What happens when a president holds a summit and no one comes? That wasn’t entirely the case with Barack Obama’s Middle East powwow at Camp David this week, but four of the six invited leaders declined to attend, including one particularly notable absence: New Saudi King Salman, who took power earlier this year. The New York Times reports, “Both countries insisted on Monday that the king’s absence was not a snub, even as it was hard to ignore four powerful factors that have led to rising tensions between the two nations: the administration’s pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran, the rise of the Islamic State in the region, the regional unrest that came to be known as the Arab Spring and the transformation of world energy markets.” At least two of those things could be translated as Obama mucking things up with an ally, and the Times might add Obama’s Yemen “success” story to that list since the Saudis are trying to stop Iranian terrorist proxies there. His foolish nuclear deal with Iran even has the Saudis promising to pursue nuclear weapons themselves as a deterrent. Obama might be content with increasing Iranian hegemony in the Middle East, but the Saudis are not. And they know that as long as Obama is “leading from behind,” they’re on their own.
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