May 21, 2011
In his major policy speech Thursday on the protests sweeping the Middle East, President Obama did not refer once to Saudi Arabia, arguably the Arab world’s least democratic state.
He also made no reference to Lebanon, where political maneuvering by the Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah saw the U.S.-backed prime minister, Saad Hariri, ousted earlier this year and a Hezbollah-backed candidate named to replace him.
Other situations that were not mentioned despite the fact they, too, have witnessed demands for reform included Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, and – with the significant exception of Bahrain – Saudi Arabia’s partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
In a speech that included lines like “in too many countries, power has been concentrated in the hands of a few,” the omission of Saudi Arabia was the most glaring.