So Much for Biden’s Promise to Make Saudi Arabia a ‘Pariah’ | National Review

So Much for Biden’s Promise to Make Saudi Arabia a ‘Pariah’ | National Review

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gives a speech from his office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. (Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters )

Then-candidate Joe Biden, November 21, 2019:

MITCHELL: Mr. Vice President, the CIA has concluded that the leader of Saudi Arabia directed the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The State Department also says the Saudi government is responsible for executing nonviolent offenders and for torture. President Trump has not punished senior Saudi leaders. Would you?

BIDEN: Yes, and I said it at the time. Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince. And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. There’s very little social redeeming value of the — in the present government in Saudi Arabia.

And I would also, as pointed out, I would end — end subsidies that we have, end the sale of material to the Saudis where they’re going in and murdering children, and they’re murdering innocent people. And so they have to be held accountable.

The news, now: “President Biden’s advisers are discussing a possible visit to Saudi Arabia this spring to help repair relations and convince the Kingdom to pump more oil, Axios has learned. A hat-in-hand trip would illustrate the gravity of the global energy crisis driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

So much for “making Saudi Arabia a pariah!” There’s “very little social redeeming value the present government in Saudi Arabia”… but Biden’s going to go them, “hat in hand.” (Recall that the U.S. was a net energy exporter in 2019 and 2020.) Then again, one of Biden’s first foreign policy decisions was to severely water down his promised punishment of Saudi Arabia, limiting but not eliminating arms sales to the kingdom.

That’s our president. Tough talk on the campaign trail, a pushover in the Oval Office.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.