The poverty of US President Joe Biden’s thinking and the inappropriateness of his language was evident when he said on CNN that “there will be consequences” for the decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day.
Biden is still accustomed to the old thinking that nations must be obedient to America to be sovereign nations. Biden’s approach to the Kingdom is ridiculous because Saudi Arabia is not the only member of OPEC but is only one country among 13.
OPEC has collective responsibility, therefore, Biden has to deal with 12 other nations to discuss the reasons for the recent decisions to lower oil production levels.
The comparison Biden is making between OPEC’s relations with Russia and its relations with the US is even more ludicrous. OPEC’s oil is the lifeline of the West. Its economies cannot survive without importing OPEC’s oil. OPEC’s relationship with Russia is a marketing tool to help the world economies do well following the economic slump that dominated the economies of many countries in the world as a result of COVID-19.
Biden is overlooking the fact that oil prices, as determined by OPEC, are institutional arrangements that take into consideration the economic situations in the countries that buy oil from OPEC, and the nations that buy none of OPEC’s oil.
Saudi Arabia’s role in OPEC has been to organize the market competition on a global scale for the benefit of every country. Saudi Arabia did not object to the US increasing its own oil production to reduce its dependence on imported oil.
Saudi Arabia had no grudges when Europe began diversifying its oil imports by buying, for instance, more oil from Russia.
It is also worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia did not register any complaints about the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.
Since Biden was not careful with his language, the quality of his talk threatening Saudi Arabia should not be taken seriously. The US president was not criticizing Saudi Arabia; he was acting in a hostile manner toward this great nation.
The logic of OPEC was straightforward. It was reiterated more than once that the decision was purely economic. Politics is the motive Biden is displaying when he launches his anti-Saudi diatribe. The vocabulary the White House’s spokesperson employed to explain Biden’s hate for Saudi Arabia is silly and confusing.
According to news reports, John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, said Biden would work with Congress “to think through what that relationship ought to look like going forward. And I think he’s going to be willing to start to have those conversations right away. I don’t think this is anything that’s going to have to wait or should wait, quite frankly, for much longer.”
This is nonsense vocabulary and meaningless as well.
The series of past facts about OPEC have been revealed regularly as a good and balanced formula to square the power of the economic supply with the pull of human need.
There were many crises in the history of OPEC’s long relationship with the US since its foundation in 1960. Saudi Arabia warned against a breakdown in the relationship between oil-exporting and importing nations. Biden is not abiding by a strong historical bond between the US and Saudi Arabia that helped the two nations consult each other when there was a problem in their bilateral relations or in America’s relations with OPEC.
Biden has a mindset to attack everything Saudi Arabia does. He has the same narrative every time he speaks about Saudi Arabia; he is rethinking America’s ties with Saudi Arabia. He keeps repeating the same story often, to the extent he is carried by a mood of anger against the Saudis, who are persistent in supporting their government and its foreign economic policies.
Saudi Arabia is a strong nation. It does not fear any other country. It does not plan its foreign policy according to the dictates of other countries. It has its own independent economic, military, and foreign policies. The Kingdom has an active diplomatic role.
It is the pillar of the Arab world and Islamic world. The nation can explain its position to the world. It is fully cognizant of the fact that most of the countries in the world support the production-reduction scheme.
Saudi Arabia is a nation that persists in defense of its own supremacy. It strives for the welfare of all of humankind. Biden’s statements about Saudi Arabia are useless.
• Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. Twitter: @Mr_Alshammeri