Madam Bookworm’s crystal ball predictions in 2009 about Saudi Arabia proved to be eerily accurate *UPDATED*

As I read the headlines lately, I have this peculiar sense of deja vu.  I already pointed out that, back in 2009, a conversation I had with a liberal doctor fairly accurately predicted how Obamacare would play out (although even I didn’t foresee the exchange collapse, perhaps because no one was talking about exchanges in mid-2009).

I had another deja vu moment today when I read Michael Totten’s article about the collapse in the American-Saudi relationship:

The American-Saudi alliance is in danger of collapsing.

The Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis is by far the largest threat to both Saudi and American interests in the Middle East now, yet the Obama administration is buddying up with Vladimir Putin on Syria and allowing itself to be suckered by the Iranian regime’s new president Hassan Rouhani.

Never mind the fact that Rouhani obviously isn’t a moderate and is powerless to negotiate sovereign issues in any case. The White House is so desperate to cut a deal with America’s enemies that the president will go along on even a farcical ride. As a result, the Saudi government is threatening to drastically “scale back” the relationship.

The Saudi-American relationship’s collapse means that the Saudis are trying to figure out how to handle the PR problems of their burgeoning supportive relationship with Israel:

Either way, if the Saudis want to get real, it’s time for them to suck it up and normalize relations with Israel for the same reason they forged an alliance with the United States. The Israelis and the Gulf Arabs have the exact same geopolitical interests right now. They have the exact same list of enemies. Who cares if Riyadh and Jerusalem can’t stand each other personally? Riyadh and Washington can’t stand each other personally either. That hasn’t stopped us from working together when our interests coincide.

Of course, an alliance with Israel would be a little more awkward (to say the least) while the Palestinians are still stateless, but so what? The Jordanian government worked it out and is in far better shape as a result.

[snip]

It’s logical, isn’t it? Israel poses no threat whatsoever to Gulf Arabs and never has. Israel poses no threat to any Arab country that doesn’t act with belligerence first. The Jordanians figured that out a long time ago. So did the Egyptian government even if Egypt’s population remains as clueless as ever. The Tunisians figured it out. The Moroccans get along with Israel just fine under the table.

The open secret right now is that the Gulf Arabs have also figured it out even as they’re loath to admit it in public. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is not-so secretly working with all the Arab states in the Gulf region right now based on shared (anti-Iranian) interests.

The above is Michael Totten writing yesterday, and I urge you to read the whole thing because it’s that good.

And here’s the Amazing Madam Bookworm writing on May 7, 2009:

Obama and team, of course, miss one fundamental thing about the nuclear weapons situation in the Middle East.  As surrounding nations understand, Israel will never use the weapons offensively.  She will only use them defensively. They are her sole deterrent.

The other nations also understand that, much as they loath Israel’s existence, which is a continuing canker in their hearts and minds, she does not offer any existential threat to them.  The reverse is not true.  We know that every nation in the region desires Israel’s destruction and there is every reason to believe that Iran, once it goes nuclear, will use the weapons offensively against Israel.  There is no parity, and forcing Israel to put her weapons on the table (so to speak), will not create any.

The other thing that Obama fails to understand is that, even if Israel is forced to show her hand and the pressure is on for disarmament, Iran will never disarm.  It will lie, lie, lie, and lie again to ensure that it continues to have a usable weapons stock pile.  While Israel’s goal is a simple one:  to stay alive, Iran has a much more sophisticated set of three-tiered goals.  Its first goal is Israel’s destruction; second, it seeks Middle East domination; and third, it desires world domination.  Israel and all of the other nations in the Middle East understand Iran’s first two goals.  Obama and team, despite their myriad degrees, don’t seem to understand any of Iran’s goals.

It will be interesting to see if Israel can withstand Obama’s pressure.  I’m reasonably optimistic that, with Netanyahu at the helm, Israel understands what Obama is doing and understands what will happen if he gets away with it, and will resist this threat.  I also think that, under the rubric of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” allegiances are going to start shifting in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, etc., may hate Israel, but they fear a nuclear Iran even more than they hate Israel.  My long-held suspicion since Obama’s election (which instantly meant Israel lost her only friend) is that Saudi Arabia, somehow or other, is going to give Israel cover for an attack against Iran.

Nor was that a random prediction.  I said the same thing on July 5, 2009:

I’ve predicted in this blog that, if America continues to coddle Iran, Saudi Arabia will give Israel access to its air space, although it may well lie about that fact later.  Iran’s bluster was fine with the Arab Muslim nations as long as they thought the U.S. would ultimately slap down any Iranian pretensions to regional hegemony.  With that clearly not the case any more, the game is changing and the players are taking new (and, if I do say so myself, predictable) positions on the board:

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Saudi Arab is not the only one to reconsider the world order now that America is a suddenly a weak sister.  Perhaps the rest of the world will drift away from Marxism and coddling Muslim extremism as America becomes a mere spectator and — worse — a spectator that tends to cheer on the bad guys.

