Saudi Arabia has “no redeeming social value” and is an unredeemable “pariah”, Joe Biden declared when his presidency was taken over of the United States of America. This was at the time that prices for oil were not astronomically high and Americans weren’t slicing Biden’s neck for the soaring rate of inflation.
One might claim that Joe Biden’s morally loaded disdain for Saudi Arabia came from a position of privilege. In the moment Biden was unable to assess the significance to Saudi Arabia for the United States security in the energy sector and its economic health. One could claim that the USA is mostly energy-dependent and doesn’t need Riyadh to fill up oil barrels to store it.
This is a claim that under the leadership of Joe Biden, is highly contested due to the way Biden’s administration has resisted drilling for oil and fracking on the domestic level.
However, even if the United States’ domestic oil production is considered but the final say on the global price of oil rests with Saudi Arabia’s OPEC cartel. Prices for oil around the globe depend on the amount of oil OPEC produces every day.
The current sanctions against Russia have reduced the world’s oil supplies and that’s why there is a kind of shortage present in the markets. Saudi Arabia is refusing to make up for by increasing the daily quota for OPEC.
The prices of gasoline in America are soaring and the US’s consumer inflation figure for June is at 9.1 percent. This suggests that the Biden administration is in desperate need of help to save face, particularly with the possibility of a Democratic defeat being predicted for the mid-term congressional elections in the near future.
Joe Biden’s recent gestures to Saudi Arabia, in part is aimed at reducing the threat of a collapse in Congress the Biden party is facing in November.
JOE BIDEN IN SAUDI ARABIA Theatre of the Absurd
Joe Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia after a two-day trip to Israel. It’s no surprise that Biden’s visit has been a disaster for the White House has gone overboard in its efforts to lessen the harm caused by Biden’s Saudi visit, particularly among the key Democrat people back in the United States.
Joe Biden ostensibly visited Saudi Arabia to talk to “regional officials” of the Gulf however, he did not in actual fact, meet with the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The images were certainly not misleading. There’s a consensus that Biden is trying to fix the relationship he destroyed in the beginning. From saying that Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ and using the term “strategic partner” Biden’s Middle Eastern policy has come full circle.
No doubt, Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah has one goal only to convince MBS to increase OPEC’s production to ensure that prices across the globe can be lower.
The meeting of leaders from in the Gulf at Jeddah in Jeddah and discussing the regional partnership is an effort to get attention. The current focus is improving relations that connect Washington as well as Riyadh.
Then, oil isn’t the only thing that has set alarm bells off in the White House and the US State Department. The Iran nuclear agreement is essentially dead.
Discussions on reviving the talks have come to an impasse, and now the nation of Shi’ite Muslims is closer than ever to constructing the first nuclear weapon. It is clear that the Arab world, and in particular Saudi Arabia, is inclining to the same direction as China or Russia. The space for United States has been shrinking in the Middle East, much like its influence on Gulf states.
The current political landscape required Washington to make steps to improve its image and influence within the Middle East. With out Saudi Arabia on its side However Washington United States would have found it almost impossible to sustain any progress within the region.
China as well as Saudi Arabia are in talks to break their link to their oil trading with to the US dollar. This would mean that China will buy oil from Riyadh with its own currency, the Yuan. The US dollar’s worth in the role of the reserve currency for world trade and the standing of the petrodollar-based regime will be severely diminished by this.
THE COLD SHOULDERING GAMES
Shortly after becoming president, Joe Biden decided to fight hard in the fight against Saudi Arabia. Biden stopped new arms sales for Saudi Arabia. Islamic kingdom, as well as stopping US aid to Riyadh in its war for the defeat of the Iran-backed Houthis within Yemen.
Following that following, the Biden administration released an intelligence report that directly implicates Saudi crown prince in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi royal family’s crown prince with the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But that’s not all. Biden as an act of principle did not speak to MBS in his few conversations with MBS, the King of Saudi Arabia. This is in spite of MBS being acknowledged as the the de facto head over this Gulf nation.
Biden’s bravado against MBS did not last very long. When Russia entered Ukraine as oil costs soared to the top and the price of oil soared, the Biden administration attempted to establish contacts with MBS, the Saudi royal family.
But, it was MBS the chance to show Biden his cold shoulder. The crown prince was unable to talk with Biden. Washington’s efforts to pressure OPEC to boost oil production were ignored, and this even in the event that Saudi Arabia refused to condemn Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. On March 1st, Riyadh issued the statement that called for a resolution on political fighting that didn’t label Russia as the aggressor of Ukraine. Saudi Arabia also backed South Africa’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) motion of March 24 that did not call for the denial of Russia.
BIDDEN’S DESPERATE COURSE CORRECTION
In the case of Joe Biden, the political and geostrategic benefits of returning to the positive books of Saudi will far surpass the shame the administration and he have to face for not adhering to an idealistic policy of foreign relations in relation to Riyadh.
If interacting in a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and treating it as an “strategic partnership” is what it takes to cool oil prices and support the larger goals of ensuring that its influence on the Middle East is not completely lost, that’s precisely that Biden will do – regardless of the criticism he is facing at home for not delivering on his campaign promises to hold his Gulf country accountable.
The White House first tried to convince that the world there will not be a one-on-one session with Biden and MBS during Biden’s trip in Saudi Arabia. But it is true that the United States does not have an easy time with Saudi Arabia.
So, on Friday, Biden was indeed scheduled to meet together with his Saudi Crown Prince and the Saudi crown prince, but with the absence of the King, no less. In the Thursday meeting, Biden even stopped short of committing to discuss the issue of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with leaders in Saudi Arabia.
In actual fact, Biden is now down to praising Saudi Arabia. This past Friday Riyadh granted its airport access to “all airliners” from Israel which marked the end of its restriction on Israeli flights that fly through its territory. This move is seen as a sign of a possible normalization of relations between the world’s largest Islamic nation and the world’s sole Jewish one.
In an announcement, Biden said, “This move opens the door to an integrated, stable as well as safe Middle East region, which is essential to our security as well as the prosperity of United States and the American people, and also for the prosperity and security that is Israel.”
Through his trip to Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden has acknowledged that he acted prematurely against Riyadh and also took steps that helped in weakening the relationship between both nations.
The whole mess has revealed another aspect – that The United States of America no has the same influence it used to enjoy over the nations around the globe. Its allies and partners are starting to challenge it. A major exercise in soul-searching is needed by Washington today.