The Daily Beast

Biden’s Shrug of a Response to the Saudis Isn’t ‘Complicated’


One of the worst things you can say about a relationship is “it’s complicated.” At best, it projects a sense of futility about anything changing. At worst, it’s a disregard for your own self-worth.

If your partner literally kills and dismembers someone in your protection—and now everyone knows it for a fact— it says a lot (of the wrong things) when your response is still to shrug and say “it’s complicated.”

Yet that is the latest response from the United States in its longstanding, toxic relationship with Saudi Arabia. This affair has involved decades of arms sales, a co-dependence on fossil fuels, and covering up for the cruelties of the Saudi royal family, all in the name of dubious shared regional objectives. Under the past president, the relationship reached new depths: mutual orb touching, group sword dancing, and having each others’ numbers on speed dial. Trump was so proud of this alliance that he openly bragged about saving the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s ass from Congress.

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