Khaled Almaeena
Khaled Almaeena

I don’t know why the Arabs get flustered and hot under the collar when an American official speaks out his mind. President Obama’s talk to the Atlantic magazine did that.

Dozens of writers (many who may have never heard of the magazine) immediately pounced on Obama’s words. Some even used racist remarks on the social media. Others tried to remind him of the Gulf’s strategic relationship and historic alliance with the US. A few were in a state of hysteria as to why the US had “abandoned” its “historic” allies.

How naïve we are and will always be!! There are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations.

As has been the case with the US it has always put its interest first. They believe that the time has come now for the US to re-evaluate its interest and opt for places where there is economic growth and relative peace. And that is South East Asia with Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia being the buzzwords.

In the region they are looking at their former enemy Iran. While there are diehard opponents of the Iranian regime there is a growing element that are looking at the possibility of raking in the dollars. Money talks. And despite Iranian shenanigans in the region the US will conveniently overlook them.

And please don’t forget Israel. Everyday the Zionist terrorists are killing innocent children and are even being glorified by presidential candidates and a large section of the servile US media.

The Gulf States are being ridiculed and lampooned in public and private by both the administration and those waiting to enter the White House on Jan. 20, 2017. The portrayal in the media that we barter oil for our security is very offensive to me.

Instead of reviewing our policies, preparing for a post-Iran deal, a post-oil economy we drug ourselves with words and express sadness, disappointment as to why we have been criticized and ignored as the US rushes to realign its foreign and economic policies.

Article after article is written on Obama’s statements. Yet, we forget Obama hardly makes the headlines in the US any more.  It’s the Clintons, Cruzs, Sanders and Trumps who fill news space and television time.

They are a new breed of politicians for whom the past is long on. Roosevelt is a fading memory and the future is one where the interests of the US come first.

We have now become a very small blip on their radar screen. What do we do then? We too should first consolidate our economy, enhance societal change, giving the people a stake and participation and make logical moves to be prepared.

Our people should know that their security does not depend on an alliance with America but on a vibrant and strong society. They should also know we are not a protectorate of the West but a sovereign nation.

It’s time we build our own strategies to deal with the paradigm shift and realities of a complex and fast changing world.

— Reprinted with permission of the Saudi Gazette and Khaled Almaeena. The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena