- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
NSA spying sours relations with Germany, Brazil
Obama bears brunt of anger of world leaders
And the Obama administration was grappling with more troubling news from Saudi Arabia, whose leadership expressed public dissatisfaction with U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially toward Syria, Iran and Egypt. The Saudis are reportedly threatening to scale back their longtime partnership with Washington over Mr. Obama’s perceived weakness in dealing with Syria, and for reaching out to Iran’s new president without consulting Riyadh.
“What Obama has never really understood is that you’ve got to treat your allies better than your adversaries,” said Michael Rubin, a specialist on the Middle East at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute.
“He came into office promising to reboot America’s image in the Middle East, and to restore frayed alliances which were allegedly devastated by the Bush administration. What he’s managed to do is ruin relationships which have been carefully cultivated by both Democrats and Republicans for decades, specifically Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Mr. Rubin said.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry tried to downplay the tensions this week, insisting that the U.S. and the Saudis are “on the same page” about the need to resolve the civil war in Syria.
“It is our obligation to work closely with them — as I am doing,” he said after meeting with the Saudi foreign minister.
The fallout with Brazil, France and Germany over U.S. spying is less likely to have a lasting impact, said Joseph Wippl, a former CIA employee and a professor of international relations at Boston University.
“I can’t ever remember that espionage really changed a relationship in a basic way,” Mr. Wippl said. “My view is we don’t have friends or enemies, we just have partners.”
“If we’re not trying to listen in on the conversations of the second-most powerful person in the world, then something is wrong with us,” he said.
Mr. Rubin, and a growing number of critics, say the longer-lasting problem for the U.S. is the belief in some parts of the world that the Obama administration has lost its credibility on foreign-policy matters.
“When the root of the Saudi complaint and the Israeli complaint and the Egyptian complaint is that you don’t consult with us, you’re not treating us like friends, ultimately that suggests a real problem,” Mr. Rubin said. “We’ve managed to convince everyone that the United States is untrustworthy.”
• This article is based in part on wire-service reports.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Obama commutes drug dealer's sentence because of clerical error
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Obama calls for prayer on anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing
- Obama urges Putin to defuse Russian separatism in Ukraine
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Yelp.com's ethics questioned
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.