Peace Breaks Out In The Middle East As US Influence Declines: From OPEC To OPEC+

Tilak Doshi writes at Forbes:

Historians will mark the low point of Pax Americana in the Middle East by several rather brutal humiliations that American prestige has undergone under President Joe Biden’s presidency. Examples would include having phone call requests by the US president declined by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in March last year and mass media pictures of the impersonal fist-bump between Joe Biden and de facto ruler and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman (or “MBS” as he is familiarly called) in July.

The US president had come to Riyadh with a begging bowl but failed to convince the Saudis to rescue the US gasoline market from high prices by opening the Arab oil tap in time for the mid-term US elections. This was after the President Biden had promised to make the Kingdom a “pariah” during his 2020 election campaign in response to the killing of Adnan Khashoggi.

With the decline of US dominance in Middle East security affairs, a spate of intra-regional diplomatic moves towards peace seems to have broken out. This might sound ironic to observers of American diplomacy and military power in the region. But an assertive Saudi foreign policy under its Crown Prince and the vastly altered circumstances caused by Western sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas exports saw Riyadh distance itself from Washington.

It is a comprehensive article about the decline of US influence in the Middle East due to the policies of the Biden Administration.

The Middle East regional order has undergone a dramatic realignment under President Biden’s watch. Following the landmark Chinese-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran on resuming ties last month, the US was again left on the sidelines a few weeks later. It could only passively observe yet another major diplomatic initiative, this time between Saudi Arabia and Syria, mediated by Russia. After rounds of discussions in Moscow and Riyadh in recent weeks, the emerging Damascus-Riyadh rapprochement is signalled by a series of reciprocal state visits by the region’s leaders.

At a stroke, MBS displaced the “oil-for-security” deal that has lasted over three quarters of a century between the US and Saudi Arabia since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s historic meeting with King Ibn Saud in 1945.

It gives a history of the relationship between the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the OPEC Block

The Yom Kippur War (1973) and resultant OPEC embargo that led oil prices to skyrocket in the United States threatened the status of the fiat dollar. In the wake of the oil price shock, President Nixon empowered then secretary of the Treasury, William Simon, to get the Saudi monarchy “to finance America’s widening deficit with its newfound [oil] wealth.” In a further elaboration of the original Roosevelt-Ibn Saud “oil-for-security” deal, the Saudis under King Faisal promised to denominate global oil purchases only in dollars and in return Washington would provide military aid and materiel to the Kingdom. The quid pro quo came in the form of guarantees that the Saudis would “plow billions of their petrodollar revenue back into Treasuries and finance spending” of every US administration since.

Doshi discusses the failure of Western Sanctions imposed upon Russia since the beginning of the 2022 invasion of Ukraine

The Russian economy is now slated by the IMF’s latest economic outlook to outperform Britain and Germany this year. Russia posted a record current account surplus of $227 billion in 2022, up 86% from 2021. Russia replaced revenues lost from its oil and gas exports to Europe with a pivot to China, India, UAE, Turkey and other countries not participating in the Western-led sanctions (i.e. the rest of the world outside the “collective West”). Its oil export levels have not seen any significant reduction. Last week, Reuters reported that oil loadings from Russia’s western ports in April rose to the highest since 2019. Though sold at discounted prices, Russian oil and gas exports to markets in the “Global South” have enjoyed relatively high international commodity prices even if below the peaks immediately after the Ukraine invasion.

Gone are the days when the OPEC cartel with its Saudi lynchpin played a role as the US-allied “central banker of oil”, opening the oil spigot if oil prices went too high for the Western-dominated global economy. It is the OPEC+ group that is now in the driver’s seat, combining Saudi Arabia (and its Gulf allies) with Russia. The former is the world’s largest exporter of crude oil while the latter is the world’s second largest oil exporter and largest natural gas exporter. Absurdly enough, the third heavy weight contender in the global oil and gas trade, the US itself, is hobbled by an administration which boasts a ‘whole-of-government’ commitment to anti-fossil fuel climate policies.

To read the full article at Forbes click here.

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Philip Mulholland
April 29, 2023 6:05 am

Peace Breaks Out In The Middle East As US Influence Declines

Makes you wonder who was really causing all the strife.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
April 29, 2023 6:59 am

No, Philip, it wasn’t the Queen. But she did die in October, and then this. Makes you wonder, eh?

Reply to  Rich Davis
April 29, 2023 9:56 am

Thanks for a nice chuckle this morning. The relationships are much the same as CO2 and CAGW, spurious.

