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US-Saudi Relationship: Beyond the Obvious

An adage favored by Claud Cockburn as well as Otto von Bismarck advises "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."

Indeed, it should be a clear tenet of political analysis that stated goals are frequently not actual goals. US war planners used rhetorical concerns over non-existent Iraq WMDs as a pretext for invasion. Alleged human rights preoccupations were falsely heralded as the rationale for NATO bombings in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya.

One reason it was clear in real time that the US establishment was putting forward false pretexts in those cases was the contrast with the US relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. 

But stated goals are not always false. 

The bulk of the discussion over Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia framed it as an attempt to get some relief for US consumers paying $100 to fill up their gas tanks.