MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Choosing Sides in the New Cold War

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2022

by Ted Snider

Outside the US, UK and Europe, the war in Ukraine looks more complicated than it does in the US. And many of those countries want to reserve the right to remain nonaligned and want to push for a diplomatic solution to the war. It is not true that the US does not ask those countries to choose sides, that it does “not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner.”

antiwar.com

In his September 21 address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Biden said “We do not seek a Cold War. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner.”

It took a lot of courage to make that claim.

On October 5, OPEC+ announced that they were cutting oil production by two million barrels a day. That represents a 2% reduction of the daily global supply, larger than expected and the biggest cut in over two years.

That cut in oil production comes despite Biden’s plea to Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to offset rising prices caused by Russian sanctions and, crucially, boost the efficacy of sanctions on Russia. Biden offered Saudi Arabia an expanded “strategic partnership,” a “commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense,” and a further commitment to uphold Saudi Arabia as the dominant power in the region.

Biden welcomed the pariah kingdom back into the world community in a trade for siding with the US by increasing oil production. He got rejected. And that is when the White House proved that they do ask nations to choose sides: “It’s clear that OPEC+ is aligning with Russia with today’s announcement,” announced White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

And there is a penalty for not being on America’s side. Several members of congress have called for the US to respond by putting an end to all US military aid to Saudi Arabia. Senator Bob Mendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, promised that, because of Saudi Arabia’s “decision to help underwrite Putin’s war,” he “will not green-light any cooperation with Riyadh until the kingdom reassesses its position with respect to the war in Ukraine.” Legislation has been introduced to remove US troops and missile systems from Saudi Arabia and to stop all arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The price that Saudi Arabia will pay is not for its decision’s effect on oil markets or anything other than choosing sides: the military relationship could be restarted if Saudi Arabia “reconsiders its embrace of Putin,” said Senator Richard Blumental and Representative Ro Khanna, describing the legislation they have proposed.

The experience of Saudi Arabia is not an isolated example that refutes Biden’s claim that the US does not ask countries to choose sides.

See the rest here

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