Saudi Arabia

Biden does Jeddah

Featured image President Biden offered a weak and tired set of remarks following his “meetings in Saudi Arabia,” as the White House transcript puts it. Biden talked up his supposed accomplishments. “First, as you saw this morning,” he said, “the Saudis will open their airspace to all civilian carriers. That is a big deal. A big deal.” I’ll give him that one, but is it a big deal? Jacob Magid reports for »

I Can’t Believe I Miss Jimmy Carter

Featured image I’m slowly working up to a long piece about the parallels between the hapless Jimmy Carter Administration and the Biden Clown Show that go beyond inflation, energy market disruptions, foreign policy cluelessness, and other totems of the dismal 1970s. Carter, we tend to forget today, was the Democratic establishment’s necessary and acceptable choice to outflank George Wallace, who had a real shot of winning the Democratic nomination in 1976. In 2020, »

Saudis tilt towards China, amidst doubts about Biden

Featured image Karen Elliott House, writing in the The Wall Street Journal, reports that Saudi Arabia is moving away from the United States and towards Red China. “You name it, we are doing it with China,” says one senior Saudi adviser, who labels China “a strategic partner.” To some extent, this embrace of China, powerhouse that it has become, is to be expected. The Chinese want Saudi oil. In fact, China is »

What will Biden’s policy be on Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Featured image Anne Gearan has an article in today’s Washington Post about Joe Biden and his likely approach to Israel and Saudi Arabia. I classify it as mostly good news, if true. I’m thinking, for example, of this passage: Biden has welcomed diplomatic deals among Israel and three Arab neighbors that Trump helped midwife and that are bitterly opposed by the Palestinian Authority. Biden also has said he will not revisit the »

The Power Line Show, Ep 172: Breaking Down the Oil Price War and the Coronavirus with Mark Mills

Featured image I’m posting this week’s episode a couple days ahead of our usual weekend schedule to keep up with the fast-moving news cycle about the most important story of the week—no, not the coronavirus, but rather the oil price war that broke out last weekend between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The timing may not be purely coincidental, as I discuss with my guest this week, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills. »

Strap In: It’s Going to Get Bumpy

Featured image The big news over the weekend was not the coronavirus, contrary to what you might think from watching the news. The most consequential story of the weekend is the oil price war that has broken out between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Saudi Arabia has decided to increase its production and slash its price to punish Russia for not going along with OPEC quotas designed to prop up the price of »

What Next in the Persian Gulf?

Featured image Assuming Iran is indeed behind the attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil refining facility, it represents a step-increase in Iranian-backed aggression in the region. The Wall Street Journal‘s Spencer Jakab says this attack is “the big one“: Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications. Ever since the dual 1970s oil »

Saudi oil facilities attacked, Trump administration suspects Iran

Featured image Without wanting for even a minute to downplay the immense importance of what Brett Kavanaugh did or didn’t do at a party in 1983, I think by far the major news story right now is the drone attack on two major Saudi oil facilities. The two damaged installations process the vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s crude output. Thus, the attacks may significantly disrupt world oil supplies. Who is responsible for »

Jamal Khashoggi’s fake op-eds

Featured image The Washington Post has spent months lionizing Jamal Khashoggi — the victim of a brutal murder ordered, it seems, by the Saudi Arabian government — as a fighter for democracy and a journalist of the highest integrity. The Post lauded Khashoggi so persistently that Time Magazine named him its Person of the Year. Though condemning the murder of Khashoggi, we have pushed back against the Post’s idealized version of its »

The Mike Lee-Bernie Sanders show

Featured image Sen. Mike Lee used to be something of a conservative hero. More recently, he’s become heavy into working with Democrats. Not just any Democrats, but some of the most liberal, most stridently partisan Senate Dems. He and Sen. Dick Durbin combined to sponsor the jailbreak legislation that may well be on the verge of passing the Senate. A few years ago Lee and Durbin collaborated on a jailbreak bill that »

Middle East disconnect at the Washington Post

Featured image The Washington Post takes time out from urging that the U.S. blow up relations with Saudi Arabia, as retribution for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, to provide a clear-eyed assessment of reality in the Middle East. The Post’s Liz Sly finds that Russia has become the region’s rising power. Russia has made huge inroads, commercial and diplomatic, throughout the Middle East. The nations that now woo Putin run the gamut »

Fake history from the Washington Post

Featured image President Kennedy, in discussing U.S. policy towards Latin America, reportedly described three types of regimes: democracy, dictatorship, and communist. He explained that the U.S. prefers the first, but is willing to accept the second in order to avoid the third. Nearly two decades later, Jeane Kirkpatrick, one of the architects of President Reagan’s foreign policy, distinguished between traditional authoritarian governments on the one hand, and revolutionary autocracies and totalitarian regimes »

Criticism of Trump’s Saudi decision misses mark

Featured image President Trump’s decision to continue backing the Saudi regime even after it had Jamal Khashoggi murdered has brought criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. That’s to be expected. However, the criticism I’ve seen so far is superficial and, in at least one case, dishonest. Let’s begin with the dishonest criticism. The Committee to Protect Journalists said this: If you boil the White House statement down to its essence, »

Trump stands with Saudi Arabia

Featured image President Trump today announced that, notwithstanding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, “the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.” The essence of Trump’s explanation for the decision is contained in the first sentence: “The world is a dangerous place!” Elaborating on this obvious but oft-neglected truth, Trump cited our interest in »

Jamal Khashoggi, the man and the myth

Featured image Jamal Khashoggi the myth is the guy we read about in the Washington Post — fearless democrat, opponent of tyranny. Jamal Khashoggi the man is more like the guy Joseph Duggan writes about in American Greatness — a charming, cynical Saudi power player for whom democracy was an ends to a means, at best. That’s why even the New York Times could not quite go along with the version of »

Is the CIA a Rogue Agency?

Featured image Someone leaked the CIA’s assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed the murder of Islamist Jamal Khashoggi to the Washington Post. The Post’s account sounds like it came from inside the CIA, but we can’t be sure of that: perhaps someone in another agency, like the State Department, who was familiar with the CIA’s report was the leaker. The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin »

Khashoggi, Netanyahu, and the Washington Post

Featured image Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post blasts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not taking a hard line on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Diehl’s op-ed comes as no surprise. The Post hates Netanyahu and Khashoggi wrote op-eds for for the paper. Diehl is normally a pretty sensible guy. But in this instance his rage has steered him off course. Virtually every »