Recently, President Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia to visit Prince Mohammed.
During the encounter, President Biden brought up the murder of the U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Prince Mohammed claimed that he was "not personally responsible" for it, but President Biden told him he disagreed.
U.S. intelligence also believes that the crown prince probably approved the killing of the esteemed journalist.
He then discussed other matters: high oil prices in the United States are affecting President Biden's political reputation, and Saudi Arabia is well-known for its wealth of oil, although the country wants to shift its economy so that it is not so heavily reliant on gas.
"Rising gas prices, which were compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are one of the factors that prompted Biden to reassess his approach to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. president had long refused to speak to Prince Mohammed, the presumed heir to the throne currently held by his father, King Salman. But those concerns have been eclipsed by other challenges, including Iranian aggression in the Middle East and the faltering effort to use diplomacy to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. At the same time, Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen its security relationship with the United States and secure investments to transform its economy into one less reliant on pumping oil." —Aamer Mahani, Aya Batrawy, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Chris Megerian
For a long time, it seems that the U.S. has benefited from Saudi Arabia's oil supply, and we have said—and done— all sorts of things to maintain some semblance of a business relationship, no matter how harmful that might have been to the people of Saudi Arabia in many cases: America always seems to have an agenda, especially when it comes to interacting with the Middle East and profiting off of its oil!
"The United States played down expectations for any immediate increases in Saudi oil production, which could help alleviate high gas prices that are politically damaging to Biden back home. But the White House said it anticipated 'further steps' over coming weeks that 'will help stabilize markets considerably.'"—Aamer Mahani, Aya Batrawy, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Chris Megerian
President Biden had vowed to treat Saudi Arabia as a "pariah" due its horrifying human rights record, yet he has suddenly changed his tune...
"There had been considerable speculation about both the choreography and the substance of how Biden, who had vowed as a presidential candidate to treat Saudi Arabia as a 'pariah' for its human rights record, would go about interacting with Prince Mohammed." —Aamer Mahani, Aya Batrawy, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Chris Megerian
Also, President Biden was a candidate who proposed an ambitious strategy to tackle climate change, yet he is surprisingly eager to engage in actions that will continue to pollute the planet and stall America's transition towards clean energy, since he appears to believe doing this will improve his political reputation. I'm disappointed, but I'm not particularly surprised.