Presidential candidates often make promises they don’t live up to after elections. Take the capital of Israel for example.
For decades, U.S. presidential candidates promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. But reality would arrive after they were sworn in and they’d ignore the promise. Most nations don’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel since the Palestinians also claim it. While there are multiple resolutions from the United Nations, the European Union, and organized middle east nations, most of them come down to stating the designation of the city hasn’t been resolved, so no recognition. It would take a real dumbass to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy there as it’d be a huge obstacle to ever bringing peace between Israel and Palestine. Donald Trump is a huge dumbass. While he kept a campaign promise others did not, he made it clear that the United States, while he was president (sic), didn’t care about the Palestinian people.
President Obama promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where we have detained accused terrorists without granting them rights like lawyers, trials, representation, etc, etc. It’s still unclear why Obama never shut that shit down. In fact, it’s still in operation today. We are still holding prisoners from 2001 who have never had a trial or even formal charges.
This brings us to President Biden’s 2020 campaign promise of refusing to meet with Mohammed Bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, and his pledge to make that nation a “pariah.”
But reality makes not having diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia damn near impossible.
Biden ignored Saudi Arabia for the first year of his presidency. He wouldn’t take their phone calls. We still don’t have a confirmed ambassador to the nation. But, Saudi Arabia has been an ally to the U.S. for decades. We fought against Iraq together in the early 90s. Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Iran which puts them on the same side as Israel, who’s historically an enemy to every Arab state. They’re a huge customer of U.S. weapons which we hope they use against Iran. And then there’s the oil. Saudi Arabia sits on top of the world’s second-largest oil reserves (Venezuela is first) and they are the second-largest producer (we’re number one).
This is also a time when gas prices are high. They would probably come down if Saudi Arabia increases production, which Donald Trump encouraged them to decrease. See? We’re still repairing all the damage from Trump’s fuckery. And because of that, President Biden had to fist bump a murderer.
President Biden said he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah.” Then said he would visit the nation but not sit down with MBS. Then, he visited the nation, exchanged fist bumps with MBS, and sat down with him.
U.S. intelligence says Mohammed Bin Salman is directly responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist for the Washington Post and under the protection of the United States. He was butchered inside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Turkey by men who directly work for MBS.
MBS says he’s innocent but it’s really hard to make that argument when the murder was committed inside his embassy. In addition to the murder, Saudi Arabia has a terrible record on human rights. While celebrating that women can now drive cars in the nation, they’re still holding public executions. On March 12 of this year, they held a public execution of 81 people.
When Biden gave the fist bump to MBS, he legitimized him. It was like that time Donald Trump saluted a North Korean general. President Biden didn’t just give legitimacy to Saudi Arabia but also to MBS personally. They sat together under a giant portrait of the king, but the king was nowhere to be seen. Saudi Arabia is MBS’ nation. It’s under his control. So, nobody gets murdered in a Saudi Arabian embassy without MBS giving the order. Biden gave that guy a fist bump. Giving a fist bump says “you’re cool.”
Fred Ryan, the publisher of The Washington Post, which employed Khashoggi, called the exchange “shameful,” and a “display of “intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiance tweeted from his account, “Hey @POTUS, Is this the accountability you promised for my murder?”
Biden claimed he brought up the topic of Khashoggi’s murder to MBS, saying, “I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time, and what I thought of it now.” Biden claimed“He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it, and he took action against those who were responsible.”
That may not be on the same level as Donald Trump standing next to Vladimir Putin saying the Russian leader told it wasn’t Russia who meddled in the 2016 election and, “I don’t see any reason why it would be,” but it’s close.
The lasting damage of this is to President Biden’s word. He says he’ll make Russia a pariah and he’s done a good job of doing that, but Vladimir Putin also knows it’s a promise Biden can break. Putin controls a large nation sitting on a lot of oil too.
Between Donald Trump “falling in love” with Kim Jong Un and President Biden fist-bumping Mohammed Bin Salman, I’m tired of American presidents cozying up to murderers.
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