In a 2014 “oil war,” the US pressured Saudi Arabia to overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The United States and Saudi Arabia waged a very important yet little-known “oil war” in 2014, which had huge geopolitical and economic consequences for the world. Washington pressured Riyadh to significantly overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Multipolarista host Ben Norton analyzed this crucial historical episode in the video above.
According to the Houthi-led government in Yemen, the Saudi Arabia-led international coalition has intensified its comprehensive land, sea and air blockade of the country, causing increased suffering of common people. The Houthis claimed that in the last few days, Saudi forces aided by the US have seized four ships carrying crucial supplies to Yemen’s Hodeidah port. Essam al-Mutawakel, spokesperson of the Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC), tweeted on Tuesday, November 15, that one such ship named Red Ruby carrying thousands of tons of petroleum was detained and stopped from reaching the Hodeidah port by Saudi and US forces despite it having all necessary clearances by the UN verification and inspection mechanism (UNIVM) based in Djibouti.
Last week the Saudis publicly snubbed the Biden administration. Several outlet picked up on that. The snub is significant. While lots of top U.S. bankers will take part the Biden administration will be given no chance to influence the Saudi investment plans. However, the Biden's administration main propaganda outlet, the New York Times, won't have any of that. It depicts the Saudi snub as one done by the uninvited the Biden administration. It is also lying about the Biden administration's response: Some top American business leaders area headed to the Saudi business conference. But Biden administration officials, angry over the kingdom’s stance on oil production and ties with Russia, are staying away. The Biden administration’s message to corporate America was clear: Consider the reputation of the countries you do business with.
The Joe Biden administration is swiftly establishing a narrative that the recent OPEC decision to cut oil production by two million tonnes is a geopolitical “aligning” by Saudi Arabia and Russia. It taps into the Russophobia in the Beltway and deflects attention from the humiliating defeat of President Biden’s personal diplomacy with Saudi Arabia. But it is not without basis, either. Foreign policy was reputed to be Biden’s forte but is turning out to be his nemesis. An ignominious end is not unlikely; as with Jimmy Carter, West Asia may become the burial ground of his carefully cultivated reputation. The magnitude of what is unfolding is simply staggering. Biden realizes belatedly that territorial conquests in Ukraine is not the real story but embedded in it is the economic war and within that is the energy war that has been incubating through the past eight-month period following the Western sanctions on Russia.
Young Americans appear highly skeptical of Washington’s ability to improve the world through military force, according to a new poll from the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF). A majority of respondents aged 18 to 29 told pollsters that the United States should cut its military budget, end arms sales to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and emphasize diplomacy over other tools when engaging with the world. Zuri Linetsky, a research fellow at EGF, argued that youth respondents have likely been formed by the failures of recent U.S. military policies. “If you are 29 right now, you came of voting age towards the end of the Obama years,” Linetsky said. “You saw the Iraq surge. […] You’ve seen pushes in Afghanistan that haven’t worked. You’ve just seen the limits of American power.”
The news that made the headlines on Thursday is that the Joe Biden Administration may have inched closer to restarting the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, it escaped attention that Iran’s oil minister Javad Owji said just a day earlier in Tehran following a meeting with Igor Levitin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s senior aide that the two countries have finalized their talks on “gas purchase and swap” and a contract is going to be signed in Moscow. Owji disclosed that Iran and Russia are negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for developing another 14 Iranian oil and gas fields in addition to the seven for which contracts already exist as decided in July in an earlier MoU, according to which Russia agreed to invest $40 billion in Iran’s petroleum industry.
President Biden’s fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the president’s up-close-and-personal handshake with former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sparked outrage and cries of hypocrisy from human rights activists, supporters of Palestinian rights, and defenders of democracy. MBS is, after all, responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the war that has devastated Yemenis. Netanyahu, currently on trial for multiple corruption charges, presided for a dozen years over Israel’s apartheid system, settlement expansion, war crimes in Gaza, and the murders of several journalists even before Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in May. Outrage was absolutely called for. Symbolism is important. But the fist bump and the handshake were the least of it.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — On the second day of his trip to Saudi Arabia, President Joe Biden met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates—along with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq to discuss security issues, but particularly to push for a united front against Iran. Biden has spent much of his trip to the Middle East reinforcing the regional policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump, rather than implementing the policies on which he campaigned for president. And he is rightly taking heat for his meetings yesterday with Saudi officials, which many observers believe “legitimized” Saudi Arabia’s murderous Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and accomplished nothing for Biden. The President began the day today by refusing to answer any questions from the media about his talks with Saudi leaders yesterday.
