As America and partnering world powers toil in Vienna to turn Iran into their BFF, our traditional, now jilted, Arab allies are looking for love in all the wrong places.
Can you blame them, though?
Fearing the rise of a new empire ruled by megalomaniacal Persian Shiites, the Saudis, Egyptians and others are seeking alliances with Vladimir Putin, who dreams of his own empire.
Take Egypt. Seeking to enter Putin’s customs union, Cairo now contemplates switching to rubles in order to buy Russian wheat. Egypt plans to join the Eurasian Economic Union by the end of next year — a trading bloc that for now includes only Russian satellites like Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
Oh, and the Egyptian army once again is buying Russian-made tanks, guns and MiG fighter jets, as well as Chinese clones.
That’s a total reversal of one of the Cold War’s major coups, when, almost overnight, the Soviet-dependent Egyptian army turned to US-made planes and tanks in the late 1970s.
Cairo also switched allegiances. After Washington brokered an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the most populous Arab country turned into a trusted American ally.
And now we’re beginning to see a reversal. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspects that the United States no longer has his back, so he’s turning east.
At least Sisi has some memories of being part of the Soviet bloc. The Saudis don’t.