Geopolitical Genius Donald J. Has Backed Saudi Arabia’s MBS to the Hilt Only to Get a Price War on US Shale in Return

Trump has nothing to show for his Saudi First policy except betrayal

Trump stuck with MBS when many had turned against him

Donald Trump made one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency in the spring of 2017, when he offered an unconditional embrace to the then-emerging 31-year-old ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, and adopted his agenda of aggressively confronting Iran. Three years later, as Trump grapples with the greatest crisis he has faced, that choice is costing him dearly.

Trump’s slow and stumbling response to the novel coronavirus pandemic helped accelerate last week’s stock market pe and mounting public uncertainty. But the trouble in the markets was also turbocharged by the latest reckless moves by the Saudi crown prince. Against the advice of his own ministers, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, moved to flood markets with cheap Saudi oil, causing the global price to plunge and endangering the U.S. oil industry.

That, no doubt, prompted the phone call Trump made to MBS last Monday, as stocks were plunging. It’s an easy guess that the president’s message resembled the public statement of his Energy Department, which decried “attempts by state actors to manipulate and shock oil markets.”

Yet MBS’s reaction was to thumb his nose at the U.S. president. On Wednesday, his oil minister announced another big increase in petroleum production. U.S. stocks swooned again.

Then came the rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia on a base in Iraq, which killed two U.S. servicemen. That set off a tit-for-tat cycle of U.S. airstrikes and new rocket attacks that has brought Trump back to the brink of war with Iran — a resumption, at the worst possible moment, of an entirely unnecessary conflict that he embarked upon at the behest of MBS and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since making Riyadh the site of his first foreign trip as president, Trump has stubbornly defended the Saudi ruler through multiple misadventures, from the disastrous war in Yemen and failed boycott of neighboring Qatar to the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The big Saudi purchases of U.S. weapons that MBS promised Trump have not materialized. Instead, the president’s reward is to be stiffed by his supposed ally at his moment of greatest need, with U.S. markets whipsawing and U.S. soldiers dying.

The Saudis claim that MBS is not intentionally seeking to sabotage Trump. The crown prince’s real quarrel, they say, is with Russia’s Vladi­mir Putin, [which I say is not very likely] who refused to go along with a Saudi proposal to cut oil production to stabilize prices, thus prompting MBS to rashly pump more while cutting prices.

Yet, in doing so, the crown prince is merely abetting a prime Putin aim, which is to drive the fragile U.S. fracking industry out of business. Not surprisingly, the Russians reacted calmly to MBS’s dumping gambit, saying they could live with rock-bottom oil prices for six to 10 years. U.S. frackers can’t — nor, for that matter, can MBS, who has already strained the kingdom’s finances to the breaking point.

One of the most consistent themes of Trumpian rhetoric has been the ways in which U.S. allies have supposedly exploited Washington’s weakness to pursue their own interests at America’s expense. In one of his first ventures into foreign policy, Trump bought an ad in the New York Times in 1987 to make that case against, among others, Saudi Arabia, “a country whose very existence is in the hands of the United States.” He wrote: “The world is laughing at America’s politicians as we protect ships we don’t own, carrying oil we don’t need, destined for allies who won’t help.”

Saudi Arabia still depends on the United States for its survival. U.S. warships are still protecting tankers carrying Saudi oil in the Persian Gulf, even though the United States needs imported petroleum far less than it did in 1987. What’s more, Trump has dispatched thousands of U.S. troops to the kingdom to defend oil fields from Iranian attack, escalating tensions that have now led to multiple U.S. deaths and injuries.

And yet, Trump has been curiously passive as MBS has repeatedly worked against U.S. interests. Consider the case of Saud al-Qahtani, the close aide to the crown prince who is believed to have overseen the murder of Khashoggi and a hacking campaign targeting MBS’s foreign critics. Senior U.S. officials have repeatedly pushed MBS to hold Qahtani accountable, or at least sideline him; yet as Ben Hubbard of the New York Times reports, “he is still commanding armies of bots and overseeing the kingdom’s electronic spying operations.”

Or consider Trump, with his reelection prospects in danger of crumbling along with the U.S. economy, asking the crown prince to act in his own, as well as the U.S., interest and stop pushing down oil prices amid a market panic — and then remaining silent as a dictator he has coddled for three years does the opposite. Surely, Vladi­mir Putin is laughing.

Source: The Washington Post

  1. Occams says

    ‘dictator’? Kim? Netantahu?

  2. IM DeRose says

    WaPo tells no lies…

  3. Per says

    ” even though the United States needs imported petroleum far less than it did in 1987″
    I am not so sure that this statement is true, the subsidy/free $ based ponzi scheme called fracking is not making murca energy independent but funnel tax$ to owners.

  4. kennyalligood says

    I believe the author is confusing US propaganda (“Then came the rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia on a base in Iraq”) with the more realistic … then came the rocket attack by unknown parties so the US bombs a part of the Iraqi military (PMU) and threatens of more retaliation …

  5. All_has_An _END_. says

    in simple term the US Empire is weak and in decline (nothing new here) so the small countries are slowly taking advantage, no longer listing and obeying .It is indeed a slow process

  6. pinOKYO nOSE says

    “geo-political genius” ! what is this MAD magazine over here?

    1. Zaphod Braden says


  7. el disgustador says

    It is what Mr.Adelson says that matters. Trump was just following orders after all…Go figure…

    1. Zaphod Braden says

      ONE of the nice things about Trump’s being President is that what he does brings out the Jews’ control over the USA into sharp relief.
      If Trump does not do as his Israeli Masters order the EPSTEIN/MOSSAD TAPES get released. … Trump was good buddies with Epstein but Trump DINDU NUFFIN …. yeah sure. All those hookers Trump had to PAY OFF and cheating on every wife and he DINDU-NUFFIN …
      It is the ADELSON Administration . …. Bought and PAID FOR.
      Remember how “rich” Trump was “self funded” and therefore could not be influenced by contributions?”! Well $259 million bought him. Those funds came from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus, donors who have made no secret of their desire for the United States to destroy the Islamic Republic. Adelson, who alongside his wife Miriam are the biggest donors to Trump and the GOP, contributed $205 million to Republicans in the past two cycles and reportedly sent $35 million Trump’s presidential bid.
      Sheldon Adelson BRIBED Trump and the Republicans …. This does not include the “favorable and unusual” so-called loans granted Kushner and ?Trump? who is notorious for being in financial difficulty and is desperately hiding his taxes. Trump has lots of energy for defending his tax returns but very little for defending Our borders. Trump’s lawyers will appeal and fight this tooth and nail for his Taxes. But when some P.O.S. “judge” treasonously rules against defending this Nation’s borders from Invaders Trump just shruggs and submits. Makes empty threats about where to put the Invaders, and goes back to putting ISRAEL FIRST.
      Trump has diverted American resources to granting Sheldon Adelson’s every wish for a FOREIGN nation.
      Trump has NOT fulfilled his DUTY and Promises to the American People as he has focused on Putting Israel FIRST.

  8. Florian Crazzi says

    US of Terror’s Second best friend and First Best Friend n ally , WOW With friends like that , who needs Enemy’s . Good choice Donald/ the Baby Killer

  9. cechas vodobenikov says

    birds of the same species…amerikan/SA people r puritanical, barbaric

    1. IM DeRose says

      …and their only saving grace is at least they’re not slavs….

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