July 31, 2020


Gulf states will be among the biggest losers if Trump is defeated this fall (Mohammad H Fadel, 31 July 2020, Middle East Eye)

For many Democrats, Trump's embrace of Arab autocrats, such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been understood as a shrewd strategy to further US interests, but rather as his embracing another autocrat - a fellow traveller in the world community who acts in open defiance of international legality. 

In short, even as Gulf states have in Trump a valuable ally in the White House - both in their external confrontation with Iran, and in their internal confrontations with reformers at home - they seem to have underestimated the extent to which Americans now view them as irredeemable Trumpists, a fact that renders them virtual pariahs to the more than half of Americans who despise Trump.  

There is a strong likelihood that in the event of a sweeping Democratic victory this fall, the Biden administration and Democratic congressional leaders will seek a complete reset of US-Gulf relations. 

Taking a hard line against these regimes would come at a relatively low cost to the US internationally, but play very well to US domestic audiences. The coalition that replaces Trump would be multi-ethnic, multi-religious and working class, keenly attuned to issues of income and wealth inequality, and respect for human rights.

They would not be terribly sympathetic to the Gulf states in light of their vast (unearned) wealth, the vast income and wealth inequality in those states, and the states' contempt for human rights and democracy. These states could easily become punching bags for the new Biden administration. 

Best of all is that Joe has a vested interest in resurrecting the relationship with our democratic allies in Iran. 

Posted by at July 31, 2020 3:48 PM