One of Monday's guests on Morning Joe was Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. Much of the discussion surrounded how America's increasing oil production will change the world market and Saudi Arabia's role in stabilizing oil supplies.
Toward the end of the segment, host Joe Scarborough pivoted and asked the Prince about Saudi-U.S. relations. The Prince criticized the Obama administration or not having a cohesive policy in the Middle East using as an example the Syrian debacle where Russian President Putin outflanked the United States.
Alwaleed Bin Talal:
The biggest concern we have in Saudi Arabia and many of the Arab countries is that we need cohesive, coherent and comprehensive policy for the Mideast. For example, when President Obama draws the red line where by the chemical weapons are used in Syria, and that red line is crossed, very bluntly and openly. Then he just reneges and blinks on that and gives Putin the chance to go back from, not the back door but from the main entrance, at least from the Middle East and Egypt, that's scary and dangerous.
When panelist MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell disputed the Prince's accounting and defended the President, there was a moment of uncomfortable silence before Alwaleed Bin Talal delivered a verbal coup de grâce:
When the line was crossed, the President took an action he moved forward, and in that process, Syria then backed down and we now have dramatic progress in Syria on chemical weapons including the destruction, moving towards the destruction, of the capability.
Alwaleed Bin Talal reminded O'Donnell that Obama's inconsistency resulted in the present Syrian regime staying in power:
The flip side of that is that Bashar is staying now for a long time to come. Because now, there is an unsigned contract between the United States and the regime in Syria now to get the chemical weapons. And for sure, the last thing the Obama Administration would like right now is to change the regime. Because we’re not sure if these jihadists, these terrorist jihadists take over they will not continue in that part of giving up the chemical weapons. That's the flip side of it also. That's where the foreign policy confusion comes up.