Biden and the U.S.-Israel-GCC axis: It’s not the oil, it’s the money

Joe Biden didn’t go to Arabia in July to beg for oil. That’s not the nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

He didn’t go to Palestine to promote peace. The U.S.-Israeli relationship is based on endless war. And war is what Biden’s trip was about.

Biden and the U.S.-Israel-GCC axis: It’s not the oil, it’s the money

New York Times columnist: Deeper mistrust between Biden and Zelenskyy than people know

Thomas Friedman wrote Monday in a column for the New York Times that there was a deeper mistrust between the White House and Volodymyr Zelenskyy than what has been reported.

New York Times columnist: Deeper mistrust between Biden and Zelenskyy than people know

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Why Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Is Utterly Reckless

The timing could not be worse. Dear reader: The Ukraine war is not over. And privately, U.S. officials are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on. There is deep mistrust between the White House and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky — considerably more than has been reported.

And there is funny business going on in Kyiv. On July 17, Zelensky fired his country’s prosecutor general and the leader of its domestic intelligence agency — the most significant shake-up in his government since the Russian invasion in February. It would be the equivalent of Biden firing Merrick Garland and Bill Burns on the same day. But I have still not seen any reporting that convincingly explains what that was all about. It is as if we don’t want to look too closely under the hood in Kyiv for fear of what corruption or antics we might see, when we have invested so much there. (More on the dangers of that another day.)

Stephen Kinzer: Neutralism returns — and gets more powerful

Stephen Kinzer: Neutralism returns — and gets more powerful

Many countries recoil from us-versus-them confrontations like the one Biden is now promoting. They prefer to resolve disputes through compromise and to maintain good ties even with countries they fear or dislike. Besides, Biden’s insistence that he is leading a global war against autocracy is hard to take seriously as he kowtows to Saudi Arabia, where dissent is punished by beheading or dismemberment.

A second reason more countries are drifting away from the United States is that to many of them, we seem unreliable. In recent years our foreign policies have zigzagged wildly. Written accords with other countries appear and disappear according to election results. Add our acute domestic problems to this mix, and it’s easy to understand why some countries feel reluctant to hitch their wagon to our

One recent American step has especially spooked several large countries. As soon as war broke out in Ukraine, we and our allies froze billions of dollars that Russia keeps in Western banks. Other countries fear they might suffer the same fate if they one day fall afoul of the United States. To prevent that, they are looking for other places to park their money and imagining banking networks outside of Washington’s control. Saudi Arabia is negotiating with China to price its oil in yuan as well as dollars. Iran’s stock market opened a legal exchange this month for trading the Iranian and Russian currencies.

Biden experiences a Covid rebound after treatment with one course of Paxlovid

Biden experiences a Covid rebound after treatment with one course of Paxlovid

The president was not masked at public events he attended at the end of the week, which is in conflict with CDC guidance that says people should wear a mask for 10 days after a Covid infection.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing that the president was still in compliance with CDC guidelines because he was more than six feet apart from other people.