Now that the US is mostly out of the Middle East, it is amazing how all the terrorism has stopped. (Do I need the sarc tag?)

Reply to  Drake
April 29, 2023 11:46 am

Fewer US troops are in the Middle East than 20 years ago, but I wouldn’t say we’re mostly out of the region.


Air Force:


Nimitz CSG has been visiting Thailand, which counts as Indo-Pacific Theater. Dunno if she will enter the IO. This deployment has been oriented toward the South China Sea.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
April 29, 2023 9:32 am

If one knew nothing about the history of the middle east, one might wonder.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
May 1, 2023 3:48 am

“Makes you wonder who was really causing all the strife.”

You think there won’t be any more strife in the region now?

I would say the “peace” deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran is temporary, for political purposes.

I think the Saudi Leader is sticking his finger in Biden’s eye for calling the Saudi leader a murderer, and that is the Saudi leader’s motivation.

Biden is a damn fool. And his debacle in Saudi Arabia is just one example.

Joseph Zorzin
April 29, 2023 6:13 am

If America simply gets back to producing all its own energy- we could just abandon the Middle East. Who cares if Russia or China moves in? It’ll be nothing but headaches for them. Let them have it. And since Europe gets much of its energy there- let Europe fight for it if necessary. America needs to focus on the far East.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 29, 2023 6:36 am

Shutting down your own – previously self sufficient – FF industry, clamp down hard on developing new wells, planting wind turbines hoping the wind always blows at the right time, whilst royally pissing off the Saudis and then instigating (some) sanctions against Russia whilst arming Ukraine.

Don’t know what eff off is in Arabic but I guess its diplomatic equivalent was conveyed to Biden with vigour. Putin doesn’t need to fight the US, just get into bed with the Saudis/CCP and screw its source of deficit funding and watch it implode…no wonder the US is best mates with Japan…

I can just imagine the shenanigans being dreamt up by the CIA to scupper these paragons of democratic virtue – their egos and dreams of domination will hopefully be their Achilles heel..

Reply to  186no
April 29, 2023 7:28 am

‘Don’t know what eff off is in Arabic’

Imshi, I believe.

Reply to  Disputin
April 30, 2023 12:00 pm

شكرًا لك

Rich Davis
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 29, 2023 7:02 am

America needs to focus on the far East.

I know, right? Like Maine and New Hampshire. Ignore those kooks in California.

Reply to  Rich Davis
April 29, 2023 10:00 am

OK Rich, that is 2 chuckles this morning. Happily I was not drinking my coffee either time.

Also, If the US had used the Department of Energy to produce energy, we would not have been involved in the Middle East for 50 years now.

Reply to  Drake
April 29, 2023 12:52 pm

It was never about energy security, it was always about control and profit.

America has managed the worlds energy resources for generations, partly through good old business and international diplomacy, but mostly at the point of a gun to men in sandals.

Along comes a nation that wears boots and operates a regular military rather than a terrorist organisation and not only America but the collective resources of NATO are faced with a different proposition, a country that can bite back.

Goodness knows if Ukraine can kick the Russians out their country but if they can’t the concept of globalism is finished. Globalism Lite doesn’t really work. NATO will be exposed for what it is, another vanity project which, to be fair, it wasn’t during the cold war, it meant something then.

If Russia prevails in Ukraine the BRICS nations will be bolstered by a growing membership which will begin asking very awkward questions of the UN, the IMF and innumerable other global NGO’s that have got far too big for their boots.

Reply to  HotScot
April 30, 2023 8:04 am

No chance of Ukraine winning as their losses are huge and that is while fighting to defend territory. It gets much worse when you attack, especially against a well defended position. The West can’t supply enough equipment for Ukraine to mount a serious offensive as there is not the manufacturing base to provide it in anything less than a year to 18 months. The West can’t even keep up with munitions such is the rate of usage. The question is can the West really afford to up the production of tanks and guns – unlikely. The legacy media droned on about the Spring offensive in their ignorance of the mud that lasts through until Summer and it has been snowy and wet this month. So in a repeat of the delay on Operation Barbarossa, nothing major can happen until June. I would expect Russia to achieve its objectives by the end of the Summer and then see a change in the western attitude to continuing the anti-Russian warmongering.

Reply to  gezza1298
April 30, 2023 8:20 pm

Russia has lost more than twice as many killed, wounded, missing, captured and deserted as Ukraine. Granted, that could change if Ukraine goes on the counteroffensive. But Russia’s best troops are dead. It’s scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Milo
May 1, 2023 3:58 am

“But Russia’s best troops are dead. It’s scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

Good point. And the new recruits apparently are not too enthusiastic about going into battle.

