Biden Admin Forever Wars John Kiriakou Original

John Kiriakou: Biden the Warmonger Gets Played by the Saudis

A fistbump with a torturer doesn’t pay off with cheap oil to grease the president’s growing lust for war.
In this image released by the Saudi Royal Palace, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden with a fist bump after his arrival at Al-Salam palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15, 2022. (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

By John Kiriakou / Original to ScheerPost

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — On the second day of his trip to Saudi Arabia, President Joe Biden met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates—along with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq to discuss security issues, but particularly to push for a united front against Iran.  Biden has spent much of his trip to the Middle East reinforcing the regional policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump, rather than implementing the policies on which he campaigned for president.  And he is rightly taking heat for his meetings yesterday with Saudi officials, which many observers believe “legitimized” Saudi Arabia’s murderous Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and accomplished nothing for Biden.

The President began the day today by refusing to answer any questions from the media about his talks with Saudi leaders yesterday.  There would be no discussion of yesterday’s “fist bump” or reports in the U.S. media that Biden was here to “beg” the Saudis for oil.  But that’s exactly what the media want to talk about.  Why, they wanted to know, would Biden give the Crown Prince a casual fist bump after calling him a murderer and vowing to make him a pariah?  Why would he make it look like relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia would be “reset,” as CNN and the BBC reported today, when the Crown Prince still denies that he was responsible for ordering the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi?  It’s unlikely that any official answers will be forthcoming.

Instead, today’s meetings were solely about security.  Biden held bilateral meetings with all of the attending heads of state, and then met with the GCC as a group.  The topic was Iran.  Biden has proposed a loose alliance of these nine countries, plus the United States, against Iran.  There are, however, several problems with the idea.  Qatar and Oman have warm relations with Iran.  It’s simply not in their national interest to join an alliance against Tehran.  Iraq has even closer relations with its neighbor.  The Shia Muslim government in Baghdad is closely tied to Iran, and it has been since the United States overthrew the anti-Iran Sunni Muslim Saddam Hussein.  Why would the Iraqis want to antagonize Iran?  What would they have to gain?

More important, the U.S. appears to be doing Israel’s bidding on this proposed security arrangement.  A “regional security alliance” against Iran was originally Benjamin Netanyahu’s idea.  The former, and likely future, Israeli Prime Minister has worked for years to isolate Iran in the region and around the world, and it appears that an American president is finally in agreement.  Donald Trump was happy to do whatever Israel’s leaders wanted him to do.  He moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  He closed the Palestinian liaison office in Washington.  He cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.  Biden was supposed to reverse all that.  But he hasn’t.  He’s just carried on with Trump’s policies.

This is the same Joe Biden who, as vice president, proudly touted the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran Nuclear Deal.  He condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.  But he has dragged his feet on reentry, the agreement is now as good as dead, and he’s rallying the region for a new defense agreement against the Iranians.  

But there is no regional defense agreement as Biden departs Saudi Arabia this evening.  It’s just an idea.  Nothing was negotiated and nothing was decided.  Joe Biden is going home with nothing.  Yesterday, the Saudis said that they were not able to increase oil production, and if they could find a way to do it, they wouldn’t make an announcement until the OPEC+ meeting next month.  And on top of all that, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is a player again, having met privately with the President of the United States.

I ask that I be allowed a non-sequitur here.  At the press center, a facility set up for the world press to gather for briefings on the meetings and for interviews, I spoke to a Middle Eastern journalist this morning.  He asked if I had noticed that King Salman in every meeting had an iPad sitting on his lap.  I had noticed and I had found it odd.  The journalist then asked if I had noticed that the Crown Prince also had an iPad.  That I hadn’t noticed.  He explained that at 86 years of age, the king is infirm and easily confused.  He can’t carry on a substantive conversation.  So he keeps an iPad on his lap.  The Crown Prince, in turn, constantly texts his father talking points, questions to ask, and answers to give when he is being questioned.  Muhammad bin Salman is running Saudi Arabia.  The King is just a figurehead.  There’s no doubt about it.

John Kiriakou
John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.


