A Saudi prince sent a harsh message to President Obama and his administration, saying White House waffling and indecision has compromised the ability of the United States to nail down a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence head of Saudi Arabia, in The New York Times. “When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it. There is an issue of confidence.”
Specifically, the prince blasted Mr. Obama for reneging on promises — a habit that’s been shown by recent polls about Obamacare to plague the president with constituents in the United States, too. As far as international relations go, the prince said Mr. Obama needs to step up his game and do what he vows.
With allies, “you should be able to give them the assurance that what you say is going to be what you do,” the prince said, The Times reported.
Saudi leaders have been especially upset with Mr. Obama’s reluctance to send in military troops to Syria — and are outraged that he decided against punitive action for President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians. Mr. Obama had on several occasions cited the “red line” for military intervention in Syria was the discovery of Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.
The Saudis say this backtrack, combined with Mr. Obama’s turn to Congress for approval for any strike — which was largely denied — has basically emboldened the Syrian government. And on Sunday, the prince said the world’s reluctance to halt the violence in Syria was nearly “a criminal negligence,” The Times reported.
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Cheryl K. Chumley is a news writer for The Washington Times. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation.