Saudi Arabia is not our friend (nor anyone else’s) Get it?

man standing while holding brown wooden walking cane

“Foreign affairs experts gave President Joe Biden’s first Middle East trip a failing grade, charging that Biden was unable to accomplish any of his three primary goals: resetting ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, lowering gas prices by securing guarantees of more oil production, and reasserting U.S. influence in the region.

Biden left Jeddah without any significant announcements to trumpet back home, giving the trip’s critics – including those who panned it even before he left – plenty of fodder, especially as the price of oil spiked to more than $100 per barrel on Monday.

“The trip was heavy on photo ops and very light on any major accomplishments,” said James Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation. “It really was an exercise in damage repair that the president was forced to repudiate some of his early Mid-East policies, particularly his ill-conceived promise to treat Saudi Arabia like a ‘pariah.'”

Biden’s decision to visit Saudi Arabia was oddly controversial, as every U.S. president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has met with the oil-rich nation’s leaders and the Saudis have been a strategic partner in energy and security matters for decades.”

Comment: Well, maybe the man in the picture is a Saudi, maybe…

I have had a great deal to do with that country including a three-year tour as Defense and Army attaché in the US Embassy. This gave me the status of Counselor of Embassy. And I have been there many, many times in various capacities. I can’t say that I ever liked the place and I share that sentiment with many Muslims who are not subjects of the Saudi state. I was lucky when I lived there that even though a Christian I was protected by my diplomatic status.

In spite of all the fancy hotels and foreign flunky-built infrastructure Saudi Arabia remains a frightening, medieval mind set place where an ability to speak Arabic well merely guarantees that a foreigner will be thought a dangerous spy. That I was an AMERICAN diplomat meant absolutely nothing to them. To the Saudis the necessity of supposedly cordial mutual relations with ANY country in the non-Muslim world is an unfortunate necessity. Iran and other Shia dominated places? Well. they are thought to be deluded and murtad (apostate) in their beliefs.

For the Saudi state and much of the “citizen” population all relations with non-Muslim states and companies must be TRANSACTIONAL. All. If you want to do business with the Saudis, you must have something of value to trade. Sentiment does not enter into this. Example – In the past in return for our willingness to protect them from people with actual strength and to sell them our military toys they were willing to surreptitiously give some of us money with which to corrupt our own political system.

To go to them as Joe the Clown did, expecting that the diminishing power and majesty of the US would cause them fall down in wonderment eager to appease him is just stupid and ignorant. You can see the change in attitude on their part in the photographs of the visit. Nearly all of the Saudis greeting Joe are straight backed and looking him right in the eye. The old breed of Saudi would have been slightly bowing in deference to POTUS, but that is gone now.

Oh well, Joe Joe deserves what he got – NOTHING! pl

Biden Comes Up Empty for US on Saudi Trip, Experts Say | Newsmax.com

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Current Affairs, Iran, Middle East, Religion, Saudi Arabia. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Saudi Arabia is not our friend (nor anyone else’s) Get it?

  1. ked says:

    Seems getting nothing was a good outcome … no transaction. I guess that’s the purview of our petro-industry and the pols they own. I was impressed Joe didn’t take part in a sword-dancing act for the amusement of MBS.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    Saudi is buying cheap fuel from Russia and upsellling it to the EU:

    https://mishtalk.com/economics/saudi-arabia-buys-oil-from-russia-at-a-discount-then-sells-it-to-the-eu

    The meeting had nothing to do with increasing production. Macron made sure to get it on video him telling Biden Saudi had no oil but Biden went anyway:

    https://www.reuters.com/world/macron-tells-biden-that-uea-saudi-can-barely-raise-oil-output-2022-06-27/

    So what was the point of the trip? I suspect it was to twist Saudi’s arm to stop buying Russian fuel in return for something.

    • TTG says:

      Babeltuap,

      That’s not that bad a deal for the West and it’s a great deal for the Saudis. I’m sure the Saudis aren’t passing on the discount to their customers. MBS has Putin over a barrel and he’s definitely taking advantage of it.

      The White House put out a list of accomplishments from the trip. Looks more like an exercise of putting lipstick on a pig to me. I don’t think any of those things called for an in-person Biden fist bump.

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/07/15/fact-sheet-results-of-bilateral-meeting-between-the-united-states-and-the-kingdom-of-saudi-arabia/

      • JamesT says:

        TTG,

        With all due respect – I think that MBS and Putin have formed a partnership and they have the rest of us over a barrel. OPEC+ is working.

        I think they have a formal agreement to support each others against the “regime changers” in Washington.

      • Fred says:

        “That’s not that bad a deal for the West…”

        What a crock. We imposed sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion. Letting some violators, but not others, get away with doing so just shows what the “rules based order” is all about.

