America’s president is on his way to speak to the leader of a country that has been waging war against its neighbor with American weapons, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. No, not Russia. We’re talking about our close friends in Saudi Arabia.
Hypocrisy runs deep in the corporate press. This is most apparent when dealing with the nature of the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald exposed this hypocrisy on June 13, 2022 when he juxtaposed three articles written during the Trump administration to a recent piece that The Atlantic published on June 13. The piece was titled “Biden is Right About Saudi Arabia.”
The three other pieces were titled “The Brutal Truth Behind Trump’s Love Affair with Saudi Arabia”, “For Trump, the Truth About Jamal Khashoggi is Beside the Point”, and “The End of America Lipe Service to Human Rights”, respectively.
The grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, which many pundits believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered, caused the US media to have a total fit. As seen with ether aforementioned trifecta of pieces, the corporate press put Trump on blast for maintaining normal relations with the Saudis throughout his presidency.
Greenwald called attention to the fact that the US forges alliances and partnerships based on national interests not so much ideological consistency:
“As I wrote yesterday, the close US/Saudi partnership shows that the US does not care — at all — if other countries are democratic or despotic. It only cares that other countries’ regimes serve US interests. Trump’s only sin was he was honest about this.
Greenwald continued showing how Biden officials are now ironically behaving in the same way the Trump administration did with regards to Saudi Arabia:
“The excuses Biden officials are making – for why Biden vowed during the campaign to turn Saudis into “pariahs”, only to now embrace them – is the same rationale Trump offered for the same decision (which caused pundits to declare the Death of US Values):
After the killing of Khashoggi, Trump maintained caution and did not use the incident to abruptly sever relations with the country, which Greenwald mentioned below:
In 2018, Trump said: yeah, sure, it’s terrible that Khashoggi was killed, but our close partnership with the Saudis is too valuable to sever that relationship.
That caused hysteria in the pundit class.
This is *exactly* what Biden is now saying to justify the same decision.
During a Democratic primary presidential debate hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post back in November 20, 2019, Biden said he would punish MBS,would not sell the Saudis weapons to continue their brutal war in Yemen, and make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” on the international stage. Greenwald posted the following:
WATCH: Biden, 2020 campaign, on what he vowed he would do — if elected President — to the Saudis and the US/Saudi partnership as punishment for murdering Jamal Khashoggi and slaughtering Yemeni children.
Despite all the chest-pounding, the Biden administration has ultimately folded to the Saudis, which Greenwald detailed:
Here’s Biden, as President, on what he actually did to the Saudis and the US/Saudi partnership: Pretty much everything he said in that above video was a flat-out lie. He sold weapons to them. He refused to sanction MbS. Now he’s visiting on his knees, heralding the partnership.
Indeed hypocrisy abounds with regards to how the media has covered Biden’s about face with regards to Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, the US should recalibrate its relationship with the Saudis. After all, this is a country that not only has little strategic value to the US, but also has a significant amount of terrorists that hail from there — a feature that does not speak well of the kingdom’s security services.
The US does not need to coddle the Gulf Arab state, nor should it pursue punitive measures. The latter could potentially destabilize it and leave it in the hands of fundamentalists or even push it into the orbit of strategic adversaries such as China.
Overall, the US needs to desperately pursue energy independence so that it doesn’t have to get in bed with countries like Saudi Arabia and continue to be involved in such a volatile region such as the Middle East. The US’s primary region of strategic interest should be the Western Hemisphere, namely its southern border with Mexico.
Tending to high maintenance satellite states abroad is unsustainable in the long-term.