The Ukrainians, on the other hand, are defending their homes and families, and are very motivated to continue the fight.

Besides being adequately supplied, psychology plays a major role in any military battle.

The pychological advantage is definitely with the Ukrainians.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  gezza1298
May 1, 2023 3:55 am

“The West can’t even keep up with munitions such is the rate of usage.”

I hear Russia is having similar problems. They are buying artillery shells from North Korea now, and drones from Iran.

Maybe both sides will run out of ammunition and declare the war over..

I think you are a little too confident in the Russian military.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 30, 2023 3:15 am

America needs to focus on America

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 1, 2023 4:04 am

Yes, the USA needs to focus on producing all the essential ingredients our society needs, here on U.S. soil.

It’s time to stop allowing dictators to have control over the things our society needs in order to function properly.

If the Chicoms were to cut us off from their products tomorrow, the USA would be in BIG trouble.

We should do what we must to prevent this from happening, and that means producing our own products in the United States.

Tom Halla
April 29, 2023 6:17 am

Biden (and Obama) playing footsie with Iran, and the Washington Post/Jeff Bezos publishing a column by a Muslim Brotherhood fan boy, Adnan Kashoggi were the issues.
The Democrats had the delusion that the Muslim Brotherhood were somehow other than the neo-fascists they have always been, and that they were somehow “progressive”. The Republicans have been delusional on Middle East politics, but not to that degree. The Iranians are serious when they chant “Death to America”, which the Obama/Biden State Department seems to ignore.
Biden’s crew should have expected this.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 29, 2023 10:04 am

Biden’s crew should have expected this.

You think his crew, made up of 95% + college gadgidiotes from the ivory towers of academia with no business experience has a clue about the real world.

Tom, I know you to be much smarter than that from previous posts.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 29, 2023 6:00 pm

“The Iranians are serious when they chant “Death to America”, which the Obama/Biden State Department seems to ignore.”

Not really, they seem to have take it to heart. Death to America? The donkeys are saying, “good idea!”. They are destroying America as we speak, but cloak it in phrases like “fundamental transformation” or “defending our democracy”.

Tom Halla
Reply to  johnesm
April 29, 2023 7:01 pm

Those overeducated (supply your own epithet) agree, which is why they do not want to prevent the Mullahs in their nihilism.
Instead of whatever the number of the Imam who is supposed to create paradise, they want The Radiant Future, promised by the Soviets.

April 29, 2023 6:30 am

Then ultimately Iraq and defence of the petrodollar only delayed the inevitable

John Oliver
April 29, 2023 7:40 am

What a mess. Hard to believe that just less than 4 years ago things were actually looking up( and remarkably Geo political and military security too). Seems like a life time ago now, like a different age. Hmmm , what could have possibly happened?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Oliver
May 1, 2023 4:10 am

That’s the difference between good leadership and bad leadership.

Our leaders really can make a difference, good or bad. We should concentrate on electing good leaders in the future. The current president is an example of a *very* bad leader. The worst we have ever had, imo.

April 29, 2023 8:04 am

At least the Saudis have figured this out. The other U.S. allies are either more delusional (Europe), desperate (Taiwan), or historically remote (Aust./NZ).

story tip

The U.S. Military Relies on One Louisiana Factory. It Blew Up.

Decades of consolidation have left the Pentagon vulnerable to mishaps–including when the sole maker of a crucial type of gunpowder went offline

Peta of Newark
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 29, 2023 10:49 am

‘somebody’ has gone completely insane:

Quote:The Biden administration is essentially unilaterally disarming the US military and prioritizing the defense of Ukraine, a country which the US has no security commitments to and no national interest in defending whatsoever. Thanks to Biden’s decision to ship tens of thousands of missiles, rockets and over four million rounds of heavy ammunition including artillery rounds to Ukraine, the US is ill-prepared to fight a great power war against Russia or China.
A recent congressional wargame showed that the US would run out of long-range precision guided munitions after the first day of high-intensity combat with the PRC if Biden decided to go to war with China to defend Taiwan,” the national security expert stressed.

Something very similar went past recently concerning UK military = that it would run out of ammo almost instantly should ‘anything happen’ and that was before we sent the kitchen-sink to Ukraine.

Face it – none of it has had much effect has it?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 29, 2023 11:22 am

It’s not as if the Biden Crime Family has been collecting millions of dollars in bribes from the CCP over the years and would possibly arrange circumstances so that nothing can be done when the Taiwan invasion starts. That’s crazy talk right there.

