By Bill Dores
Reprinted from Struggle – La Lucha
Joe Biden didn’t go to Arabia in July to beg for oil. That’s not the nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
He didn’t go to Palestine to promote peace. The U.S.-Israeli relationship is based on endless war. And war is what Biden’s trip was about.
He went on a mission for his corporate masters. His job: To cement a military alliance of U.S.-armed states for a proxy war against Iran.
Since 1991, when the Soviet bloc fell, the U.S. has been bombing, invading and sanctioning energy-producing countries. That 30-year war is a desperate effort to regain the stranglehold U.S. corporations once held on the world’s energy reserves.
In the 1960s, most of the region’s oil was owned directly by Western monopolies. Half of the overseas profits of U.S. corporations came from Arab and Iranian oil. Revolutions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran took much of that wealth out of their hands. They want it back.
War and destruction in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and now Ukraine saved U.S. oil monopolies and their bankers from financial disaster. In fact, it brought them their biggest profits ever. And it made the U.S. the world’s top oil and gas producer.
How to really tame inflation
If Biden seriously wanted to bring down fuel costs, he would order those monopolies to roll back prices. If he wanted to expand the global energy supply, he would lift sanctions on Iran, Syria and Venezuela, not to mention Russia.
If Biden wanted to promote peace in the “Middle East,” he would stop sending $3.8 billion worth of arms to the Israeli war machine every year. He would end massive U.S. arms sales to the Saudis and other royal tyrants of the Arabian peninsula. He would get U.S. troops out of Iraq and Syria, get the Sixth Fleet out of the Mediterranean, and the Fifth Fleet out of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.
Those actions would also crush inflation. But taking them would mean standing up to Big Oil, the military-industrial complex and Wall Street. Biden didn’t go to the “Middle East” to oppose their interests. He went to serve them.
‘Normalization’ means war
In Jerusalem, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid issued a “strategic partnership joint declaration.” Biden pledged the U.S. to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” and to continue the 2016 memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by Barack Obama’s administration when Biden was vice president, that went into effect in 2018. That’s a $38 billion arms transfer to the Zionist state over 10 years. The U.S. provided an additional $1 billion over MOU levels in supplemental missile defense funding in 2021.
Biden promised the Israeli occupation regime even more money if it launches a war. And that another 10-year MOU would follow.
In 2021 Israel borrowed $2.5 billion from Citibank for arms purchases over and above the $38 billion. It used the next U.S. MOU as collateral.
The “Abraham Accords” is a military pact
Biden and Lapid also said they would “broaden and strengthen” the Trump regime’s vaunted Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the U.S. That so-called “normalization” deal is in reality a war pact aimed at the Palestinian and Lebanese Resistance and countries like Iran and Syria that don’t pay tribute to “Corporate America.”
Palestine, petrodollars and pipelines
There is another aspect to the accords: Washington and Wall Street want to use the region’s natural gas to battle Russia for Europe’s energy market. Since the 1980s the U.S. has been trying to take that market over. “Normalization” would allow gas and oil from the Gulf states to flow across occupied Palestine to the Mediterranean and Europe.
That’s on top of the natural gas U.S. oil giant Chevron already plunders from the stolen waters off Palestine. Chevron and other U.S. firms are exploring and drilling in Palestinian, Egyptian and Cypriot waters. Their Israeli agent now seeks to steal Lebanon’s gas as well.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops occupy Syria’s oil fields. And U.S.- Israeli military operations in Syria block a planned pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to the Mediterranean.
In 2020, when the Abraham Accords were signed, Washington and Tel Aviv wanted Saudi Arabia and Qatar to openly join the alliance. The House of Saud has long collaborated covertly with the Zionist state, including in its war against Yemen.
Biden leaves, Isreal’s murder spree continues
On July 15, Biden left Jerusalem for Jeddah. That night Israel’s U.S.-made planes again rained U.S.-made missiles on the besieged Palestinian enclave of Gaza. Israeli troops resumed their murderous terror raids, cruel home demolitions and killings in towns and refugee camps on the West Bank.
Six West Bank Palestinians have been murdered by U.S.-paid Israeli troops in the 12 days since Biden’s visit. On July 29, Amjad Abu Alia, 16, was shot to death by occupation soldiers in the village of Al Mughir near Ramallah.
Within days of Biden’s visit, Israeli forces also launched new airstrikes on Syria, killing at least three people.
A summit of tribute states
In Saudi-ruled Arabia, Biden addressed a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The presidents of Egypt and Iraq and the king of Jordan attended. Along with Israel, those nine countries account for half of U.S. arms sales in the past decade.
The GCC is a gang of oil-rich monarchies that pay tribute to the United States. That is, they fork over their oil and gas revenues to U.S. oil companies, arms contractors and Wall Street banks.
Sixty percent of the private wealth of the GCC countries is invested in the U.S. Lockheed Martin opened a new production plant in 2021 to supply F16s to GCC states. Bahrain is the home base for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
Before the 1979 Revolution, the Shah made Iran a cash cow for Wall Street. When the new Islamic Republic of Iran stopped paying tribute, it became a target of Washington’s wrath.
In his speech to the GCC +3 (the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan), Biden warned of threats to the “rules-based international order” — the one under which the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia bomb and kill with impunity.
He lied that U.S. troops are no longer “engaged in combat” in the region. What are they doing in Iraq and Syria against those countries’ wishes?
There are 65,000 U.S. troops in Southwest Asia, including air and naval forces. There are 5,500 in Iraq and 600 in Syria, where they deny Syrians access to their own oil. They have no business being there.