Like the teenager who can act wild, knowing that Daddy will ultimately be there to protect her, Europeans (and others) could afford to be weak and silly, knowing that America would come along and clean up their messes.  With Daddy in a coma, Europeans have to stand on their own, and I think their choices are going to be quite different than they were before.

Now that I’m done patting myself on the back, it’s incumbent upon me to add that it didn’t take a genius to figure these things out.  A person with the meanest intelligence, armed with a few facts, could have made exactly the same predictions.  What is also true, though, is that it takes the peculiar idiocy of the Democrat elite to have made such stunningly stupid miscalculations — miscalculations so rife with errors that even dodos such as me could figure out, not only that Democrat policies would fail, but precisely how they would fail.

UPDATEJonathan Spyer makes the same point:

Recent remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have fueled renewed speculation of behind-the-scenes links between Israel and the Gulf monarchies.

Netanyahu, speaking at the UN, said that “the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy.”

He added: “This affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

There have been subsequent rumors of visits by senior Gulf officials to Israel, to discuss matters of common interest.

While it is difficult to acquire details of these contacts at the present time, it is a near certainty that they exist, on one level or another. Conversations with Israeli officials suggest that much is happening behind the scenes.

Israel and the key states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (most importantly, Saudi Arabia) share core views on the nature of key regional processes currently underway, and their desired outcome.  These commonalities have existed for some time, and it is likely that the contacts are themselves not all that new.

Read more here.

Hmmm. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh, wait! I did say it myself . . . more than four years ago.

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  • Robert Arvanitis

    Saw the topic in the email. Logged in to comment on the obvious, then noted your honest disclaimer at the end. All that is left is to say “common sense ain’t, especially on the left.”

  • Texan99

    You, know (slightly off-topic because I don’t understand the Middle East enough to do more than agree with you)–it never occurred to me to guess that these clowns couldn’t make the exchange website work.  I thought the problem would be with the death-spirals.  I never dreamed they’d display such an astonishing piece of incompetence in a form that ordinary voters were expected to come into direct contact with, within a year or so of the mid-terms, yet.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Middle Eastern policy: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
     

  • jj

    “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”  Lord Palmerston (Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, 1784-1865)

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Go ahead and toot your own horn, BW….you’re among friends!!
     
    And it WAS a good call….what Robert A said.  And it ain’t that common on the right, either.
     
    Finally, Texan99 is correct….a LOT of people never imagined that something so obvious could have slipped by the (or, even this) Administration. 
     
    I think the problem is that they set up the criteria for a choice of companies to favor their cronies — “outsiders” were pretty much shut out.  I had a student once who ended up in government service in the natural resources area.  He volunteered his time for several summers to get a foot in the door, and during that time saw a lot…and paid attention.  He told me that even the most incompetent interns had a HUGE leg up over unknowns who could demonstrate mastery over what was needed.  Those who were familiar to the government bureaucrats, and even field managers, got hired…almost regardless of their history of failure or lack of ability to do the job.  Obviously, the reason is that there’s no real penalty for failure in government service – you always get your promotion, your pay increase, etc.  So why NOT hire an incompetent boob, rather than someone who might take away YOUR job?
     
    Anyhow, that’s my guess for why CGI Federal (or whoever) got the contract.

  • lee

    Earl–
    I work for a state agency, and I learned something recently that I think is true of almost EVERY state AND federal agency about tenure and promotion. The ONLY thing that matters is how long you have worked there. Someone with 15 years at the agency, will be hired in for a position over someone with BETTER education and MORE EXPERIENCE in that position–but at another company. Even if the managers/bureaucrats don’t know them. So someome with 15 years in different department, with no real background of the hiring department will be hired over someone with seven years experience in the private sector in the EXACT SAME JOB that the lifer got hired for instead.
     
    My mom used to joke that the way things are going, people are going to need degrees in pepperoni slicing in order to work for Domino’s. The state is probably the WORST about that–they would rather hire an administrative assistant with an AA in “administration” than one with experience in the field, and a BA in anything else.
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    In some ways, the absence of American power and money will force people to do a reality check and make bette r compromises. Sadly, the same could be said about DC power, but won’t be until for some time.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Lee, of course. It’s their form of corruption. Teacher’s unions and Leftist professors dominate the degree market. Why not give your friend a contract or job?
     
     

  • Spartacus

    According to a very frustrated cousin of mine who works for the Post Office, the problem there isn’t that there aren’t any good employees, but that it’s nearly impossible to fire the bad ones.  Having met the shockingly competent as well as the shockingly incompetent in my dealings with the USPS, I would say this sounds about right.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    That sounds about right, Spartacus.  Don Quixote’s wife, one of the most able people I’ve ever met (not to mention charming), worked for a government agency for decades.  They lost someone good when she retired.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Lee…”My mom used to joke that the way things are going, people are going to need degrees in pepperoni slicing in order to work for Domino’s.:
     
    Not only will they need the degrees, they will need 5 years of experience in slicing pepperoni in the specific neighborhood where the Domino’s is located and with the particular kind of knife employed at that establishment. See my post about the hunt for the five-pound butterfly.