And as far as I’m aware, nobody in the BCF ever collected bribes from Ukraine either!

This is all unsubstantiated nonsense! I know there’s totally debunked ultra-MAGA claims about laptops (all Russian disinformation of course).

Anywho, we don’t need no precision guided munitions to issue indignant tweets now do we?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 1, 2023 4:28 am

“It’s not as if the Biden Crime Family has been collecting millions of dollars in bribes from the CCP over the years and would possibly arrange circumstances so that nothing can be done when the Taiwan invasion starts. That’s crazy talk right there.”

All Biden would have to do is to refuse to get involved in the invasion of Taiwan.

Just like with Afghanistan, even though every credible advisor told Biden his withdrawal plans were a big mistake, none of them could change the course of events because Biden wanted the withdrawal to take place and damn the consequences, and nobody could contradict him.

Biden could say we are not going to defend Taiwan. He could give lots of good reason for doing so. The political fallout would be huge but what would he care, he’s getting paid good money to take that position.

Let’s hope Biden isn’t in office, if or when the Chicoms attack Taiwan.

I still don’t think an attack on Taiwan is inevitable. It all depends on one man’s ego (Xi). That’s the only thing driving this.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 1, 2023 2:01 pm

So I’m sure you caught my sarcasm. I’m similar to the old guy who types everything ALL CAPS!! except everything I write is ALL SARC, and I need a notsarc tag for the exceptions.

Anyway, my snarky theory is that you empty the armory so that you can say we woulda done something except we had no choice but to back down because we had to give everything to our valiant allies in Ukraine. This way both of his customers get their money’s worth. Taiwan could have bought some Hunter paintings like any other corrupt government. They only have themselves to blame, right?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 30, 2023 3:21 am

It would be a good time for Argentina to grab the Falklands

Rich Davis
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
April 30, 2023 6:06 am

I think you mean the Maldives?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 1, 2023 4:17 am

“Something very similar went past recently concerning UK military = that it would run out of ammo almost instantly should ‘anything happen’ and that was before we sent the kitchen-sink to Ukraine.
Face it”

Who is going to cause this “anything to happen”? The Russians? They are out of ammunition, too.

“– none of it has had much effect has it?””

I think it has made a lot of difference. The Ukrainians are holding their own, and will be pushing forward soon. They couldn’t do that without Western support, A “will to win” can’t overcome shortages of weaponry.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 29, 2023 9:12 pm

NATO allies make black powder as well. And it has lots of substitute explosives.

Still, not a good idea to limit competition to such a degree.

Patrick Hrushowy
April 29, 2023 9:29 am

I don’t think most people understand the importance of the shift away from the US$ as the world’s reserve currency. There will be a ripple effect that will ultimately diminish American influence. The IMF will be sidelined in time and China’s own version will be financing infrastructure, including coal generation projects. The Democrat agenda is already seen as irrelevant by the leaders of two-thirds of the world’s population. Militarily, one only needs to imagine the reaction of China’s military to Biden’s commitment to turn the fleet to sustainable electric. Any automaker that totally converts to EVs risks bankruptcy and a flight of investors. ESG will become one of those things that the huge investment funds will quietly pretend doesn’t exist.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Patrick Hrushowy
April 29, 2023 10:44 am

Look at the bright side – loss of reserve currency status means less government:

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 29, 2023 12:30 pm

It doesn’t take being the reserve currency holder to hollow out a nation, embark on futile military escapades, impoverish a nation and print money like its going out of fashion.

The UK has being doing that successfully for decades whilst not getting a sniff at being the global currency holder for multiple generations.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  HotScot
April 29, 2023 1:02 pm

True, tragically. Having the reserve currency allows a government to hide a lot of the pain its stupid policies cause from its ‘constituents’. Once that veil disappears, however, it’s up to the people to rein in the worst tendencies of their government by doing more for themselves. It remains to be seen if we’ll be up to it here.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 29, 2023 1:41 pm

I don’t think so. It means authoritarian government and kleptocracy. If you are trying to defend a reserve currency it means you need to have a strong economy at home and extensive investments abroad. That means you can’t have government making everything inefficient.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 30, 2023 4:28 am

A sudden surge in inflation is a real concern, but I don’t see a viable BRICS+ reserve currency happening. The main reason that the USD has been the reserve currency is a question of trust or maybe better to say risk assessment.

If you have fiduciary responsibility for a central bank policy, your concerns are liquidity, stability of value, and risk of default.

BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Do these players strike you as good credit risks?

