A reporter asked President Joe Biden, on Tuesday, at a White House event to promote vaccination, “What’s your reaction to the Saudis on oil urging the U.S. not to use the reserves?” Biden stopped. A second reporter began to ask a new question after the silence lasted for a sufficient amount of time. After that, Biden gave the first reporter a friendly smile and said, “Get your Covid shot.” Biden’s nonsensical remark serves as a fitting symbol for his administration’s policy toward Saudi Arabia, which is now clear to be a ridiculous mix of cynicism, wild rhetorical shifts, and incompetence.
As a result of Saudi Arabia’s violations of human rights, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the US intelligence community has concluded was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Biden entered the White House promising to treat Saudi Arabia as a pariah regime. Then, in an embarrassing effort to mend fences, Biden rushed to Saudi Arabia in July after the Russian invasion of Ukraine raised global oil prices. That humiliating photo of Biden and bin Salman bumping fists were made of their visit. Biden appeared to have left the trip with the conviction that he had a promise from the Saudi government to increase oil production to compensate for the shortages brought on by Putin’s war. However, the Saudi government spearheaded an OPEC Plus initiative to reduce oil production, which the Biden administration views as a betrayal. (Biden’s Embarrassing Saudi Encounter)
“What happened over the last half-year is a story of handshake agreements, wishful thinking, missed signals, and finger-pointing over broken promises,” was the conclusion of a lengthy New York Times report that examined the saga. The newspaper added that Democratic lawmakers were “left fuming that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman duped the administration” after being shown the diplomatic record as part of congressional oversight.
Retaliation has been threatened by some Democrats, who believe that the Saudi cutback was intended to assist both Putin and the Republican Party.“ What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans,” said Chuck Schumer, the leader of the majority in the Senate. The Biden administration stated that it is reevaluating relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. (Biden’s Embarrassing Saudi Encounter)
However, the Saudi government barely appears to be stressed. Rather, the outrageous arrogance shown by Saudi authorities proposes that they assume they have the advantage, with the US requiring the free progression of Saudi oil such a lot that the Biden organization should swallow any insult. Condescending remarks about Biden have been leaked by Bin Salman’s staff. According to sources within the Saudi government, the crown prince “mocks President Biden in private, making fun of the 79-year-old’s gaffes and questioning his mental acuity,” as reported in the Wall Street Journal. According to sources, he has stated to advisers that he prefers former President Donald Trump to Mr. Biden and has not been impressed with him since his time as vice president.
Saudi Prince Saud al-Shaalan said in a video posted on October 20: “Anyone who challenges the existence of this country and this kingdom, all of us are projects of Jihad and martyrdom” in response to American criticism. That is my message to anyone who believes he can harm us. Sure, Saudi princes come in all shapes and sizes. Being of the minor ilk, Saud al-Shaalan probably spoke only for himself. However, it is significant that he did not fear being punished by the Saudi government, which is not typically regarded as a paladin of free speech, and that he felt confident in expressing this threat.
Crown Prince bin Salman’s swaggering style is the result of decades of American tolerance for Saudi human rights abuses and foreign policy adventurism, both of which were in line with the American project of maintaining regional hegemony. The rational conclusion reached by Saudi leaders was that their contribution to the American empire gave them a form of impunity.
As Saudi leaders are well aware, the Saudi government is immune from punishment and has the power to influence American politics by turning on and off the oil tap.” The kingdom’s oil decisions can influence the election or non-election of the president of the United States, the largest and strongest country in the world,” Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud stated on the Saudi television program Spotlight in 2004. Regardless of what the kingdom does, the fact that that is taken into consideration is sufficient evidence of Saudi Arabia’s strategic importance.”
This year does not have a presidential election, but the Democrats are using the midterms as a lesson in what happens when you cross the Saudi regime. It ought to be a scandal for Saudi interference in domestic politics, but it is unclear how much of an impact it will have, even on Democrats, who are the victims in this story. I argued in a previous column that the current conflict will not alter policy because the Saudi government was so crucial to American strategy in the Middle East. (Biden’s Embarrassing Saudi Encounter)
Unloading the Saudis would fundamentally involve a few revolutionary and helpful changes in the political economy: an expansion of the Green New Deal with the goal of achieving energy independence using fuels other than oil. Additionally, it would mean putting an end to the long-standing strategy of preserving US hegemony in the Middle East. Practically, it would mean ceasing to provide Saudi Arabia and allied nations like the United Arab Emirates with military assistance. In a more practical sense, it would entail severely reducing the arms industry’s and the military-industrial complex’s funding sources. It would be necessary to seek employment in a different field for the numerous former generals who are currently paid handsomely to serve as the Saudi regime’s spokespersons.
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