Obama in hot water over labeling Gulf allies “free riders “


obama at prayer breakfastKuwait is not a “free-rider” in U.S.-led campaigns against terrorism and other threats, a senior Kuwaiti security official said on Thursday, rejecting comments by President Barack Obama critical of some U.S. allies.

Sheikh Thamer al-Sabah, President of Kuwait’s National Security Bureau, was referring to Obama’s remarks to The Atlantic magazine last week in which he said some states in the Gulf and Europe were “free-riders” who called for U.S. action without getting involved themselves.

In an interview, Sheikh Thamer said Kuwait, like fellow Gulf state Qatar, had opened up air bases and airspace for the U.S.-led coalition bombing Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Aircraft from other Gulf countries had carried out sorties, said Sheikh Thamer, a member of Kuwait’s ruling family.

“I am just wondering what a free ride is when we do all of these things,” he said, referring to Kuwait’s role.

“When we share intelligence, when we open our air, land and sea, when we spend billions of dollars in trying to combat terrorism and trying to help the Syrian refugees, how is it free?” he added.

“I actually looked up ‘free ride’ in the dictionary and I would like other people to know what a free ride is and see what we are doing here in this part of the world, especially when he mentioned the Gulf.”

Sheikh Thamer’s comments were unusually critical of the United States for a Kuwaiti official. They echo those on Monday by Saudi Arabia


Kuwait, which borders Iraq and Saudi Arabia and lies across the Gulf from Iran, is working to combat the threat of attacks by Sunni Islamist militants like Islamic State on its own soil, Sheikh Thamer said, as well as Iranian-backed operatives.

In June last year a Saudi suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait, killing 27, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

The bomber was previously unknown to authorities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, where he had been in transit, Sheikh Thamer said.

“He wasn’t under their radar, they didn’t know him. He was radicalised, to our understanding, through either the internet or through people he might have known,” he said.

“This is something that is very serious for us, if you don’t know the person, how can you defend yourself or how can you protect yourself?”

He said countries from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council had been compiling blacklists of suspected militants and shared them with Western allies.

He said Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers had not diminished Kuwait’s concerns over Iran.

These included militant sleeper cells and spies, involvement in regional conflicts and the safety of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Kuwait is the closest major population centre to it.

“The security issue from Iran was always there and I think will always continue. It is not something new,” he said.

“I salute you for trying your best to work with Iran only on their nuclear programme despite knowing what Iran is doing for Hezbollah in Lebanon, for other places in the world, for bombings, for hijacking of aircraft, for assassinations of people,” he added.

“I salute them on how they can actually sit down and talk about only the nuclear programme with the knowledge they have of how Iran is capable of doing all of these things. I can’t do it.”

He voiced concern about Iraq, where Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias are fighting alongside government forces against Islamic State.

“We are living in a very hot spot in the world,” he said.

Saudi response

Similarly Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and ex-ambassador to Washington and London said Tuesday that the American leader had “thrown us a curve ball” in criticising Riyadh’s regional role.

“No, Mr Obama. We are not ‘free riders’,” Prince Turki , wrote in an open letter carried by the local Arab News English-language daily.

Prince Turki listed Riyadh’s support for Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group, its humanitarian aid for refugees in the region and its creation of an Islamic anti-terrorism coalition.

Ties between old allies the United States and Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter, have been bumpy since the 2011 Arab uprisings .
Riyadh has since watched in alarm as Obama forged a deal with its top regional foe Iran over its nuclear program and as he declined to use air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tehran’s ally, after a poison gas attack in Damascus.

Although Prince Turki does not presently hold any official position in the Saudi leadership, his views are described by insiders as often reflecting those of the kingdom’s top princes and as influential in Riyadh foreign policy circles.

In his letter, Turki asked whether Obama had “pivoted to Iran so much you equate the kingdom’s 80 years of constant friendship with America to an Iranian leadership that continues to describe America as the biggest enemy, that continues to arm, fund and support sectarian militias in the Arab and Muslim world”.



40 responses to “Obama in hot water over labeling Gulf allies “free riders “”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Seems a few American Politicians are using the wrong words to express the frustrations these days.

      1. It is sad that it has come to this and young children are encouraged by the Palestinian Authority to kill as many random jews as possible.
        The children are used in the same fashion as the delusional adults that make these wars. What a sad state the world has become. It is no worse that Iran execution youth and homos.
        Those without sin can cast the first stone. In theory, nobody shall rise.
        Of course, it is all about singling out the jews, right Hind. Your agenda sucks donkey dicks, sorry but true, and this article had no mention of Israel at all, but you can not help but bring your jew hate every chance you get.

  2. It begins, the realignment of partnership!

  3. PatienceTew Avatar

    The words here of a ‘lame duck’, he can say anything he wants without a sense of responsibility, or worries about the future.

  4. America is looking to pass the buck and blame someone else. when in fact the inhumane decisions they made by not implementing a no fly zone at the beginning of the revolution has caused the deliberate, predictable and devasting results we see today, for the sole reason of hating muslims who want Islam ,to govern in the sham

    1. Hannibal Avatar

      sham on you.

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        This is the original article (notice yalibnan choice of Obama’s picture) ?http://linkis.com/www.counterpunch.org/cxCpw

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          “A widely held sentiment inside the White House is that many of the most prominent foreign-policy think tanks in Washington are doing the bidding of their Arab and pro-Israel funders. I’ve heard one administration official refer to Massachusetts Avenue, the home of many of these think tanks, as ‘Arab-occupied territory’.”