The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes. During his visit to Israel, Biden assured Prime Minister Yair Lapid that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power,” including military force, to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. function as a troika in the Middle East. The Israeli government has built a close alliance with Saudi Arabia, which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks and has been a prolific sponsor of international terrorism, supporting Salafi jihadism, the basis of al-Qaeda, and such groups as the Afghanistan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front.
President Joe Biden’s foreign policy advisors are applauding themselves for devising a “sensitive” itinerary as he plans to embark on a trip to the Middle East on July 13. In a Washington Post op-ed, Biden defended his controversial planned meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (known as MBS), saying it is meant not only to bolster U.S. interests but also to bring peace to the region. It seems that his trip will not include Yemen, though if this were truly a “sensitive” visit, he would be stopping at one of Yemen’s many beleaguered refugee camps. There he could listen to people displaced by war, some of whom are shell-shocked from years of bombardment. He could hear the stories of bereaved parents and orphaned children, and then express true remorse for the complicity of the United States in the brutal aerial attacks and starvation blockade imposed on Yemen for the past eight years.
The flares started last December, an event Errol Summerlin, a former legal-aid lawyer, and his neighbors had been bracing for since 2017. After the flames, nipping at the night sky like lashes from a heavenly monster, came the odor, a gnarled concoction of steamed laundry and burned tires. Thus did the Saudi royal family mark the expansion of its far-flung petrochemical empire to San Patricio County, Texas, a once-rural stretch of flatlands across Nueces Bay from Corpus Christi. It arrived in the form of Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), a plant that sprawls over 16 acres between the towns of Portland and Gregory. The complex contains a circuit board of pipes and steel tanks that cough out steam, flames and toxic substances as it creates the building blocks for plastic from natural gas liquids.
So, it’s now official, the Biden administration will forget about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen. The U.S. has only gently pressured Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to observe a truce in Yemen in return for designation of the Houthi rebels as terrorists. (It is illustrative of how political the U.S. government’s definition of terrorism is that Houthi rebels — who never perpetrated acts of international terrorism — are designated as terrorists merely as a political gesture toward Gulf despots.) Biden will swallow the promises and words he uttered during the presidential campaign (when he forcefully chided the Saudi regime and MbS personally) as he cares more about U.S. public opinion and the mid-term elections than human rights considerations. Gas prices for electoral purposes always trump lofty ideals.
Biden said last year that he enacted the ban but has pushed through arms sales for the Saudis since. Reuters reported on Monday that the Biden administration is considering lifting a ban on the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia as President Biden is preparing to visit the country. Sources told Reuters that the decision hinges on whether Riyadh makes progress toward ending its war in Yemen, where a ceasefire has been holding relatively well. The report said that the Biden administration wants the ceasefire to stick. In February 2021, Biden said he was ending support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen, a policy that included a ban on offensive weapons sales. But it was later revealed that US contractors were still maintaining Saudi warplanes that were bombing Yemen, and the Biden administration approved a sale of air-to-air missiles to the Kingdom in November 2021.
More than seven years after the first airstrikes were launched on Yemen by the U.S.-supported Saudi-UAE coalition, a two-month truce with Yemen’s Ansar Allah (also referred to as Houthis) was announced at the beginning of this month. This UN-mediated truce comes after weeks of negotiations in Oman and marks the first pause in airstrikes on Yemen since March 2015. As part of the truce, the first fuel ships were allowed entry into the port of Hodeidah, and limited flights were allowed to enter Sanaa airport from Egypt and Jordan. Despite these positive developments, however, Saudi Arabia and the UAE remain entangled in Yemen — militarily and politically. Days after the truce was announced, the Saudi-led coalition dismissed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who had hitherto been touted as justification for occupying and intervening in Yemen’s conflict, and replaced him with a Presidential Leadership Council.
The US government has increased its military support for Saudi Arabia as the Gulf monarchy's war on Yemen marks its seventh anniversary. This is a clear violation of President Joe Biden's promise to end the US-backed Saudi war - a pledge he reiterated on the campaign trail in 2019 and 2020, and then again after he entered office in January 2021. With US weapons and military assistance, Saudi Arabia has relentlessly bombed Yemen, the poorest country in West Asia, since March 26, 2015. More than one-third of Saudi Arabia's airstrikes have hit civilian areas. The United Nations estimated that at least 377,000 Yemenis have died as a result of this war, in a conservative estimate as of the end of 2021.