Biden praised the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he helped engineer. He rambled about “energy security” and “regional cooperation” and “economic integration.”
Then he got to the main point: War. He invoked the oldest pretext in the imperialist box of lies: “The free flow of commerce.”
Biden claimed the U.S. had to defend “freedom of navigation” through the Bab el Mandeb and the Straits of Hormuz, which he implied is under threat by Iran. Not a word about the Saudi blockade of Yemen, Israeli attacks on Iranian tankers and U.S. sanctions on Iran, Syria, Eritrea and Yemen.
“We’ve established a new naval task force to work in partnership with many of your navies to help secure the Red Sea,” the president said. “That includes the first naval task force to use [un-manned] surface vessels and artificial intelligence technology to enhance marine — maritime awareness. … We’re also integrating air defenses and early warning systems to ensure that we can defeat airborne threats.”
He didn’t explain what business the U.S. Navy has “securing” the Red Sea, 7,413 miles from U.S. shores. But control of that waterway would allow the U.S. and Israel to choke off access to the Suez Canal.
Shirin Abu Akleh and Breonna Taylor
Palestinian journalist Shirin Abu Akleh could not report on Joe Biden’s visit to her occupied homeland. She was among 70 Palestinian civilians murdered by U.S-armed Israeli occupation troops so far this year.
Akleh was a U.S. citizen and reporter for Al Jazeera. On May 11 she was covering an Israeli army attack on the Jenin refugee camp. An Israeli sniper shot her in the head with a rifle made in Connecticut.
The murder weapon was one of hundreds of thousands of rifles the U.S. has given the Israeli army for free. The bullet that took her life was a standard U.S. Army issue.
Shirin Abu Akleh was a household name in the Arab world. The Israeli army wouldn’t assassinate a U.S. citizen working for an international news agency without approval from the top. The White House and State Department said they would demand “accountability.”
Biden forgot all about that when he landed in Israeli-occupied Palestine on July 13. Just like he forgot about Black medical worker Breonna Taylor, murdered in her bed on March 13, 2020, by Louisville cops.
On the campaign trail, Biden promised justice for Taylor. Since taking office he has refused to order the Justice Department to act against her killers in blue.
When Biden arrived in Palestine, he smiled and shook hands with rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, alternate PM Naftali Bennet, former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and war minister Benny Gantz. Gantz gave him a “video tour” of Israel’s “cutting edge” missile technology, developed with U.S. funds.
Biden accepted the settler state’s Medal of Honor from its president, Isaac Herzog. He refused to meet with the family of Shirin Abu Akleh.
Genocide in Yemen and a murder in Istanbul
On July 15, Biden flew to Saudi Arabia. Exiled Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was not alive to write about it.
On October 2, 2019, the U.S. resident was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His fiancé waited for him on the sidewalk outside. He never came out.
A hit team sent by Saudi crown prince Muhamad Bin Salman awaited Khashoggi inside the consulate. They strangled him and dismembered his body with a bone saw.
Donald Trump, then President, protected the Saudi prince. “I wouldn’t let Congress touch him,” he bragged. Earlier that year Trump had also vetoed a bill restricting U.S. involvement in the genocidal Saudi war against Yemen.
Joe Biden said in his campaign speeches that he would make the Saudi kingdom a “pariah.” He also condemned the kingdom’s genocidal war against neighboring Yemen. “I would end the … sale of materials to the Saudis where they’re going in and murdering children,” the future President said.
The war on Yemen continues; so do U.S. arms sales
When Biden took office last year, he did declare a “freeze” on “offensive weapons sales” to the Saudi regime. But in November, the White House approved a $650 million sale of “defensive” air-to-air missiles and launchers to the kingdom.
On July 11, four days before Biden’s visit, U.S.-armed Saudi troops opened fire on a village in Yemen, killing 17 people. That same day Reuters reported that “the Biden administration is discussing the possible lifting of its ban on U.S. sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia.”
Although there is supposedly a truce in Yemen, the Saudi Navy’s U.S.-made ships continue to blockade the impoverished country, where 17 million people face starvation.
Eighty-five thousand Yemeni children have starved to death since the Saudi blockade began. Over 10,000 children have been killed by the Saudi Kingdom’s U.S.-made bombs.
The Trump regime imposed sanctions on Yemen in 2020. Biden has not lifted them.
There was talk that Biden would refuse to shake hands with Prince Bin Salman. When he arrived in Jeddah, he gave the butcher of Yemen a fist bump. The next day he warmly shook hands with his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
All U.S. presidents, without exception, serve the U.S. corporate war machine. The point of this article is not to expose Biden’s dishonesty and corruption. It’s to point out the real nature of the U.S.-Israel-Saudi-GCC relationship, which the corporate media conceals.
It is a bloody protection racket. It has brought trillions of dollars in profits to U.S. corporations over the past 75 years at a cost of millions of lives. It depends on endless war.
Since its creation on stolen Palestinian land, the racist state of Israel has acted as enforcer in this protection racket. Pentagon officials routinely call the Zionist state “our unsinkable aircraft carrier.”
The only solution: ‘U.S. Out’ and a ‘Free Palestine’
Peace and cooperation in Southwest Asia, the region they call the “Middle East,” demands that the U.S. get out, with all its troops, planes, warships, weapons and spies. That includes an end to the flow of arms and dollars to the Israeli occupation regime and arms sales to the GCC.
It demands that the settler state U.S. generals call “our unsinkable aircraft carrier” be replaced with a democratic state in all of Palestine. It demands that Palestinian refugees have the right to return and that every Palestinian has the right to live in peace and freedom in every corner of the land of Palestine.
This article originally appeared in Struggle – La Lucha.
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