America and the policy of intimidation

October 14, 2022
Youssef bin Trad Al-Saadoun.
Youssef bin Trad Al-Saadoun.

By Youssef bin Trad Al-Saadoun

In 1995, Hollywood released a movie titled: “The American President.” In the closing speech scene of the movie, the president is attacking one of his opponents, saying: “The only thing he is good at doing is intimidating something, and then finding someone to blame for that matter, and this is how you win the election.”

This behavior represents the approach that some American politicians in Washington are currently following on the ground. These politicians are addicted to blaming others for the problems and mistakes they commit. Evidence for this in the modern American administration is numerous. They include the following:

• The White House issued a statement on October 5, 2022, stating that “the US president is disappointed by the short-sighted decision taken by OPEC + to cut oil production quota while the global economy tackles the continuing negative impact of Russian President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

In his speech on October 7, President Biden said: “Everything we have gained for the American people will be taken away from us. The cost of all food will go up, not the other way around. I was able to bring down fuel prices, but it’s going up now because of what the Russians and the Saudis did.”

• Holding Putin responsible for inflation and the rise in fuel prices in America, President Biden said: “There will be costs to be borne by the American citizen because we had to impose sanctions on Russia in response to Putin’s unjustified war.” Here, an article in the New York Times on March 10, 2022, asked: Are the American people ready to agree to blame Putin for rising costs, and not Biden for launching the economic war on Russia?

• The White House sent a letter dated Nov. 17, 2021, to the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, in which it blamed American oil and gas companies for high fuel prices, and accused them of adopting behavior harmful to consumers.

As the facts confirm, the American newspaper ‘The Hill’ reported on January 11, 2022: “The Biden administration has taken no less than 25 measures that led energy prices to rise, and it won’t recognize the effects of these policies, and it is not expected from President Biden, his administration, or the liberals in the Congress to bear any responsibility for escalating economic problems in the country as a result of their wrong policies.”

On its part, Americans for Prosperity Foundation explained on December 4, 2021, that the prices of petroleum products in American gas stations rose even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as a result of wrong policies taken by the Biden administration, such as:

• Its adoption of new regulations governing methane emissions from oil and gas production, transportation, storage and distribution, costing $1 billion annually.

• Restricting and impeding energy projects by halting new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, and suspending oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and New Mexico, driving up energy production costs.

• Formulated a new policy for carbon taxes in electricity markets, and imposed new costs on power generation and additional taxes on natural gas, home heating, petroleum, and manufacturing to support the financing of its Green New Deal agenda.

The bottom line is that “American politicians have fallen into the blame trap, accusing their opponents in order to please their political supporters and secure votes to win elections. This approach became entrenched among them until it became the normal situation due to divisions and party rivalries. The blame trap will continue to confuse US policymakers as long as they continue to believe that intimidating adversaries with blame will push them to accept their positions. That’s what Georgetown University Professor R. Kent Weaver said in his article “Political leadership and the blame trap,” published in March 2013 as part of the Brookings Institution Governance Studies.

Saudi Arabia, with its political, economic and religious stature, represents the Arab and Islamic heavyweights that cannot be ignored as far as the issues of the Middle East and the world are concerned. The Kingdom’s track record in terms of sincere defense of national, Arab, Islamic and humanitarian interests is obvious ever since the era of its Founder King Abdul Aziz until the prosperous reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Therefore, it is not surprising that American politicians are always in the crosshairs of accusations, especially during elections, to satisfy their political supporters from pressure groups and to conceal their failure and negative performance in front of the electorate.

This American political behavior was not born today, and will not disappear tomorrow. It has been repeated against us for decades. The wise Saudi leadership is aware of its goals, deals with it wisely, works with confidence and is not afraid, always keeping in mind the national interest, prosperity, and regional and global peace.

It is appropriate to strive for the following in light of the current international scenario:

1) Enhance the Saudi foreign media activity so as to ensure a more effective and influential impact among the masses in America and the West, by constantly disseminating the realities with regard to Saudi policies.

2) Anticipating the developments and preparing to tackle them as our positions are not a reaction to a statement here or there, but rather to be effective actors in responding to international public opinion.

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