        • TTG says:

          Fred,

          Russia sells its oil and gas at a hefty discount, around 30 dollars a barrel below the going rate. Their inseparable ally, China, is forcing the discount as is India and Saudi Arabia. It’s sanctions, not an embargo. Now China and India have been stocking up so much on this sweet deal that they can’t use or store any more. The total amount Russia can sell is dropping from just months ago.

          • Fred says:

            TTG,

            “Now China and India have been stocking up so much on this sweet deal …”
            It’s just ‘sanctions’ go ahead and get a deal? That’s your analysis?

            It must have excaped your notice that China isn’t in the West and didn’t agree with the Biden administrations actions. Brazil didn’t either, nor most of the African states. The inescapable fact is that this asinine policy wasn’t thought out before it was implemented and is now blowing up in the EU’s face, as well as ours. I haven’t seen this bad of a cockup since L. Paul Bremer fired the Iraqi army and made us 500,000 enemies overnight.

            How is the economy in Sri Lanka doing, global oil prices screwing them? How about Pakistan or Peru or a dozen other countries that listened to the experts of the West at IMF/World Bank? They will get screwed by the later if they try to get a China/India style “sweet deal” as you call it.

          • Muralidhar Rao says:

            Sir, From what I understand Russian budgets is projected around $60 so anything above that number is money for their coffers. Before Feb 24 the price was around $70. Our great forward thinking leaders in the west jacked up the price to the current levels $100 by sanctioning the second largest oil producer. So how does it help the poor working souls in the West by paying these higher prices and emptying their pockets. Now they say there 5 million energy poor people in Great Britain. I hate to think about the winter.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            …”around 30 dollars a barrel below the going rate”….

            As statements go that is rather pointless unless you define what you mean by the “going rate”.

            Not Brent Crude, I hope?
            Or West Texas Intermediate?

            Russian oil doesn’t use either to price their oil exports. They have their own pricing, which is the price for “Urals Crude”.

            They set that according to the cost of extraction, refinement, etc., plus whatever profit margin they think is appropriate in the economic circumstances.

            That price – the price for Urals Crude – can be in the same ballpark as WTI or Brent, or (as now) not.

            Which doesn’t mean it is being sold at a “discount”. It simply means that if you want it you can buy it, and the Russians will deliver it.

            Other sources of oil for export can’t meet the demand of their customers, hence those customers are bidding up the price.

            As far as the Russians are concerned that is neither here nor there: the price for Urals Crude is higher than it was pre-Ukraine, their costs haven’t gone up, so they are making more money now than they were.

          • TTG says:

            WPO,

            I mean exactly what I said. Prior to the invasion all these different grades were selling within a few dollars a barrel of each other, including Urals crude. Since the invasion Urals crude is selling for $30 a barrel less than the others. That discount has been remarkably consistent since February 24.

            https://www.neste.com/investors/market-data/urals-brent-price-difference#33437f16

            When oil was going for $120 or higher a barrel, Urals crude was going for $90 a barrel. Now with oil at around $100, Russia is getting $70. Still profitable, but less so than what it was immediately before the invasion when all grades were selling around the $90 mark.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            Then you might want to grab a dictionary and look up the definition of “discount”.

            Prior to Ukraine all those oil prices were close to each other. Since then the price of Urals Crude has risen, while the price of all other oil has skyrocketed.

            Does that mean that the Kremlin is “discounting” its oil, or does it mean that everyone else has raised their price?

            It’s the latter, TTG.

            The price of Urals Crude is what it is because Russia is a reliable supplier. They aren’t selling it at a discount, they aren’t price-gouging.

            They leave that to others.

          • TTG says:

            WPO,

            All the trade papers and journals call it a discount.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            And? So?

            Excuse me for being unimpressed by an argument that boils down to “but everyone says”

            Russia is not “discounting” its oil, everyone else have raised their prices.

            That “trade papers” use misleading language to describe that reality means only that they are attempting to mislead you.

            Mission accomplished.

          • JamesT says:

            To augment that link that TTG provided I found this page which provides up to date Urals Crude pricing:
            https://ca.investing.com/commodities/crude-oil-urals-spot-futures-historical-data

            I guess this is an exchange located in Moscow? TTG’s link is probably providing more reliable information but I find this page interesting nonetheless.

          • Worth Pointing Out says:

            JamesT, that is an interesting link.

            It shows that Urals Crude was going for $71 a barrel in July 2021, and is now selling for $84 in July 2022.

            How is that an example of Russia selling its oil at a “discount”?

            It isn’t.

            What is happening is that the price of oil from other sources is sky-rocketing because THOSE OTHER SOURCES CAN’T SATISFY DEMAND.

            That’s a bad thing, absolutely, but it isn’t a bad thing for Russia.

            They are selling their oil, they are satisfying the needs of their customers, and both the seller and the buyer are happy-chaps.

