90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The U.S., Saudi Arabia And The New Middle East

The United States and Saudi Arabia — longtime allies now divided on some big issues. We look at how they’re both engaging with a reshaped Middle East.

US President Barack Obama with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP)

US President Barack Obama with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP)

For almost 70 years, since F.D.R. famously met with Ibn Saud on his way home from Crimea near the end of World War II, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been bone-deep allies.  The Saudis had the oil.  The US had the military power.  There were issues.  Big ones.  Israel.  Oil embargo.  9/11 and Islamism.  But oil and power attracted one another.  They still do.  But the Middle East is changing.  Riyadh and Washington are at odds on Syria, on Egypt, on Iran, more.  Maybe even on energy.  This hour On Point:  the President visits Riyadh, and the Saudi-US divide.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gregory Gause, professor of political science at the University of Vermont. Non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. “The International Relations of the Persian Gulf.”

Michael Crowley, chief foreign affairs correspondent for TIME Magazine. (@CrowleyTIME)

Shadi Hamid, fellow of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Author of the forthcoming “Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy In a New Middle East.” (@shadihamid)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence — “The relationship between the two nations began to fray three years ago when protests against longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak swelled, and Obama turned against him, experts said. Now, Saudi leaders are worried about Obama’s outreach to Iran as Washington seeks to reach a deal over its nuclear program, analysts said. And the Saudis believe the U.S. is not doing enough to help those fighting against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”

New York Times: America’s Role in Riyadh — “Like their government, many ordinary Saudis are baffled by what they perceive as incompetent United States policies. Most remain notably pro-American and, ever polite, apologize before averring their lost faith in America’s leader, variously described in as ‘feckless’ and ‘addicted to wrong decision-making.'”

TIME: Middle East Matters Most to Obama–Not Putin –“Although Putin is dangerous and nuclear terrorism is an extremely serious threat, neither one sits at the very top of his foreign policy agenda. For a clue towards what occupies the president most, look no farther than his visit Friday with the king of Saudi Arabia. Even after Putin’s thuggish annexation of Crimea, it’s not Russia and Europe that matter most to Obama’s agenda. It’s the Middle East. Let us count the ways.” (You can also read Crowley’s piece, “The King and O,” here.)

POLITICO Reporter Carrie Budoff Brown’s Viral Photos From The President’s Saudi Arabian Visit

https://twitter.com/cbudoffbrown/status/449567914035654656

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2015
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 pool photo Pope Francis, right, is greeted by Catholicos Aram I, second left, and the head of Armenia's Orthodox Church Karekin II, left, during an Armenian-Rite Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican. Pope Francis on Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by calling the massacre by Ottoman Turks "the first genocide of the 20th century" and urging the international community to recognize it as such. (AP)

One hundred years after the genocide, Armenians are still working through the story. Writers Litty Mathew and Eric Bogosian join us.

 
Apr 23, 2015
In this file photo, Waiter Spencer Meline serves a customer at Ivar's Acres of Clams restaurant on the Seattle waterfront Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  Seattle's minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour by August 2015. (AP)

The tipping economy in America. It’s huge. It’s being challenged. It may be changing.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments
 
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments