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June 22, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10032

Article In London-Based Emirati Daily: It Will Be Better If President Biden Does Not Visit Saudi Arabia; The U.S. Is A Disloyal, Hypocritical And Greedy Ally

June 22, 2022
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates | Special Dispatch No. 10032

Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled for mid-July 2022, Iraqi journalist 'Ali Al-Sarraf published an article in the London-based Emirati daily Al-Arab in which he harshly attacked Biden and called to prevent the visit. Saudi-American relations, he said, are in shambles and need to be rebuilt from the ground up, and Biden is neither able nor willing to do this. He also accused Biden of tolerating the "hostile culture" that exists in the U.S. against Saudi Arabia, and even of taking part in it by treating Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as a pariah. It is Biden himself who should be a pariah, he stated, due to his part in the Iraqi crisis and in war crimes committed there.

Al-Sarraf also accused Biden of taking a weak position vis-à-vis Iran in the Vienna nuclear talks and of disregarding Iran's support of terrorist militias throughout the region. Biden, he said, is continuing the policy of previous U.S. President Barack Obama, who signed the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 without consulting Saudi Arabia, then considered to be one of America's closest allies.

Al-Sarraf stressed that Saudi Arabia is a strong country that commands global respect, and that bin Salman is promoting a development plan that will have an immense impact on Saudi Arabia and the region at large. He concluded by saying that the U.S. is "a disloyal, hypocritical and greedy ally" that should be despised not only by Saudi Arabia but by the entire Middle East.


'Ali Al-Sarraf (Source: alarab.co.uk)

The following are translated excerpts from his article. [1]

"Joe Biden is on his way to Saudi Arabia. Better that he doesn't come. If there is a way to prevent this, we should take it. Saudi-American relations need to be rebuilt, and President Biden just doesn't have the skill. Nor is he interested in doing this. In fact, it doesn't even enter his mind. The two countries are different from what they were in the past.  Saudi Arabia is no longer the country that [its founder], king 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sa'ud, left behind him, and America is not the country Franklin Roosevelt left behind. 

"The two countries have maintained ties for over 70 years, but today they hardly recognize one another. One might even say that they need to get acquainted all over again, without the baggage of the past: all the past ideas, impressions, and policies. Much water has passed under the bridge since [the official establishment of Saudi-U.S. relations] in 1945, and it is neither suitable nor logical, in terms of the countries' interests, to base the relationship on the old impressions and perceptions they have of one another.

"President Biden still speaks of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as a 'pariah,' when the one who should be a pariah is Biden himself. The shameful records held in the American archive regarding the period in which [Biden] was in charge of the [U.S.] occupation in Iraq during the era of President Barack Obama are sufficient to implicate him in a long list of war crimes. The handing of Iraq over to a bunch of feckless Iranian gangs is only one [action] which proves that the U.S. is the last country that has any right to rebuke others.  In any case, you cannot designate the man who will be king in the next half century [i.e., bin Salman] as a pariah, even for 20 [incidents like the murder of Saudi journalist] Jamal Khashoggi.

"But this is not the important point, and neither is the reason for Biden's visit. The only thing [Biden] wants is for Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production and thereby lower the price [of oil], which he believes is one of the reasons for inflation. This belief, too, is riddled with illusions, because global inflation is not tied to oil prices. Not a single economist will claim that oil prices are the main reason for it. If we consider the 15 trillion dollars spent fighting Covid 19…, we will realize the main cause [of inflation].  All that money went up in smoke, and that smoke was bound to cause a rise in prices… When we consider things from this angle, the [conclusion] is that the oil-producing countries do not have to be the ones to bear the cost. All of their current oil revenues do not come to even one percent of those trillions.

"Biden thinks that his coming to Saudi Arabia is enough of a concession to put oil production back on track. He thinks this is enough to put the crisis in [Saudi-U.S.] relations behind us. This is an illusion that may be costly and may harm the relations that are [already] unstable, even if both sides try to present a different picture. 

