strong player, even an unfriendly one, is respected.
The recent conflict on Israel's northern border with "Hezbollah" was settled by the Kremlin. Russia is not Israel’s ally, but its power and influence allow it to present itself as an arbitrator.
No one sees an arbitrator in Obama. He is a deadhead for Middle Eastern rulers and a source of deep frustration in Israel. He twisted the arm ofhis own country. It’s not surprising that Putin was welcomed in Cairo as the victor.