Reporting from Baghdad, Iraq yesterday, NBC’s Tom Brokaw said the Saudi Arabian monarchy is “so unhappy with the Obama administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt” that it has sent senior officials to the Peoples' Republic of China and Russia to seek expanded business opportunities with those countries.
After remarking on the difficulty of establishing democracy in the Middle East, Brokaw said that Defense Secretary Robert Gates “will face some tough questions in this region about the American intentions going on now with all this new turmoil, especially in an area where the United States has such big stakes politically and economically.”
“And a lot of those questions presumably will come from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,” reported Brokaw on the Nightly News. “I was told on the way in here that the Saudis are so unhappy with the Obama administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt that it sent high level emissaries to China and Russia to tell those two countries that Saudi Arabia now is prepared to do more business with them.”
Earlier in his report, Brokaw noted that while U.S. military forces are supposed to leave Iraq at year’s end, the U.S. Embassy staff was being beefed-up from 8,000 to nearly 20,000 personnel.
“So Iraq is a reminder of just how difficult it is to establish a democracy in this part of the world,” said Brokaw. “After all, we've been at war here for eight years now, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, and thousands and thousands of lives have been lost on both sides.”