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Biden wary of chiding MBS to ‘maintain power dynamic’: Analyst

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo taken on October 10, 2018, a demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, demanding justice for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by AFP)

The Biden administration is wary of reprimanding the Saudi crown prince for authorizing the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi to “maintain the power dynamic”, says a political analyst.

Helen Buyniski told Press TV that the US State Department “wants leverage to be able to exert pressure on Riyadh”, and if they punish Mohammad bin Salman, they would “lose that leverage.”

“The declassified document that purports to prove MBS authorized the killing says nothing the US and other governments didn’t already know,” she said, adding that the US intelligence is notorious for using weasel words like “highly likely” when it lacks proof to back its claims.

The US journalist and political commentator said the Biden administration is under tremendous pressure at home with public opinion overwhelmingly opposed to the US-facilitated Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

“This pseudo-aggressive posturing allows Biden to look tough while nothing actually changes policy-wise,” Buyniski said, hinting that the report on Khashoggi’s murder is merely an eyewash.

“The Biden administration is essentially giving MBS a very public slap on the wrist,” she asserted, “It’s doubtful this will impact any of the two countries’ dealings in private, and their fundamentally cooperative relationship is unlikely to change.”

The analyst said the US announcement on ending support to the Saudi-led devastating war in Yemen is “riddled with holes” with members of the US Congress seeking answers on how the administration plans to “distinguish between offensive and defensive military, intelligence and logistical support in determining which it can supply to Saudi Arabia.”

On the need to adopt “tough measures” against the notorious Saudi crown prince, the analyst noted that he is presently behaving in line with US’ expectations – “continuing to buy American weapons, using them to terrorize Yemen, and make nice with Israel.”

“By not acting now to punish MBS, Biden retains a bargaining chip he will be able to use later if the crown prince decides he’s no longer willing to have his country exploited as Washington’s most reliable supplier of terrorists or have the value of Saudi oil reserves pumped and dumped by vulture capitalists,” Buyniski said.


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