Friday, April 1, 2022

The View from Saudi Arabia

In the immortal words of Barack Obama, words that become truer by the day:

Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up…..

Consider what is happening in the Middle East, at a time when America and Western Europe need more energy.

This morning we read the following in the Financial Times.

Joe Biden’s decision to unleash a torrent of crude from the emergency US reserve is a gamble that he can tame petrol prices in time for November’s midterm elections. But it is also an acknowledgment that American partners in the Gulf are not about to help him out.

For the most part, they will not even take his calls.

To provide some substance to the argument, consider the following op-ed from the Jerusalem Post, reported by Zero Hedge. The important point is the author-- a retired Saudi editor by name of Mohammed Alyahya. The article speaks warmly about Israel and speaks harshly about the Biden administration.

The subject is the Biden administration effort to resuscitate the Iran nuclear deal:

An almost unprecedented op-ed in The Jerusalem Post lashed out at both America and Iran, while implicitly praising Israel's steadfastness against Tehran, and it was authored by a Saudi... more precisely the former editor of the kingdom's Al Arabiya English, Mohammed Alyahya. The op-ed blasts Washington efforts to restore the Iran nuclear deal by the Biden administration, questioning: If the Americans won’t side with Israel against Iran, what’s the chance they will side with us?

If you thought that the Israelis were opposed to the Iran deal, the Saudis are horrified and appalled:

In the scathing critique perhaps signaling just how close the Vienna talks are to restoring the JCPOA, the author writes in the Israeli newspaper, "Sold disingenuously to the American public as an arms control agreement, the deal is an assault on the regional order that the United States established in the aftermath of World War II. Explicitly hostile to Saudi Arabia, to say nothing of America’s other greatest ally in the region, Israel, the deal replaces the former American-led regional security structure with a concert system in which Iran, backed by Russia and China, becomes America’s new subcontractor while America’s former allies—the Gulf States and Israel— are demoted to second-tier status."

It gets worse:

"Instead of friendship, America seems more inclined to use its old friends as human shields for Iran. Earlier this month, when Iran conducted a ballistic missile strike near the US consulate in Erbil, Iraq, it falsely claimed to be targeting an Israeli facility. A senior Biden official then confirmed the Iranian claim. While other officials later denied it, the damage was done. An American official had assisted Iran in getting the most out of its propaganda by action."

Of course, now that Iran, like Hamas, has friends in the White House, and now that it has taken the full measure of Biden administration weakness, it has ramped up its attacks in the region:

"Seemingly nothing will deflect the White House from its goal. During the negotiations in Vienna, attacks from Iran have grown ever more brazen. Not even an attack by Iranian proxies on American forces in the Tanf region of Syria and repeated attacks on the American embassy in Iraq have deflected Biden from his goal of delivering hundreds of billions of dollars to the IRGC."

Of course, it’s Obama 2.0. The Biden policies are merely recycled Obama era policies. We recall that the Israeli prime minister addressed the American Congress, imploring them not to make the nuclear deal. We recall that many Democrats boycotted the meeting. We did not recall that the Saudis were also strongly opposed to the deal. To which Obama told them that he did not care. To Jeremiah Wright’s protege, Iran was the enemy of Israel, and that sufficed. 

Besides, as Biden asks Saudi Arabia to ramp up oil production, it is also including Russia in the negotiations about the nuclear deal. Speaking of incoherent policy-- you would think that Kamala herself was making it:

"When the Saudis protested  Obama’s passivity, he told them they must learn to share the region with Iran. And it is not lost on America’s regional allies now that, even as Biden asks Saudi Arabia to raise oil production to help support the campaign against Russia over Ukraine, he is granting sanctions waivers to Russia so that it can continue to guarantee the nuclear deal with Iran that it helped broker — in part by husbanding Iran’s uranium reserves and protecting its underground nuclear facilities filled with illegal centrifuges spinning material for weapons."

And then the author turns to China. We recall, because we reported it, that Saudi Arabia has threatened to start selling oil to China for Petroyuan, not Petrodollars. Whether this will significantly undermine the dollar’s reserve status-- we do not know. Many serious thinkers believe that the dollar’s status is impregnable.

And yet, sometimes it feels as though these analysts are whistling past the graveyard-- of the dollar:

"While American policy is beset by baffling contradictions, Chinese policy is simple and straightforward. Beijing is offering Riyadh a simple deal: Sell us your oil and choose whatever military equipment you want from our catalogue; in return, help us to stabilize global energy markets. In other words, the Chinese are offering what increasingly appears modeled on the American-Saudi deal that stabilized the Middle East for 70 years."

So, Xi Jinping will be visiting Saudi Arabia next month. The Saudis want China to intervene with Iran in order to deter the latter. 

"What is not yet clear is whether the Chinese can be helpful in deterring Iran, or whether they share the American belief in 'balance.' But Xi Jinping will visit Riyadh in May. It is a certainty that Saudi leaders will ask him if Iran’s rocketing of the oil facilities of the world’s most reliable oil producer is in the interest of China and, if not, can Beijing make it stop?"

There you have what I consider to be the clearest representation of Saudi thinking. That the Saudis are not just working to forge a new alliance with China but consider Israel to be their ally in the process deserves some serious attention. It tells you something about how badly Biden has botched Middle East policy.


IamDevo said...

I applaud your continuing efforts to reveal to the public (at least, that part thereof who are so well-informed, intelligent and perspicacious as to read your blog daily... which would include me, of course) the scope of the Biden cabal's efforts to upend and demolish the American Republic, but I do take issue with your characterization of same as mere blundering. It is undoubtedly intentional. As such, it is also traitorous. How fervently I wish that these people, TWANLOC* in the acronymic description of commentator and pundit Richard Fernandez, could suffer the most extreme punishments for their treason.

*Those Who Are No Longer My Countrymen.

denny said...
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Anonymous said...

Biden's not screwing anything up. BO's serving a third term, as he told everyone in the Colbert interview a month before the inauguration (that he wanted to be "the voice behind the earpiece for a stand-in.") He gets off on both laughing at American laws (he knew he did not have to provide accurate documentation to run, that his Connecticut SS# and Pelosi's verification would do it; this is a continuation of that attitude) and on "fooling the rubes" (as he sees Americans.)

He spent his formative years in a Third World, authoritarian, islamic country. He is not American by nature.

Buy Medicine Online said...
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