Saudi Arabia must build new strategies to deal with the paradigm shift

Our people should know that their security does not depend on an alliance with America but on a vibrant and strong society

Khaled Almaeena

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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.

Our people should know that their security does not depend on an alliance with America but on a vibrant and strong society.

Khaled Almaeena

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.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 3, 2016.

Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at kalmaeena@saudigazette.com.sa and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena

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