by Barry Rubin
The Saudi offer to subsidize Egypt's President Husni Mubarak if the U.S. government tries to pressure him by cutting aid calls to our attention still another inept flub of the Obama Administration.
Obviously, before demanding the regime go away, the White House did not consult with American allies on their views, and certainly didn't consider the impact on them. Aside from their sense of honor, the Saudis know that people view Egypt as a precedent for their country.
If Mubarak is humiliated today, the Saudi king can be humiliated tomorrow. If a radical regime takes power in Egypt today, it will be one more threat to Saudi Arabia that the Americans did not protect them from. Now the Saudis have rebelled against Obama's policy.
It's remarkable how effective he has been at demolishing the entire structure of U.S. influence, deterrence, and credibility in the Middle East. I certainly don't think any of this was on purpose. But the incompetence is at such a high level that it is understandable why some think otherwise. And that in itself tells you how bad things are.
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