          1. wargame1 Avatar

            Iranians also made advanced 911 fake video of such attack with computer aided technology!! It was a Iranian diamond merchant Michael Majid Hezarkhani who shot the following video as he claimed. This video was shown over and over again on the mainstream media. Now its clear that Mr. Hezarkhani made this video by himself in his computer and he made it way before the plane was even hit and immediately presented this video to the mainstream media.

        2. wargame1 Avatar

          U.S. Court Orders Iran to Pay Over $10 Billion to 9/11 Victims. The plaintiff commission against Tehran’s government confirmed that reimbursements Iran has been ordered to pay are to exceed $21 billion, shedding light on the fact that the frozen Iranian dough to be released by the US government will not cover the demanded compensation.

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Hope that includes sick & damaged firefighters, not just dead bodies.

          2. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad
          3. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            U.S. Government Blames 9/11 on Iran, Fines Iran $10.5B; Iran Refuses to Pay


          4. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Déja Vue a la Bush-Cheney..Sadam Hussein killed babies in incubators, prior to the Iraqi invasion.

          5. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad


            “The same Bill-Clinton-appointed judge who had ruled, on 29 September 2015, that Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity for 9/11 and so can’t be sued for it, ruled recently, on March 9th that Iran doesn’t have sovereign immunity and fined Iran $10.5 billion to be paid to 9/11 victims and insurers; but, on March 14, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Iran won’t pay, because, as the Ministry’s spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari put it, “The ruling is ludicrous and absurd to the point that it makes a mockery of the principle of justice while [it] further tarnishes the US judiciary’s reputation.”


          6. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Good for the Goose should be good for the Gander. Exactly.
            And are not all those ‘Defence Lawyers’ supposed to bring up the previous rulings?? :-))))

          7. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            ? ..we live in Dante Inferno.. lawyers, billionaires, Lucifers..

          8. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Can’t expect Judges to remember all the previous bits .. they are usually too old. :-)))

          9. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad


      2. wargame1 Avatar

        Document related to a lawsuit heard last week by a federal court in New York suggest that Iran and Hezbollah were involved in the 9/11 terror attacks, the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
        According to the documents, some of the terrorists who carried out the attacks on September 11 had visited Iran prior to the attacks without getting their passports stamped when entering the country. In addition, the documents revealed that Hezbollah provided the terrorists with aid and instructed them about the attack.
        The court ordered Iran to pay about $11 billion in compensation to the victims’ families, so that each family would receive $1 million dollar, and about $3 billion to insurance companies that were financially damaged following the attack.

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar
          Hind Abyad

          “NEW YORK: There is mounting evidence against Iran and Hezbollah proving their first-hand involvement in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 2001 that killed thousands of US citizens, Asharq Al-Awsat reported”.

          arabnews is Asharq Al-Awsat the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper.
          Tagged with: administrative differences, America, Aramco, Saudi Arabia.

      3. wargame1 Avatar

        The secret documents reveal the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in an attack September 11,2001. In fact USA had information on this but ignored them as their agenda was to overthrow the Taliban and Saddam Hussain with the help of Iran and Al-Qaeda. Here is a video reference for this breaking news 17 Mar 2016

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar
          Hind Abyad

          Orient News.. based in Dubai..United Arab Emirates.. (Rats).

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar

      We know where the funding for refugees did NOT come from.

    3. 5thDrawer Avatar

      And in the year 2016, Btru2u, WHICH ONE of those ‘proper Islamic systems’ relates to the needs of the people?

      1. The syrian revolution was never a revolution of the the hungary rather it was to revolution to restore the dignity of the nation. What the people dont need is more of Bashar Asshead.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          I’ll agree with your last line, for sure.

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Ov gourze

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar


    4. wargame1 Avatar

      Bin Laden Letter: “Iran is Our Main Artery for Funds, Personnel, and Communication”
      Osama bin Laden ordered his al-Qaeda deputies not to attack Iran, which he called a “main artery” for his terror organization’s operations, recently-disclosed documents from his Pakistan compound reveal.
      The order was part of a collection of 112 letters taken from bin Laden’s compound by U.S. special ops forces after he was killed in 2011. The collection was made public Tuesday (1 March 2016) by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        The Tower follows Michael S.Wilensky, Alberto Volovitz..is that an Israeli sister paper?,

        ‘Suspicions Raised that Breaking the Silence May Have Sought Classified Information’

        Israel’s Channel 2 has aired an investigation alleging that Breaking the Silence, a group with the stated goal of ending the occupation of Palestinian territories, collected potentially classified information about IDF operations, I24 News reported on Thursday.’


      2. This is not surprising knowing how much hate Iran has for the US. It is a shame this proof comes so late. I still do not understand the weak-ass approach the US has towards Iran. They need at be hit back in return, and not just economically. Don’t worry about the minister of disinformation and redirection, she is in her own little world of hate and damage control for Iran.

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar
          Hind Abyad

          Raskahra is Likud Hasbara. Don’t you worry about me bitch.

          1. I surly don’t worry about you except for the vast amount of pent up hate you have is not normal. I am worried you may go out and stab a jew for Hamas. Watch out CSIS will be watching you. Or at least I hope they are.
            PS, I am not religious or a jew or have any relatives that are jews. But all the liars will ever see is lies so I can’t help you there. I suggest seek professional help.

          2. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            “Your agenda sucks donkey dicks, sorry but true, and this article had no mention of Israel at all, but you can not help but bring …” Delirium Tremens

          3. Could you at least stick somewhat to the topic, and not redirect to your jew-hate every chance you get?

          4. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            You’re a disgrace, please stop addressing me.

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