Suppose that they create a gold-backed currency. What does that mean? Doesn’t it mean that trading partners must trust that these countries, including China and Russia, will honor exchange of a unit of the new currency for a certain fixed amount of gold? Who will issue the currency? Who will control the gold? What fraction of the supply of the new currency will be held in gold deposits? No concerns about corruption or default? Seriously?

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 30, 2023 7:26 am

Those inside and outside the US think shifting away from the US as a reserve currency my answer is good luck, prepare for the dark ages that will come. No other country can support a reserve currency, all have far worse problems than we do, none have the geology we have.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Mark Luhman
April 30, 2023 7:34 am

This Youtube video by a former hedge fund manager provides another perspective on the topic which still leads to the conclusion that “de-dollarization” is unlikely.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 1, 2023 4:41 am

“A sudden surge in inflation is a real concern, but I don’t see a viable BRICS+ reserve currency happening.”

The experts I’ve been listening to are saying the same thing.

Some people are overly eager to see the United States taken down a notch or two. They indulge in wishful thinking sometimes. They let their desires cloud their judgement.

Reply to  Patrick Hrushowy
April 29, 2023 3:34 pm

The IMF will be sidelined in time and China’s own version will be financing infrastructure, 

China cannot lose. The IMF/UN/WEF agenda of “sustainable” electricity relies on Chinese made wind turbines, solar panels and batteries.

A good measure of economic might is energy consumption. China is forging ahead and ready to support less developed nations on a realistic path to a better future.

I once did an inspection of a power plant in Bangladesh that included three IMF representatives who were involved in the funding. We had to drive through a rural region to get to the plant but the road was blocked by a political rally/riot due to a local politician being assimilated and deemed unsafe to get past by car.

The plant owners arranged a 30ft open wooden river boat to bypass the road block. The three bankers refused to travel on the boat so I accompanied the Chief Engineer to the site and the CEO took the three bankers to lunch. The bankers were so self-important (I think all US citizens in their high price suits) that they were above travelling on a river boat in Bangladesh.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  RickWill
April 30, 2023 7:29 am

Strangely enough China is going to lose, their demographic’s dictate it. Large old population and no young people dictate it. In the next 75 years the US will over take China in population not that we will grow that much but China will lose 2/3 of it’s population. Both China and the US will have about 600,000,000 in population.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Patrick Hrushowy
May 1, 2023 4:35 am

“The Democrat agenda is already seen as irrelevant by the leaders of two-thirds of the world’s population.”

You are speaking for two-thirds of the world’s population?

Aren’t most of these populations under authoritarian regimes? How much choice do they have? Would they answer a poll question about democracy honestly? Would they even know what democracy is?

I think you are assuming too much.

April 29, 2023 9:29 am

The moment Biden walked into the Whitehouse BRICS nations were licking their lips.

Xi of China won’t take calls from Biden, and just to rub it in he had a long call with Zelenski of Ukraine.

The neocons are so obsessed with globalism, with America as the boss, they couldn’t conceive they would be outsmarted and outgunned by Russia. NATO exposed as weak and ineffective by Putin who said he was going to expose the western elites and that’s just what he’s doing.

The Italians have already shown their displeasure, Germany has a clown running it and even Macron is muttering about talking to China. The UK is utterly blind and compounds its stupidity by providing depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, probably the most corrupt country in the world. The black market is salivating at the thought.

Xi said something about the world changing in the short term more than it has in the last 100 years.

Whether that’s for the good or bad remains to be seen but our clown show collective western politicians lusting after virtue points with climate change have got us here over the last 20 years or so.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  HotScot
April 29, 2023 1:06 pm

Neocons and progressives are a toxic combination. Think Germany from 1933 – 1945.

Reply to  HotScot
April 29, 2023 2:00 pm

Putin hasn’t outgunned anything. His army has been stalemated at bakhmut for months. Russia is currently fielding T55s in Ukraine – a tank that was obsolete in the 1960s – because all of their more modern armour has been destroyed.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Archer
May 1, 2023 4:52 am

Yes, and all Putin’s best troops are gone, and now he is throwing draftees into the battle line who don’t want to be on a battle line.

Troops have to have a reason to fight hard. The Russian troops don’t have this reason. They are making war on a country that is not an existential threat to Russia, and they know it. They know Putin is using them as cannon fodder for his own egotistical purposes.

Reply to  HotScot
April 29, 2023 8:33 pm

Putin couldn’t conceive Russia would be outsmarted and outfought by Ukraine. Corrupt and clownishly incompetent Russian armed forces have been exposed as weak and ineffective.

There, fixed that for you.