            Win-win, but you wouldn’t think that from reading TTG’s articles

  3. powderfinger1 says:

    Why is this “Saudi Arabia remains a frightening, medieval mind set” not more common knowledge? No one seems to want to discuss this. Ever. No one seems to mind bringing up the Shia barbarity, but the Sunni’s seem to get a pass? The only time you might see something in the news is when a child might face execution. Very odd.

    • TTG says:

      powderfinger1,

      My opinion is that the rich and powerful stick together so matter how culturally different they are. Material wealth and the all encompassing fixation on maintaining that wealth is the glue that binds the rich together. It’s the poor, no matter where they are, that comprise the dangerous other who must be suppressed and defended against.

      If we stop worrying about getting and staying rich, we’d see the world in an entirely different way.

  4. Whitewall says:

    It seems SA is only accommodating to Israel using Saudi airspace because of mutual fear of Iran.

    • TV says:

      That’s why nations are allies, not “friends.”

      • Pat Lang says:

        TV
        I guess I did not explain well enough. The Saudis do not think of themselves as our allies, much less friends.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Correspondents to Turcopolier are lucky to have our host, Col. Lang’s knowledge not only on military matters but Arab affairs also. He’s worked in Turkey and Arabia, speaks Arabic, and has more insight on this part of the world than most. In ’59 I learned from a schoolmate in J.H.S. that he was “no damned Arab!” He proudly said he was Persian and Arabs were dogs. I lived in a mixed neighborhood and in H.S. a chum on the football team confided in me that he was a Turk and Persians and Arabs were imbeciles. I never got the chance to ask what they thought of each other. Persians, Arabs, and Turks have all had their day lording over one another. We had lots of Jewish kids at school too and I don’t know how my Persian and Turkic friends felt about them. Sunni Muslims don’t necessarily like Sh’iite. Saudis don’t like Yemeni’s, Egyptians, and seem indifferent to Syrians and Iraqis. Did I leave out Kurds and Jews. Were I America’s SOS I would assume that none of them “like” America. I would reduce their importance strictly to oil. Yes, I know, cross roads of civilization and all that, but civilization needs oil and the M.E. has it. I would reduce Israel’s dependence on American arms (let them make their own), give up trying to help the Kurds out of a dilemma America d/n make, and outproduce the Arabs in oil. The Europeans can hold open the Persian Gulf.
          Then everyone can openly hate each other. S.A. is neither ally nor friend, but which M.E. state is either. If the Col. were Under SOS for M.E. Affairs how would he proceed? Pat

  5. TV says:

    Did ANYONE expect this amateur junket to provide anything other than embarrassment for Biden and his twenty-something handlers (who, no doubt, think of this as a great success).
    Biden – and his minions – would screw up a one car funeral.
    A dumb, corrupt career politician surrounded by children.
    No “mean tweets” though.

    • Deap says:

      Biden’s handlers just issued a fact sheet outlining his multiple accomplishments achieved during his trip to Saudi Arabia. Sorry, I did not have the stomach to read them. Ialso do not know if waking up and getting dressed each day was one of them.

  6. Deap says:

    Susan Rice is not our friend either since Biden DOS is now pushing buying oil from Iran.

    From 2012 – financial disclosures for Susan Rice when she was in the Obama administration:

    ………”Rice has the highest net worth of executive branch members, with a fortune estimated between $24 to $44 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A Free Beacon analysis of Rice’s portfolio shows thousands of dollars invested in at least three separate companies cited by lawmakers on Capitol Hill for doing business in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

    Financial disclosures reveal that Rice has had $50,001-$100,000 in Royal Dutch Shell, a longtime purchaser of Iranian crude oil.

    Royal Dutch Shell currently owes Iran nearly $1 billion in back payments for crude oil that it purchased before Western economic sanctions crippled Tehran’s ability to process oil payments, Reuters reported……………..”

    Common wisdom suspects Rice (aka Obama) is running much of the real Biden-Harris Administration, during the mental incompetency lapses of her current nominal bosses Biden and Harris.

  7. Fred says:

    Biden be’n cool like the guy who taught him, Barack. Biden’s a corrupt hack with dementia and an even more corrupt neo-bolshevik crowd pulling his strings. The entire foreign policy of the administration is even worse than our domestic policy.

  8. mcohen says:

    Mr bananahead got peeled.
    biden has been around the block so long there is no new the new.Not interested in a sword dance and no fanfare welcome in israel.
    The Saudis created the biggest fan club in the world right there in mecca.millions and millions of members.Plus they got the oil.
    But it will come to an end.It has to.

  9. Fourth and Long says:

    Bug spray comes in several varieties. But in the interest of fairness when 911 occured I was in favor of leveling the playing field. I in fact remain a partisan of fair play to this daydream.

Comments are closed.