Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (UPI) May 26, 2011
The Gulf Cooperation Council's drive to induct Jordan and Morocco into the 30-year-old alliance, a proposed union some are already calling "a club of kings," is a product of the unprecedented political upheaval sweeping the Arab world.
It's also because the Saudis and their partners see U.S. power waning in the Middle East while Iran's is rising and because they believe the United States has made too many mistakes, particularly by invading Iraq.
If the GCC, currently consisting of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, does eventually extend into the Levant and North Africa, it could well deal a death blow to the 22-member Arab League.
The Arab League, founded March 22, 1945, in Cairo has failed in its primary mission of unifying the fractious Arab world.
The recent political turmoil, in which two Arab leaders have been toppled and three others are fighting for survival, has redefined the Arab world and pushed the normally cautious Saudis into a dramatically more assertive role as they confront Iran's plans for expansion.
The GCC, founded in 1981, was always a subset within the Arab League, which was dominated by Egypt.
But it was distinctive because all its members were oil-rich monarchies on the periphery of a region largely made up of republican dictatorships.
By inviting the relatively poor monarchies of Jordan, a Levantine state that has long sought an alliance with the Persian Gulf states, and Morocco, an Arab outpost on the Atlantic which has shown no particular interest in such a move, the gulf alliance seems to be aimed at splitting the Arab world in two.
The GCC states are worried they may not be immune to the political turmoil, which has already erupted in tiny Bahrain and nearby Yemen.
In March, the Saudis, in the name of the GCC, sent armored columns into Bahrain to support to the Sunni throne against what Riyadh saw as Iranian attempt to subvert the monarchy in an archipelago long claimed by Tehran.
This unprecedented action by the Saudis was a turning point that pushed them closer to a showdown with Iran and demonstrated Riyadh's determination to ensure stability in its neighborhood.
Egypt has long dominated the Arab League and the effort of the post-Mubarak interim government to restore Cairo's long-surrendered authority in the Arab world, including making up with nuclear wannabe Iran, caused unease in Riyadh and the gulf capitals.
"With the GCC trying to emerge onto the regional scene, it raises the question of what will happen to the Arab League, which, despite its dysfunctional status thus far, remains the main pan-Arab forum," observed the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor.
"Egypt is unlikely to accept life under the growing influence of the GCC states. In other words, we may see another intra-Arab fault line emerge."
The Arab upheaval has everything to do with the GCC move, as has Riyadh's belief that the United States is a waning power in the Middle East, a power that can no longer be relied on to support the gulf states and their oil.
A hard-hitting op-ed by Nawaf Obeid, a consummate Riyadh insider, published May 15 in The Washington Post detailed just how deeply the Saudi relationship with the United States has changed since it was forged by King Ibn Saud and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in February 1945.
"A tectonic shift has occurred in the U.S.-Saudi relationship," wrote Obeid, senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
"Despite significant pressure from the Obama administration to remain on the sidelines, Saudi leaders sent troops into Manama in March to defend Bahrain's monarchy and quell the unrest that has shaken the country since February.
"For more than 60 years, Saudi Arabia has been bound by an unwritten bargain: oil for security. Riyadh has often protested but ultimately acquiesced to what it saw as misguided U.S. policies.
"But American missteps in the region since Sept. 11, an ill-conceived response to the Arab protest movements and an unconscionable refusal to hold Israel accountable for its illegal settlement-building have brought this arrangement to an end.
"As the Saudis recalibrate the partnership, Riyadh intends to pursue a much more assertive foreign policy, at times conflicting with American interests."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Scientists doubt claims methane gone after BP spill
Washington (AFP) May 26, 2011
Scientists on Thursday cast doubt on a study that claimed bacteria ate nearly all the methane that leaked after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying its methods were flawed. Describing the findings as "ambiguous" and "unconvincing," marine scientist and lead author Samantha Joye and colleagues from 12 other institutions wrote in the journal Science that the study's methods demanded ... read more
New Jersey ditches carbon cap and trade|
Report: California can reach emission goal
Micronesia takes on Czech power plant over emissions
Iraq to fuel generators to head off power protests
Shell says 27,580 barrels of oil spills in Nigeria in 2010
Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world
Aggressive Efficiency and Electrification Needed to Cut California Emissions
GCC expansion aims for 'club of kings'
Windpower 2011 highlights industry trends and job creation
Google backs wind energy in California desert
Evolutionary lessons for wind farm efficiency
Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict
Positive Energy completes construction of 2MW PV park
Historic Green Energy Deal Funds Long-Term School Roof Renewal
Tecta Solar Installs PV System for GlaxoSmithKline
Dairy Installs 3200 Solar Panels
Greenpeace accuses Tepco of nuke 'deceit'
German state ministers want 7 nuclear plants axed now
IAEA mission visits two other nuclear plants in Japan
Russia hopes for nuclear safety rules progress at G8
Study details path to sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Northwest
Aviation biofuels for Australia?
New sustainable bio-derived jet fuel industry is achievable
Teaching algae to make fuel
Top Chinese scientists honored with naming of minor planets
China sees smooth preparation for launch of unmanned module
China to attempt first space rendezvous
Countdown begins for Chineses space station program
US promotes climate aid to skeptical Congress
Central China drought worst in over 50 years: reports
US promotes climate aid to skeptical Congress
Report a push for Australia carbon tax?
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|