JERUSALEM, Israel – President Joe Biden is back in Washington after a five-day Mideast trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia. He leaves behind a region at a dangerous crossroads.
During the Saudi Arabia leg, President Biden emphasized the U.S. commitment to the region. He talked of wanting to prevent Russia and China from filling a Mideast vacuum he admits the U.S. created.
“So let me conclude by summing all this up in one sentence. The United States is invested in building a positive future in the region in partnership with all of you. And the United States is not going anywhere,” Biden said.
A question from the beginning was how the president would deal with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who he believes ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The answer came in a fist bump, a picture seen around the world.
Despite this awkward relationship, part of Biden’s wish list included asking the oil giant to produce more hoping it would lower the price of gas in the U.S. He seemed to get some of what he wanted.
“The kingdom, in its role, had announced it increased its maximum production capacity to 13 million barrels a day. The kingdom has no spare capacity to increase production beyond that,” said Bin Salman.
The greater issue for the region, however, is Iran’s growing nuclear program and uranium enrichment.
“We call on them to comply with international law, to not interfere with the internal affairs of other nations, to cooperate with the international atomic energy agency, and to fulfill its obligations in this regard,” the crown prince said.
Biden sees diplomacy as the best solution to stop Iran’s nuclear program, although, for some in Israel, that’s not good enough.
“Certain key people in the IDF were, as they say, freaked out, by Biden’s unwillingness to do anything at all to prevent Iran from putting nuclear weapons together and deploying them against Israel,” said foreign policy analyst Caroline Glick.
Glick calls the Biden administration “backward” for her belief that it confuses friend and foe.
“Iran is an enemy of the United States. It seeks its annihilation. And on the other hand, Saudi Arabia has been an ally for eighty years, you know, for better or worse,” Glick told CBN News. “It doesn’t make sense why the Biden administration would want to give some sort of celebrity discount to Iran and treat Saudi Arabia so harshly when the former is America’s enemy and the latter is America’s ally.”
As for Israel, with a caretaker government and upcoming elections, Glick says this is a dangerous season.
“We’re in a very difficult and trying time right now and hope for the best and hope for the best in terms of the election. So that we will get more competent leadership elected and into office in four months…we’ll have to hope that we’ll be able to weather this very dangerous, dangerous storm.”