Biden Shuffles off to Middle East Tuesday to Beg Saudis for More Oil Production – Opinion

President Biden jets off to the Middle East Tuesday night, first stopping in Israel before heading to Saudia Arabia, the country which he called a “pariah” and whose government he claimed had “very little social redeeming value.” On the campaign trail in October 2020 he said:

Under a Biden-Harris administration, we will reassess our relationship with the Kingdom, end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil.

Now that America is in a gas price crisis, however, Biden seems to have no problem “checking his values at the door.”

Question: How about instead of asking OPEC for more oil production, let’s get back to our traditional method of producing it. This is just a thought.

In his visit to Jerusalem and Jeddah there are many topics expected to be discussed, including the Israeli/Arab relations and Iran nuclear deal. There will also be discussions on human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. No significant progress is expected on any of these issues though because Isreal has a brand new prime minister, Yair Lapid, who the AP calls “a caretaker prime minister serving while Israel braces for another round of elections later this year.” He’s not likely to have the power to get much done. Iran’s nuclear deal is still under threat. Tehran has shown little interest in trying to renegotiate the deal that Trump had nuked in 2018.

So, why does Biden make this trip to Canada? Oil.

Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor gave away the prize at a Monday press conference.

We will convey our general view…that we believe that there needs to be adequate supply in the global market to protect the global economy and to protect the American consumer at the pump.

In other words, Joe’s going to beg the Saudis to pump, baby, pump to lower gas prices and give the Dems a fighting chance to save the midterms.

Biden plans to have a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (the man Biden once decried), who US intelligence believes was behind 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi. The President laughably explained that somehow it’s ok because he won’t be meeting “MBS” one on one, it will be part of a larger meeting. In June, he stated to reporters that:

I’m not going to meet with MBS. I’m going to an international meeting, and he’s going to be part of it.

Wait, you’re going to be in a meeting with him but you’re not going to meet him? Reminds me of the old Bill Clinton classic, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Interestingly, Biden wrote a defensive op-ed Saturday explaining this trip, and it appeared in none other than the pages of Khashoggi’s former employer, the Washington Post.

Biden knows that there are many who criticize his visit to Saudi Arabia. In his opinion piece:

It is clear that many are opposed to my decision to visit Saudi Arabia. While my views are long-held and clear on human rights, I will continue to travel to Saudi Arabia as this will prove. Fundamental freedoms will be the same in Israel as it was during the West Bank and Israel.

He should have added, “except, I’m just going to ignore that little dismemberment murder of Khashoggi for the time being because I really, really need oil.”

People hoping that Saudi Arabia will suddenly produce more oil, and thus lower gas prices, are likely to be disappointed. From Reuters

“I think that a surge in Saudi production seems unlikely. I expect some anodyne statements from Saudi Arabia about helping to balance the global oil market, meet global demand, support economic growth and stability among the import countries,” said Ben Cahill, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Samantha Gross is the director of Brookings Institution’s energy security initiative and climate initiative. “If the public is looking for lower gasoline prices after this trip,” she said, I think they’re bound to be disappointed.”

In sum, maybe Biden just wants to get out of the country for a while, since he’s taking such constant heat here at home amidst a disastrous presidency.  It’s doubtful this trip will have any major breakthroughs.

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