  1. Again, a lot of criticism from the sidelines but what would this author do if he were President of the United States.

    Every candidate in the heat of a campaign gets way out over the tips of their skis. Biden did it on Saudi Arabia but I remember a recent president saying “what makes you think we’re so innocent?

    So, maybe it is hypocritical to expect Biden to hold MBS’s feet to the fire for the murder of Khashoggi.

    Since Biden made his famous pariah statement in the heat of a campaign a lot has changed, Covid, supply chain, Ukraine war. Things change and your diplomacy must change.

    Churchill famously said that he would speak well of the devil in the House of Commons if Hitler invaded hell. FDR sat with Stalin who murdered millions of Russians. Nixon sat with Mao who murdered 70 million of his countryman. And Trump said he fell in love with Kin Jong Un.

    It’s complicated, I guess.

    1. USSR defeated nazi Germany—Stalin murdered nobody; he sent collaborator fascists to gulags; USA incarcerates more per capita than any nation in history—and you admire this

    2. Yet another Biden apologist blaming his ineptitude on Covid and the Ukraine war, you sound like your fellow Republican blaming the same thing for Trump’s demise.

    3. It’s not complicated at all–“complication” being a very common excuse of scoundrels and liars (The straightforward issues in apartheid Israel are very often referred to as “complicated” by witless and unprincipled Congress people.).
      It’s amazing that there are those STILL covering for our lying, stupid, unprincipled President, a man every bit as awful as the dunce who preceded him. The Ukraine war changed things, eh? Sure did, and the provocations that led to that war (a war the Russians are decisively winning, despite media lies to the contrary) were mostly arranged by Joe Biden himself. Our demented President, always having been a mediocrity, has been continuously played by events of his own making. He’s broken every campaign promise he made, save one: he told his masters in the Donor class that nothing would fundamentally change. Of course he lied about MBS, but unlike your average US citizen, people in other parts of the world don’t forget so easily. The only thing Biden seems interested in is more war. Not real “complicated.”

  2. MBS to biden—you racistly torture and murder vast numbers—you have zero moral authority

    1. Giligan, Ole Joe has plenty of help and blessings, he doesn’t deserve all the war credits. And previously, all our Presidents were immensely aided in our non stop wars.
      Aided by: blood thirsty mass media, M I complex, and our superb jingoism.
      In history, Hitler did not kill anyone, he has thousands of willing executioners.
      We all benefit from the vast, all-encompassing war machine, and none of us really, truly will get off this Life of Ease that is provided by our war economy.
      Don’t believe me, just see that migrants are crashing our borders and into European countries but no one is exiting USA’s cushy, easy living ( compared to pulverizing poverty elsewhere).
      We, all, are not directly Guilty but are we totally innocent? We have no real choice, we are trapped in this system.
      It will end if the Empire collapses.

  3. John, “Biden is a Warmonger” is a true and effective line — but my demonstration sign which I employed in Portland Maine at the Governors Meeting extended and emphasized these obvious facts:

    Bye Bye Byeden the Empire’s Got You Now

    Bye Bye Byeden you’re a real cow — (ARD)

    1. The sign is to be sung to the tune of Ann Margret in the opening number of “Bye Bye Birdie” 1963.

  4. Ah, I was wondering how Israel could be blamed for Biden’s decisions, but yes, it goes back to the inexplicable (almost magical) power tiny Israel supposedly has over the US.

  5. If you first don’t succeed try and try again.

    Biden got nothing out of this visit only political humiliation.

    No more oil. The hailed by MSM extra 2 million bpd of crude oil is long agreed by OPEC+ Saudis increases to partially compensate for OPEC production collapse in Libya, Algeria and Nigeria for reasons of .. neglected global oil/natgas infrastructure CapEx among Green energy propaganda that infected Wall Street.

    It won’t increase volume on global markets and won’t reduce global price of oil.

    In fact Saudis explained that in 2022 they and UAE themselves had to import record volume of Russia heavy crude oil because global market in extremely tight.

    MBS himself stated obvious that there are two ways to lower crude oil prices in forceable future by limiting Green Agenda or to crash global economies.

