July 29, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 4035

Saudi Columnist: Obama – Get Out!

July 29, 2011
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 4035

In a recent column in the Saudi government daily 'Okaz, titled "Obama – Get Out!" Khalaf Al-Harbi accused U.S. President Barack Obama of applying a double standard in dealing with the revolution in Egypt and the revolution in Syria. He went on to demand – just as protestors are demanding of dictatorial Arab leaders – that Obama resign.

Following are excerpts from the column:[1]

"All last month, I kept my eyes out for Mr. Obama, who appeared so often at the outset of the 'Arab Spring' and suddenly disappeared, leaving the tyrants' armored vehicles to wreak havoc in the land. I sought 'Abu Hussein' [i.e. Obama] everywhere [and] wondered where he was hiding – this man whose [face] did not leave the TV screen throughout the Egyptian revolution, and who had asked [Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak to step down, appearing every five minutes to say to his erstwhile ally: 'Get out today, not tomorrow!'

"Obama got lost in the old neighborhoods of Damascus. He 'dissolved like a lump of salt,' as our brothers in Egypt say. [He did so] even though, [in contrast to] the U.S.'s [close] ties with Hosni Mubarak's regime, U.S. relations with the Syrian regime [are weak], and even though the number of victims in the protests of the Egyptian revolution [was far smaller] than the number of victims in the protests now sweeping Syria's cities.

"In Egypt, 'mother America' pressured Hosni Mubarak to step down immediately, while in Syria, 'mother America' has pressured the opposition to engage in dialogue with the regime.

"How is one to interpret this? Who supports whom, and who is against whom? What is Obama thinking? And why did 'mother America' become so hard of hearing the minute the cries broke out in Der'a, Hama, Homs, and Aleppo?

"Obama is not the only one who uses a double standard [vis-à-vis the revolutions in Egypt and in Syria]. The Arabs as a whole are toeing his line. The press, the intellectuals, and the revolutionary parties all tried to coordinate [their positions] with the cries of the revolution of Egypt's youth, raising Cain throughout the world when [Libyan ruler Mu'ammar] Al-Qadhafi began to oppress his people, and demanding that the president of Yemen step down when the revolution broke out there. [But] less than an hour after the bloody events began in Syria, they all fell silent, as if a raven were sitting on their heads and pecked at the bodies of the innocent.

"When [Hizbullah leader] Hassan Nasrallah praised the revolution of Egypt's youth and then became an enemy of the youth in Syria, by asking them to adhere to their regime – it was not difficult to understand [his motives], nor was [it difficult to understand Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei's stance. But the position of the U.S., which is not very different from that of Iran in both cases – the Egyptian and the Syrian – is difficult to understand. Where is Obama hiding?

"We do not want him to say a thing. This time, we want to say to him: Obama – get out!"


[1] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), July 12, 2011.

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