How Does Biden’s Prioritization of the Conflict With China Exacerbate the Crises in the Middle East?

2 years ago




A Spanish newspaper has highlighted US President Joe Biden's "lack of fulfillment" of his promises to promote democracy in the Middle East, as "justice seems not to be among his interests."

For the Democratic president, according to the newspaper Publico, selling weapons at full speed is more important than solving the entrenched problems in the region.

At the same time, Arab leaders are seeking protection from “Israel.”


Loss of Influence

Publico said that the approach that began to be noticed with former US President Donald Trump and is becoming increasingly clear today (with Biden), highlights the loss of the United States' interest in the Middle East.

To explain this phenomenon, it is necessary to take into account many factors, on top of which is the shift of American attention to Asia.

In Washington, some analysts fear that since the last elections in 2020, the current administration's intention became based on neglecting the Middle East region and focusing its efforts on Asia, as China has become a competitor that raises the US concerns.

Moreover, these fears will increase in the coming years, according to the newspaper's assessment.

It pointed out that the United States did not reduce its military presence in the Middle East, despite the decline of its interest in the region.

In fact, it is not currently considering dismantling any of the dozen bases scattered there.

However, the American magazine Foreign Affairs indicated in mid-December 2021 that the Americans stopped considering the region a top priority, as it was a short time ago.

Publico indicated that talk about this trend was present even before Trump, but now notes the emergence of many circumstances that did not exist before.

In fact, the Palestinian issue has become almost completely forgotten in the entire Arab world, says the newspaper.

At the same time, Arab leaders have made it clear that democracy is not among their plans, a fact that does not concern the United States at all.

The newspaper noted that the US presence has become increasingly less important.


‘Israel's’ Chance

During the current situation, “Israel” took the lead, and positioned itself as the only indisputable force. Not only in the heart of the Middle East but even in the Atlantic Ocean.

This ensures the continuity of authoritarian regimes and allows for more violations by the region’s leaders who do not want to hear the term democracy, as the newspaper puts it.

The newspaper reported that Arab leaders are looking, at the present time, to Tel Aviv more than Washington.

"They are tempted by Israeli power, especially its massive and unlimited influence in the corridors of power in the American capital," it explained.

 At the same time, Arab leaders consider this circumstance more beneficial and less problematic than dealing directly with members of Congress, who have many concerns about them every time they talk about democracy.

Like the European Union's retreat and indifference to the region, the United States decided to follow in its footsteps.

Hence, Washington decided to "postpone the issue of supporting democracy indefinitely."

On the other hand, it chose to apply the ostrich tactic, meaning that what she does not see does not exist, to reduce the number of problems in the world, according to Publico.

This means, hiding these problems under the rug as much as possible, or simply, by taking the side of the strongest to maintain stability at all costs, which is the case with the Palestinians and the disputed Western Sahara between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

The newspaper indicated that virtual calm is the aspect that concerns the West.

Indeed, Europeans and Americans find it attractive that Egypt, Tunisia or Saudi Arabia appear ostensibly stable, which is exactly what the alliance of "tyrants" with “Israel” guarantees.

This situation, which appears beneficial in the medium or long term, may change, but this does not concern Westerners for now.


Urgent Task

The newspaper pointed out that the attitude of indifference in the Middle East has become clearer with Joe Biden.

In this sense, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made this point before he was sworn in in January when he announced that his administration would pay "little attention" to the region.

It is clear that US policy is very wrong and that Blinken is largely responsible, the newspaper said.

In reality, this decline also coincides with the lack of Western will to resolve conflicts in a permanent manner.

In addition to this way of seeing things, distant motives can be added, on top of which is China's competence in strategic issues. This made the Americans see that countering Chinese influence is a more urgent task.

In this sense, it is worth noting that China's influence in the world is increasingly growing.

As a result, “the supremacy of the United States has already begun to be questioned in various parts of the world, primarily in the Middle East, as we have seen in Iran and Afghanistan.”

The newspaper pointed to one of the clear examples of the retreat of the United States, which is reflected through its behavior towards the crucial Palestinian issue.

In fact, in December 2021 they held a high-level meeting with the Palestinians, the first of this kind in five years.

The essence of the meeting was economic, not political; Emphasizing that Americans prefer, on the political front, to ignore the brutal occupation and Israeli apartheid.

The newspaper reported that Washington, which is no longer dependent on Arab oil, continues to conclude huge arms deals.

It added: "The agreement to sell aircraft to the United Arab Emirates, with a value of approximately 20 thousand million euros, will be finalized soon."

However, it is difficult to understand what the UAE wants with these planes, although the deal may be a good way to bribe Congress so that it does not interfere in issues of human rights and democracy, explain the newspaper.

The newspaper reported that Arab leaders are concerned about the possibility of the Pentagon reducing the number of US bases in the region.

For now, speculations presume that if Washington takes a decision in this direction in order to strengthen its presence in the Pacific, some Arab leaders will feel betrayed and they will further move to strengthen their relations with “Israel.”