Who To Blame? Biden Publicly Vowed To Make Saudi Crown Prince A Pariah

Joe Biden is enraged that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince and, as of last month, prime minister, rejected his request not to limit oil output, or at least to wait a month before doing so. In reaction, Mr. Biden is expressing his warning of “consequences.”

MBS’s thoughts are unclear. Here are some educated estimates. Cutting output will keep prices high if demand declines as a result of a worldwide recession, an occurrence that many economists anticipate. Would you give up that benefit if you were MBS just to appease Mr. Biden?

“I guarantee we’re going to abolish fossil fuels,” said Mr. Biden during his presidential campaign. He has vigorously pursued that objective ever since he took office in the White House. MBS could have thought, “If Biden hates fossil fuels, the main source of Saudi riches, shouldn’t he congratulate me for generating fewer of them?”

For his part in the murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, Mr. Biden promised to make MBS a “pariah,” and it’s doubtful that MBS has forgotten that.

His justification may be something like this: “The leaders of Russia and Iran execute traitors by the hundreds! Over 500,000 fatalities in Syria are attributable to them! In Biden’s own words, the leader of China is committing genocide! He wants to make me a “pariah,” though, right? based on what? It in no way supports the horrible act that was perpetrated to acknowledge that this is a reasonable question.

The past of Washington’s relations with Riyadh is likely familiar to MBS. And Mr. Biden? I’ll provide a brief summary in case he reads this (and because I know you are, I assume he will).

King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia was the reason for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s trip to the Middle East in February 1945. The president was gravely ill, and that decision was puzzling given that World War II was still ongoing.

Oil, however, was the most strategically important commodity in the world, as FDR was aware.

Hitler’s 1941 invasions of the Soviet Union and North Africa were primarily motivated by his need for oil. He warned one of his officers that “the fight is lost” if they didn’t obtain the Baku oil.

The man was right. An oncoming Panzer attack runs out of gas during the Battle of the Bulge. Where the tanks were stationed, fully fuelled American planes destroyed them.

For the purpose of acquiring the necessary fossil fuels, Japanese imperialists invaded Southeast Asia. Tokyo was subject to an oil embargo as a response from the United States. American submarines in the Pacific pursued aircraft carriers and oil tankers as their main prey after Pearl Harbor.

FDR also recognized the importance of oil for the economy of the United States in the years following World War II, including its use in transportation, energy generation, and home heating. The White House had its first air conditioning unit in 1933. Without consulting a crystal ball, he could see that eventually, middle-class families would want for the same luxuries.

FDR therefore reached a compromise with the king. For the sake of stability for the American-led global economy, the Saudis would continue to supply oil at a fair price. In return, America would ensure the security of the monarchy. For more than 60 years, this concept was held true.

Obama then arrived. The Islamic Republic of Iran would “share the neighborhood” in his vision of the Middle East’s future.

He disregarded the diplomatic maxim that, when it comes to allies and partners, “nothing about us without us.” His discussions with Iran’s leaders led to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Saudis, as well as Bahrainis, Emiratis, and Israelis—all of whom the Iranian government poses an existential threat to—were left out. He promised to hand over billions of money to Iran’s leaders, which they might then use to destabilize other countries at their discretion.

The theocrats were only required to commit to postpone, rather than terminate, their nuclear weapons development in exchange, according to Mr. Obama. What would your response be if you were in MBS’ shoes?

What transpired afterwards is known to you. President Donald Trump made steps to repair America’s relationship with the Saudis, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, and slapped severe penalties on Tehran. But when Iranian drones and cruise missiles attacked two crucial Saudi Arabian oil sites in 2019 in reprisal, Mr. Trump did not take any significant measures. It is impossible that MBS was happy.

Mr. Biden has been working to resurrect the Obama strategy, but Iran’s leaders have so far rejected proposals for an agreement that would impose less restrictions and provide greater benefits than the original JCPOA.

Biden now promises to hold MBS accountable. According to him, “there will be some repercussions for what they’ve done with Russia,” Jake Tapper of CNN reported. He’s accusing MBS of limiting oil output to assist Russian President Vladimir Putin finance his war against Ukraine while indirectly denying that he requested a favor in connection with the midterm elections from MBS.

MBS must be wondering: “If Biden disagrees to aiding Putin, why is he still courting Iran’s leaders who are supplying Putin drones to kill Ukrainians?” MBS announced $400 million in assistance for Ukraine over the weekend, which was no coincidence.

What will MBS do if Mr. Biden imposes “consequences” like suspending all American arms supplies to Saudi Arabia? Possibly purchase weaponry from foreign countries. Sales are brisk in Russia.

Despite being a significant commercial partner of Saudi Arabia, China is not keen on doing away with fossil fuels. MBS is aware that Xi Jinping, who started the 20th Communist Party Congress on Sunday, is likely to surpass Mao Zedong as the most powerful Chinese leader.

Considering all of this, President Biden should be asking himself: “Does it serve America’s interests for me to further deteriorate relations with MBS and drive the Saudis closer to Xi and Putin?” This is a relevant query. Actually, it provides the solution by itself.

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Wayne Dupree, Privacy Policy