|Krauthammer already knew in 2009|
Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal Lashes out to Obama: 'We Are Not Free Riders'. (MEMRI).
On March 14, 2016 the English-language Saudi daily Arab News published an article by Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief and former ambassador to the U.S., titled "Mr. Obama, We Are Not 'Free Riders.'"
The article responds to statements made by U.S. President Barack Obama in a series of interviews with The Atlantic published on March 10, 2016. In the interviews, conducted Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama said that "free riders aggravate" him, referring to some of the U.S.'s allies in both Europe and the Arab world who, he said, expect America to lead the fight against terrorism (and action on other fronts) while refusing to take up the burden themselves. Obama also said that the Saudis must "share" the Middle East with their Iranian foes, adding that the rivalry between these two countries has "helped to feed proxy wars and chaos in Syria and Iraq and Yemen."
Answering these statements in his article, Turki Al-Faisal says that Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in combating terror and extremism in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. He also states that Saudi Arabia helps America's economy by buying U.S. treasury bonds, by sending Saudis to study at American universities, and by employing Americans in its businesses and industries.
Wondering at Obama's harsh criticism of Saudi Arabia, the prince asks whether Obama is "petulant" because Saudi Arabia supported the Egyptian people in their uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood government, "which [Obama] supported."
Alternatively, he says, perhaps Obama has inclined so far towards Iran that he equates "the [Saudi] Kingdom's 80 years of constant friendship" towards America with the behavior of Iran, which continues to sponsor terrorism across the Middle East and to regard the U.S. as its greatest enemy.
The following is the article, as published in Arab News:
"Could it be that you are petulant about the Kingdom's efforts to support the Egyptian people when they rose [up] against the Muslim Brothers' government and you supported [this government]? Or is it the late King Abdullah's (God rest his soul) bang on the table when he last met you and told you 'No more red lines, Mr. President.'
Read the full story here.