    MBS said it not as enemy but supporter of Green Agenda as ARAMCO long ago signed up with other oil giants to IPCC volunteering to help in CO2 sequestration and storage. And how they propose to do it? By pumping out natural gas, burning it into CO2 and then pump this CO2 into half empty low pressure uneconomical oil wells to get oil out to the last drop with no additional CapEx spending getting credit/money from reduction of CO2 emissions, storage of CO2 and getting rich of previously unretrievable oil they will pump out in the beautiful green process to.. save planet.

    What a nice guy this MBS is so are oil executives who wants do the same for good of Soylent green world.

    It seems that disciple of Green Wall Street Agenda, Biden decided to do the latter namely to destroy mainstream economy to make it green even it it kills all of us as any reasonable accommodation with Russia is considered a mortal sin.

    What we have in the west is faith based politics, policies and Green cult that angrily demands sacrifice now, yours and mine.

  6. Biden refusing to answer questions from the media is exactly like Reagan refusing to engage in a debate with the other Republican hopefuls in 1979: it would show up his extreme incompetence.

    1. What Americans don’t understand is that every president-elect that steps into the Oval Office is automatically under the control of the Deep State and is obliged to parrot the policies he is given. Even a moral president like Carter was suckered into providing military aid to the muhijadeen in Afghanistan. War mongering and hegemony are the raison d’etre of the
      Deep State and anyone who tries to buck the system will get offed–look no further than JFK. Ike warned us about the MIC as he was one step out the door of the Oval Office. He wouldn’t have survived had he warned us while fully in office.

  7. The present is horrible,the future is bleak and mankind’s survival is in doubt.Nothing the masses can going to change this to overcome the forces of Militarism,Capitalism and the oncoming rise of Fascism and violence in the US and other places As the US loses its rule of the world its rulers are willing to burn the house down.

  8. Folks are missing the big picture: Biden used this location (Saudi Soil) to throw in the towel on climate at a time he was seeking more oil production.

    It can’t possibly get any worse than that.

    We’re doomed, my friends.

  9. Joe Biden is firmly against Democracy. This of course while he is waging World War III and unleashing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse all under the banner of ‘Democracy’ and ‘Freedom’.

    Two recent examples. One is in this article, where Joe Biden refuses to answer questions from the press. That you should not see in a people’s Democracy. All of the talk about a free press being essential to a democracy means that the government of a Democracy must both talk to the press and do so with a fair amount of honesty. Otherwise, what are the people voting on?

    Before the trip, Joe Biden blatantly came out and said point blank that he did not care about what the American people thought, and that especially, Joe Biden did not care what members of his party thought. At least the non-billionaires, in both instances, as I’m sure Joe has them on speed-dial. He did this at one of his rigged press appearances with pre-approved questions, when one of the questions concerned his rapidly falling poll numbers and the polls of Democrats saying that they would not support his re-election. Again, this is a firm statement against Democracy. In a real Democracy, such a statement should qualify as an impeachable offense.

    In real Democracy, the power remains in the hands of the people, and the office-holders are only temporarily allowed to use this power to the wishes of the people. This is why any leader that says they don’t care what people think should be quickly removed by the Democracy. This of course has not been seen in America in decades. The constant polls of Americans saying the country is going in the wrong direction is a flashing red light that says that America no longer has a functioning Democracy.

    1. Please, can you temper the hyperbole?

      Biden is waging WW III? The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse? Really?

      What statement of Biden’s constitutes in your mind an impeachable offense?

      Please Send us the quote where Biden said he did not care about what the American People our the Democratic Party thought.

      1. Don’t need a quote.
        Wouldn’t believe Biden, anyway.
        Watch what he does.
        That’s how you figure out what he’s about.
        Your comments remind me of canned platitudes.
        Try going with your personal experience, skip the jargon, and give us a glimpse of you.
        I wish you well.

      2. Well, you claimed Biden said something. I asked you for his quote on that subject. And you said you don’t need a quote.

        So, I must conclude that Biden never said what you claimed: namely that he did not care what the American people thought.

        You made it up. That’s generally called a lie.

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