"The American hostility for Saudi Arabia is a reality in its own right. Accusations are hurled [at Saudi Arabia] in Congress and in the [American] press, whether it is guilty or not, because there are certain elements who wish to blame it for everything. Biden has no intention of changing any aspect of this hostile culture, of which he is a disciple. 

"Washington decided, already in the era of President Obama, to conspire with Iran, to allow it all the influence it allowed it in Iraq, and to keep silent over the activity of its terrorist militias in Lebanon, even when the Americans themselves were the direct victims [of this activity]. This was [true] even before the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015. The agreement itself was prepared in secret, without consulting the [country] that used to be called America's 'closest ally' in the region [i.e., Saudi Arabia]. At that point, the alliance collapsed, and this 'closest [of allies]' could not remain close, because the other side had chosen to draw away. 

"The first issue and top priority of President Biden since the very first hours of his presidency has been 'returning to the nuclear deal [with Iran].' He was prepared to do anything 'to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,' including funding [its] regime of terror and militias with hundreds of millions of dollars. He was even prepared to tolerate the humiliation of having Iran ignore the American delegation to the talks in Vienna, and to continue negotiating from behind a screen, to this very day.[2]

"Eventually Iran was the one who declared the failure [of the talks]. It kept asking for more and more, until Congress had had enough. The outcry there caused a large majority in both parties to keep Biden from making further concessions. Had they left the matter to his ignorant consideration, the agreement would have already been singed, on Iran's terms and based on its endless deception.

"Biden took a stance that encouraged the Houthi militias when he removed them from the terror lists within hours of becoming president. Despite all of Iran's threats and acts of aggression in the shipping routes of the [Persian] Gulf, Biden and his generals preferred to respond to these actions with 'strategic negligence,' rather than 'strategic restraint.'  He poured oil on the fire by withdrawing the Patriot missile batteries and other [military systems] from Saudi Arabia, leaving it exposed to the Houthi and Iranian attacks.

"Is that how an ally [behaves]?

"The mere [thought of] welcoming him is troubling and [the thought] of listening to him is repellent. One can imagine that millions of Saudis will feel repulsed by the [mere idea] of his feet touching their soil, not to mention the nonsense he may utter.

"But, at the same time, the truth is that Saudi Arabia is a different country [today]. It is a country that feels no weakness and has no lack of determination to take the initiative, in war and in peace. It operates within a broad international arena [that spans] East and West, and its ties with all the countries of the world are honored and esteemed. It is in full control of [its] future, thanks to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who has begun to implement promising plans to rebuild Saudi Arabia, economically and socially, by conducting an immense revolution of development and progress. He is leading a series of changes that will leave an enormous imprint on life not only in Saudi Arabia but in the entire region. 

"From the anti-Saudi, anti-Islamic and anti-Arab perspective of America, to which Biden subscribes, this man [bin Salman] deserves to be a pariah, and any excuse is sufficient to [justify] an unending flood of systematic hatred towards Saudi Arabia and its leaders.   

"The U.S. is no longer what it used to be. It is the legacy of the U.S. that caused five million Iraqis to flee their country, and prepared the ground for Iran to take over Iraq,  expand its influence to Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, expel [people] and nourish all the elements of destruction, corruption and terror. [This legacy] should cause the U.S. to be despised by the entire region, not just by Saudi Arabia.

"The relations between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. require rebuilding. In fact, they need to be [completely] redefined, from [the aspects of] diplomacy, policy and trade to [those of] strategic relations.

"In practice, the U.S. is nothing more than a disloyal, hypocritical and greedy ally, which takes every opportunity to continue its betrayal, hypocrisy and greed."

 

[1] Alarab.co.uk, June 17, 2022.

[2] The Vienna talks are between Iran and Europe, Russia and China, while the U.S. representatives sit a separate room, after Iran refused to negotiate with them directly. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1629 – Iran Is Insisting On What It Demanded From The Biden Administration A Year Ago, Part II: The Debate In Iran About Direct Negotiations With The U.S. – Supreme Leader Khamenei Approves It In Principle, Reformists Are In Favor, Ideologues Are Against, March 8, 2022.  

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