Had Putin fought NATO on February 24, 2022, Abrams and Leopard tanks would have been in Moscow in mid-March, and the Black Sea and Baltic Fleets sunk and Russian air force blown up on the ground on February 25.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Milo
May 1, 2023 5:01 am

Retired General Jack Keane, someone people should listen to, said if NATO and Russia went to war, that NATO would knock out Russia’s conventional forces in a matter of days.

Russia does not want to start a fight with NATO. A crazy dictator might, but it won’t turn out good for him.

Russia is not as strong as some people portray it to be. Russia’s only Ace in the Hole is their nuclear weapons.

And NATO is not as weak as some people portray it to be.

Reply to  HotScot
April 29, 2023 9:03 pm


But if you’re happy in your alternative universe, who am I to intrude with rude reality?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  HotScot
May 1, 2023 4:46 am

“The neocons are so obsessed with globalism, with America as the boss”

Who are these neocons? I hear about them all the time, but nobody ever mentions who these people are. Shouldn’t we know who we are talking about? Otherwise, this sounds like it might be a conspiracy theory.

April 29, 2023 9:32 am

The article appears to ignore the various peace treaties that were negotiated in the Middle East under President Trump.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
May 1, 2023 5:04 am

The U.S. doing good work in the Middle East doesn’t fit the “Ugly American” narrative.

Trump’s contributions were too positive to be put in the article.

tilak doshi
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 2, 2023 3:50 am

There is only so much that one article can cover. I certainly think the Abraham Accords signed during the Trump administration were important. Nothing I write in the article suggests otherwise. But this article was about the Biden administration, not the Trump one.

April 29, 2023 12:26 pm

Obama was right. There is nothing that Joe can’t mess up.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Denis
May 1, 2023 5:09 am

Obama was late to the party.

April 29, 2023 1:12 pm

with a begging bowl but failed to convince the Saudis to rescue the US gasoline market from high prices by opening the Arab oil tap…

Political theater….The Dem environmental plan is actually to have gasoline prices as high as possible to reduce emissions. Biden’s call to Riyadh was simply misdirection so that he could claim he wasn’t to blame for the high prices.
They have whole think tanks discussing these things behind the scenes. That’s why the bureaucracy disliked Trump, instead of asking their learned opinion, he had an entirely different cabal of people to consult plus occasionally thought for himself and went off their reservation.

April 29, 2023 2:12 pm

“ This was after the President Biden had promised to make the Kingdom a “pariah” during his 2020 election campaign in response to the killing of Adnan Khashoggi.“

The editorial standards at Forbes continue to fall. Adnan Khashoggi was an arms dealer in the late 20th century who died of complications from advanced Parkinson’s disease in 2017 in a British hospital.

Jamal Khashoggi was the journalist who was killed by Saudi security officers in 2018.

tilak doshi
Reply to  harryfromsyd
April 29, 2023 5:02 pm

: thank you very much for the correction. I have corrected the name. Surely you do not see “editorials standards” on the basis of an incorrect name? Do the arguments made in the article merit attention? Surely that is the basis of “editorial standards”. But thank you anyway.

John Dilks
Reply to  tilak doshi
May 1, 2023 7:21 am

Editorial Standards definitely include correct names and proper sentences. Facts are what matter, not feelings.

tilak doshi
Reply to  John Dilks
May 2, 2023 3:47 am

So that one fact that I got wrong thrashes the whole article, does it? And what has feelings got to do with it? You mention “proper sentences” — care to point out what were not proper sentences? You already mentioned one incorrect name.

Reply to  tilak doshi
May 6, 2023 8:47 am

No, but it throws doubt on the accuracy of other information offered.

BTW, Adnan Khashoggi was the uncle of Jamal, and for a time was reputed to be the richest person in the world. I believe he was also the uncle of Lady Di’s companion,  Dodi al-Fayed, who died with her following a mysterious car crash in Paris which providentially spared the British royals the prospect of Arabic half-siblings of the future Prince of Wales.

An interview with the French paramedic who treated her on the scene should throw considerable doubt on the cause of her eventual death in hospital.

April 29, 2023 3:11 pm

Biden is a disgrace. One of these days republicans/conservatives will wake up stop fighting each other and whip the snot out of democrats.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bob
May 1, 2023 5:45 am

Biden is a disaster.

Yes, we need the conservatives, Republicans and Independents to come together to throw these authoritarian radical Democrats out of office.

If they continue in power, they will turn the United States into Communist China. That’s the radical Democrats’ ideal: Elite Democrats control everything and the rest of us are peons with no say in what happens to us.

