I write to commend Mohammed Khalid Alyahya’s Tablet column “How to lose friends and influence over people.” The headline works a twist on Dale Carnegie’s best-selling How To Win Friends and Influence People. It’s the granddaddy of self-help books and the advice remains worthy.
Alyahya writes: “As a Saudi who loves the United States, and believes deeply that our two countries need each other, the only word that comes to mind regarding the contemporary ‘reevaluation’ of our relations is: obscene.” He continues:
It was the Obama administration that decided to give Vladimir Putin a foothold in the eastern Mediterranean, which it sold to the American people as a way to “deescalate” the civil war in Syria. As the United States romanced Putin, offering him Crimea and warm water ports in Syria in exchange for pulling Iran’s irons out of the fire over the past decade, U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Israel have had no choice but to cope. Last month, while Russian-operated Iranian drones and missiles were pounding Kyiv, Riyadh used its diplomatic leverage to obtain the release of American and British POWs from Putin.
America saddled us with the reality of a neighboring country controlled by Iranian troops and the Russian air force. Worse, as part of its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Obama administration sent tens of billions of dollars flowing into Iranian coffers—money that was used to demolish Iraq, crush Syria, create chaos in Lebanon, and threaten Saudi territory from Yemen. Iranian rocket and drone strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia are now routine. In response to the barrage of missiles on Saudi infrastructure last year, the Biden administration withdrew U.S. missile defense batteries from Saudi territory.
Having watched Russian forces support or directly commit atrocities against innocent civilians and facilitate the use of chemical weapons for seven years in Syria, the Saudi government was quick to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unlike many in the West, who expected a short, parade-ground war, the Saudis understood full well what Putin was capable of. So did the Israelis.
Whole thing here.