Saudi analyst’s advice: ‘Act as if the United States does not exist’

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ABU DHABI — A leading Saudi analyst close to the royal family has advised Arab allies to ignore the United States amid its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tariq Al Homayed, the former editor of the Saudi-owned A-Sharq Al Awsat, called on Arab countries to dismiss U.S. pressure for democratic changes. Al Homayed, who reflects the thinking of Saudi King Abdullah, referred to the military ouster of Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, in July.

An Egyptian anti-President Mohammed Morsi protester waves a national flag in front of a banner criticizing U.S. President Obama in Cairo's Tahrir Square.  /Amr Nabil/AP
An Egyptian anti-Morsi protester waves a national flag in front of a banner criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. /Amr Nabil/AP

“On the other hand, I have frequently advised [Arabs] to act as if the United States does not exist,” Al Homayed said. “For example, had the military not intervened, the U.S. alliance with the Brotherhood would have continued at the expense of Egypt and the Egyptians.”

Over the last year, Al Homayed, as other Saudi analysts, has increased criticism of the administration of President Barack Obama. The Saudi analyst said the administration, believed to have formed an alliance with the Brotherhood, failed to understand the Middle East as well as the Islamist revolution through the Middle East.

“In fact, it was confused and delusional and did not understand the true nature of the region and its major players.” Al Homayed said. “It would suffice to consider the U.S. stance towards the Syrian crisis from the time it erupted until today to confirm this analysis.”

Arab diplomatic sources said Al Homayed reflected Saudi leadership
frustration with Obama’s policy in the Middle East. They said the biggest
concern was that the U.S. president was working toward a reconciliation with
Iran that would maintain its nuclear program.

In his Aug. 3 analysis, titled “Obama and the Lesson of Egypt,” Al
Homayed dismissed the prospect that Obama would change his policies.
Instead, Al Homayed urged the Arabs to reject any U.S. pressure.

“The reality is, however, that, particularly with the Obama
administration, the countries in the region have to act in a manner of fait
accompli — as if the United States does not exist,” Al Homayed said. “Do
what is right, and the United States will pragmatically follow you. In fact,
this is what happened and will happen in Egypt. Although no one can ignore
U.S. power, it is no longer possible to always bet on the awareness and
understanding of the current U.S. administration.”

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