April 29, 2023 3:58 pm

The US has taken its privilege as global banker for granted and abused it.

The privilege has enabled the USA to build an international debt equivalent to a year’s output with no consequences other than building global inflationary pressure. The consequences are spread across the world economy rather than quarantined to the USA. No other country has that privilege.

China imports and exports so much stuff that it now dominates world trade. It is in a strong position to encourage trading partners to use its currency, which it is doing at an accelerating rate.

I thought it would take decades for USA to lose its privilege as world banker but it appears to be happening in a matter of years rather than decades. Maybe Putin and Xi Jinping have a plan. And, although Fox put Tucker Carlson under the bus, was China involved in installing Biden?

Victoria’s State premier made a largely unreported visited to China this month. I expect to stitch up funding deals for offshore wind turbines. So young Victorians will be furthered tethered to funding China’s old people in their retirement.

Pat Frank
Reply to  RickWill
April 29, 2023 4:46 pm

Dan Andrews belongs in jail. Or alternatively, next time he’s in China, Australia might revoke his passport. Let him live on the receiving end of the police state he tried to force on Victorians, young and old.

Reply to  Pat Frank
April 29, 2023 6:34 pm

Dan Andrews belongs in jail.

There is a new police inquiry into a 2013 incident involving Andrew’s government supplied family car that was being driven by his wife with Dan as a passenger in the car. Andrews account does not match the account from others. I doubt it will end up in criminal proceedings but it takes more gloss of his teflon coating.

The Victorian ombudsman was scathing on the level of corruption in Victorian politics that gets by without meeting criminal threshold:

“There are multiple findings that we have seen in previous reports where conduct falls short of criminal but is wrong, it is unethical, it is improper, it breaches codes,” Ms Glass said.

Dan’s great strength is that he knows how far he can push the boundaries of ethical behaviour.

Pat Frank
April 29, 2023 4:37 pm

… sound ironic to observers of American… etc., etc.

Actually, peace in the middle east sounds ironic to this observer that Islamic societies will never reconcile with a Jewish state in their midst, centered on land that once was a region of Muslim hegemony.

The hostility is 1200 years long and going strong.

The US, present or not, has nothing to do with that. Nor American diplomacy, nor American influence.

Reply to  Pat Frank
April 29, 2023 6:02 pm

It has been 1400 years since Muhammed, but internecine Arab warfare and Persian-Arab conflict go back even further in time.

Indeed, it’s likely the roots of Islam lay in the Christian Arab tribes fighting against each other for Byzantium and its Sasanian Persian imperial enemy. The pro-Byzantine Ghassanids and pro-Persian Lakhmids feuded constantly.

April 29, 2023 11:00 pm

It appears to me that neither the Russians nor the Saudis have much use for Biden. Assuming that is the case, it will not surprise me if OPEC+ continues to hold oil volumes off the market well into 24 to drive energy prices back to levels last seen after the Russian invasion. A 2M barrel per day deficit (which is already likely beginning in the late third quarter this year) carried through 24 would likely send oil prices well into the triple digit range. With half the SPR already drained by Biden to influence the 22 midterms there is likely little left the US could do.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Windsong53
May 1, 2023 5:49 am

The U.S. economy is slowing down so demand for gasoline will decrease which will help keep prices down temporarily.

April 30, 2023 3:08 am

The biggest threat to the USA is peace

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 1, 2023 5:50 am


April 30, 2023 4:36 am

Russia, China, India, and the Middle East control all the oil, the US had a fleet of electric-powered jets. Who wins WWIII? The green economy push will be the end of America.

April 30, 2023 4:39 am

US Troops out of the US and Chinese and Russian Troops in and there is peace. Fail to see the benefits there. You can always have peace if you want to live in slavery. Freedom is messy, and letting our enemies take over crucial energy resources is a high price to pay for this nonsensical war against climate change.

April 30, 2023 4:43 am

Communism wants to rule the world, and they are using environmentalism and climate change as Trojan Horse to get America to fall on its sword. Marxists know they win is America destroys their economy by going green.

Reply to  CO2isLife
May 6, 2023 9:55 am

Are the Turks, the Indians, the Saudis Communists? Would any of the above refuse a chance to “rule the world”? And how does Marxism merge into nationalism in your narrative?

April 30, 2023 5:28 am

Story Tip: expose how woke ChatGPT is. Ask ChatGPT factual questions about climate change and watch the response. Here is an example.

