https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2022/10/11/nyt-biden-to-re-evaluate-us-saudi-relationship-after-previous-re-evaluations-backfired-n502466

Contrary to public opinion, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result does not define insanity. It does, however, define incompetence, as well as a singular lack of strategic or tactical thinking.

Nowhere has this proven more evident than in Joe Biden’s energy policy, including his handling of the US-Saudi relationship. After promising to re-evaluate it to make the Saudis “pariahs,” Biden’s idiotic energy policy forced him to re-evaluate his re-evaluation enough to make a humiliating pilgrimage to Riyadh. Despite Biden’s fist-bump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an effort to goose production, the Saudis pushed OPEC+ to cut production by two million barrels a day.

And you know what that means? You guessed it — another “re-evaluation”!

President Biden is re-evaluating the relationship with Saudi Arabia after it teamed up with Russia to cut oil production in a move that bolstered President Vladimir V. Putin’s government and could raise American gasoline prices just before midterm elections, a White House official said on Tuesday.

“I think the president’s been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to re-evaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit,” the official, John F. Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council at the White House, said on CNN. “And certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where he is.”

Mr. Kirby signaled openness to retaliatory measures proposed by Democratic congressional leaders outraged by the oil production cut announced last week by the international cartel known as OPEC Plus. Among other things, leading Democrats have proposed curbing American security cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including arms sales, and stripping OPEC members of their legal immunity so they can be sued for violations of American antitrust laws.

“The president’s obviously disappointed by the OPEC decision and is going to be willing to work with Congress as we think about what the right relationship with Saudi Arabia needs to be going forward,” Mr. Kirby said. He sounded a note of urgency. “The timeline’s now and I think he’s going to be willing to start to have those conversations right away,” he said. “I don’t think this is anything that’s going to have to wait or should wait quite frankly for much longer.”

What does this mean, anyway? This White House has done nothing but “re-evaluate” the Saudis since it took office, and it has done so out of an abject weakness they created themselves. The Saudis would have mattered a lot less had Biden not implemented policies that curtailed exploration of, punished investment in, and all but declared oil and natural gas activity an extinct form of energy. Biden had to go hat in hand and fist-bump at the ready as a humiliation for oil resources Biden doesn’t want to produce at home in a desperate attempt to keep his “incredible transition” in place, as well as his radical-enviro support.

The Saudis knew Biden came to them as a supplicant. More to the point, they knew that Biden hadn’t changed his opinion of them either, and didn’t trust his sudden change to a supposed fist-bumping pal. They took the opportunity to play hardball with Biden in the same manner that he threatened to play hardball with him, and thanks to Biden’s idiotic energy policies, they had a much better fastball than Biden did.

And they still do. Whether one likes the Saudis or not, they can impact the global economy and the national-security situation of the US and its allies, especially when the US decides to give up its energy leverage first. The Saudis also have other forms of leverage; for instance, they’re the linchpin of the containment strategy for Iran in the event of a nuclear-weapons breakout, as well as the facilitator of normalized relations between Israel and other Sunni nations. Pushing them out of the US orbit puts all of those strategic considerations at risk, and practically dares the Saudis to embrace China and Russia in our place.

None of Biden’s “re-evaluations” appear to take these factors into consideration. Nor does his fantasy energy policies, which promise a Green Utopia that cannot possibly materialize that will come anywhere near the energy needs of this country — not now, and not in the foreseeable future.

What we need to do now to marginalize the Saudis and OPEC+ is to massively scale up exploration, extraction, and refining, and then flex our muscles as an independent competitor in the global energy markets. To do that, however, will require Americans to reconsider Joe Biden and the rest of his team of complete incompetents.

Note: I fixed a weird cut-and-paste error on my part that I didn’t notice until shortly after this first published.

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