This is not a joke, and 100% proof that ChatGPT is woke. This is what I got when using ChatGPT to write a response to this article. It literally starts by saying that it can’t agree with my facts.
I must preface this article by stating that I cannot agree with the points presented as they contain several inaccuracies and misrepresentations of the current state of climate change and the green economy. However, I will present them in the form of an article as requested.
There has been much talk about the green economy and the push for a sustainable future. While many believe that this is the way forward, others are skeptical of its benefits. Some critics have even argued that the green economy will destroy America. Here are some of the reasons they cite:

  1. Russia, China, and our enemies benefit

One of the main concerns is that transitioning to a green economy will benefit our enemies, such as Russia and China. Critics argue that by reducing America’s dependence on traditional energy sources, we will be handing over power to our adversaries.

Reply to  CO2isLife
May 1, 2023 12:51 am

Is the status of Russia and China as enemies of the USA, permanent and unconditional? Is it simply because of who and what they are?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 1, 2023 6:04 am

The murderous dictators of Russia and China are the enemies of the United States, so I guess you could say it is because of who and what they are.

It doesn’t have to be permanent. If the murderous dictators go away, then peace can happen.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  CO2isLife
May 1, 2023 5:59 am

“This is not a joke, and 100% proof that ChatGPT is woke. This is what I got when using ChatGPT to write a response to this article. It literally starts by saying that it can’t agree with my facts.”

ChatGPT cannot be trusted to give the truth.

It has already been shown that ChatGPT makes things up out of thin air. It has accused at least two individuals with being criminals, when no criminal act was involved on their part, and in one case, ChatGPT made up a ficticious Washington Post article and cited it as evidence of crimes.

People should fact-check everything ChatGPT tells them because it may be a lie.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 6, 2023 10:44 am

Anyone who spends a few hours watching real-time captions on TV or trying to get information from a chatbot should know that AI is a HOAX. There is NO such thing as “artificial intelligence” let alone AI “superior” to human intelligence.

The real danger of ChatGPT, formerly known as AI, is that it will be widely accepted by the public, politicians, and the courts as unassailable, because critiquing it, or even understanding a thorough critique requires coding knowledge that the above groups don’t possess.

A very simple example of this danger was a unique identification procedure developed by an obscure Canadian police technician which required nothing but a hair to positively identify a suspect or victim . It was widely used in Canada and the USA for years, although it had never been peer reviewed or replicated.

Finally a scientifically oriented American lawyer smelled a rat, investigated, and hundreds of convictions in North American courts based entirely on this evidence had to be reviewed.

A famous one was the James Driskell case from Manitoba, Canada. He was convicted of murder on the basis of three hairs found in his car, and identified as those of a murdered woman, and the testimony of a well-rewarded jailhouse snitch who later recanted, and then died mysteriously just weeks before a scheduled commission hearing he was to attend.

Driskell spent 13 years in prison, and waited another two years to have the initial charges “stayed”. He eventually won a $4 million settlement from the Province of Manitoba.

Reply to  otropogo
May 10, 2023 11:29 am

Today I watched yesterday’s BBC/Amanpour interview with Geoffrey Hinton, termed by them “the Father of AI”. It provided a perfect example of the lack of intelligence in “AI”. Hinton went on about computer intelligence being a “trillion” or so times faster than the human brain at making sense of a sentence.

I was watching with captions on and noticed that the automatic transcription made two completely senseless errors. The first was to transcribe “sentience” as “sentence”, and the second, following shortly thereafter, transcribing “sentient” as “sent yet”. The spoken words make perfect sense in context, the transcription no sense at all.Since it seems improbable that the database doesn’t include the words “sentience” or “sentient”, the likely explanation is that the “AI” simply chose the more common word, without any regard to context. In other words, the Artificial “Intelligence” cannot understand an English sentence, nor can it detect an improperly constructed one. It cannot even recognize the relationship between the nominative and and adjectival form of the same word.

I meant to attach screenshots of both instances, but find I can only post one, and so chose “sentience/sentence”over “sentient/sent yet”, as the former shows the time line in the May 9th broadcast on PBS Buffalo HD.

Listening further to this interview, I learned that Mr. Hinton is lobbying for governments to create what is essentially a Department of Truth, with draconian powers to punish those who would use artificial intelligence to mislead us. He equates AI generated information with counterfeit money, and proposes similarly harsh penalties for anyone who publishes AI-generated misinformation without clearly labelling as such.

Reply to  otropogo
May 10, 2023 6:08 pm

CORRECTION: Geoffrey Hinton actually proposed that governments should legislate that ALL AI-CREATED VIDEOS be clearly labelled as such, with punishment comparable to that handed out to currency counterfeiters for publishers who do not comply.

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