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tv   Discussion on U.S.- Saudi Arabia Relations  CSPAN  September 7, 2022 6:50pm-7:43pm EDT

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watch american history tv saturdays on cspan2. and finally a full schedule on the program guide or watch online anytime at x now a conversation on u.s. and saudi arabia relations chinese president came to visit saudi arabia negotiations in the u.s. and iran on a renewed nuclear data from the institute. i am a senior fellow security hudson institute. at this morning we are having a conversation with a princeton professor bernard and bob had saudi arabia and china, the
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united states. this is morning. we actually videotape this on tuesday morning. the news that we had last night, just before the deadline that's monday night julian answered take it or leave it offer from the eu and behind them the united states regarding the iranian nuclear program. the iranians predictably responded to the take it or leave it by let's negotiate more. and predictably the united states responded it won't accept any changes to the text. but it will accept changes to the form of the text. which i take it to be the way the united states re- negotiates the take it or leave it offer.
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without admitting that is what it isit doing. professor, perhaps you could start us out. we've got the chinese leader she jumping coming this weekend certainly be visiting and saudi arabia relations are very good on oil energy, mining and even missile development that have been made. and the chinese are opportunistic. they see an opportunity where the u.s. is sending signals to saudi arabia also to israel and
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others the u.s. is just not as committed, as j interested. and that in fact the middle east is a source of endless chagrin and pain for the u.s. the focus ought to be on china. wearily i don't see how you can confronti china thinking about the middle east engaging and preventing it from taking over the middle east. the u.s. a policy is truly bizarre and very difficult to understand. the desperate attempt to become friends with iran, a country that is a state sponsor of terror. i want to reminddat your audiene for a personal friend of mine was attacked and someone tried to kill him. activists in partisan its attack
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on u.s. soil by the way or explicitly the two threads the threat about the nine states and iran. i certainly think those two things areos related. you think the idea. t let me explain the connection of the two. the way the u.s. can somehow lessen the load to the middle east is to become friends with a rod is to deal if ironic.
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impractical, not based on facts as far as i can tell. the view of the world and not the middle east. that's when the biden administration shares forward.ou if you make up with your enemies somehow, you do not need to be as engaged. and in the process the fact that you alienate your strategic allies is not that important. you decide with your strategic allies the desperate you and has been desperate to make up with iran you know they refused to speak to the u.s. by the way. all these, negotiations the iranians choose to speak directly for the americans.
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u.s. needs to accept and take. writer temp. the chinese see the u.s. and see the obama view of the middle east. and they see opportunity. they have good relations with both the iranians and the saudi's. i think would much rather be closer to these saudi's in the iranians for they are much more important strategically. for all kinds of reasons. and they are telling the saudi's whatever you what we will do. we will be helpful to you. we are lucky in the u.s. to very american centered very american educated. the saudi leadership wants to be on good terms with america. would prefer to be allies with america. but all of us many or most of its money invested.
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that we are basically aer partnr that wants to be friends and went to take of this. it's really mind-boggling you are uniquely placed to help us understand all of this. because you are a saudi national but you've also been educated in the united h states. you fully understand how americans see the world for you fully understand how it saudi's this world. why don't we start by giving us a sense of what all of this looks like? how are the leaders in saudi arabia thinking about this saudi american relations while the united states moves towards making a deal with ironic?
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and how did they understand the relationship with china in that context? >> absolutely. make several excellent points. i have been reading some of the analysis we have seen that this is an emerging relationship between saudi arabia and china. i would not cap characterize that china is the largest buyer of saudi oil after the united states. it's important to note also the chinese have identical interest to the united states and in a relationship to saudi arabia and the same way the united states views those points are important for energy for the economy et
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cetera. the chinese have the same system. they have the same openness to permitting resources. that's a strategic overlap between china and saudi arabia. in the same way strategic goal between the saudi's and the united states. to the central reason. there is a diversion of bandwidth towards countering china and east asia and the south china sea. the problem with that is when it comes to competition they concur
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you have seen ukraine has impact from the middle east. et cetera, et cetera. it seems very correct the chinese reviewed the middle east and the a a competition. and on on military bases they try to get to the embassy. they see a vacuum and a lot of the stuff is from one administration. this current administration, will vehemently deny, but it should be noted
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>> and it is sort of an acknowledgment that they actually do exist. not in the middle east but underground, they feel that the united states is withdrawing and feel that balancing and i would ask over the militias and. [inaudible]. and in syria, there used to happening once more lessening its own entity and also, and militia and so there's a whole many issues had its order they came up in the americana.
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[inaudible]. add one of the north countries and georgia and all of these are components of sections at united states has decided the security the architecture. >> people in s the region are having to question the united states does not want this anymore we all live in this area. so there's confusion. and the questions were answered in syria but it does not mean that there aren't many others. >> the music moments statement of the trip, biden's trip to saudi arabia as a basis foro asking the next question.
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there is a lot of commentarye over here in the united states this at that biden significantly altered is frame of reference in the middle east. the trip to the middle east, saudi arabia interviewed entered israel was assigned that he had moved away from some of the fundamental principles that he began with. namely, he was going to turn mohammed - two pariah he was going to get the deal with iran. the fossil fuel industry is no longer as important as it used to be and so on. the continued hostility that the iranian show toward the united states and its allies, and the
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importance of fossil fuels in the security of europe as shown by the ukraine crisis, and the importance in general the saudi tenuous relationship pushed bided back to zero in saudi t arabia which he had been moving away from you except analysis is that you're right, what happened or are we looking at something else. >> and so, i think that president biden had bed making requests try to put pressure on sthe saudis to increase oil production at beginning when the price of oil when it started to go up which was last year, not this year and so were talking 2021, was well before the ukraine crisis and this was of you to the elections in the midterm elections in november.
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in the thing that i think a lot of americans forget when dealing with middle east is that middle eastern's have a long history of thinking about the next election in the next couple of months and they don't have that short - and so is the situation got worse under president biden because of the war in ukraine and the price of oil and gasoline. the pump got very high, deco and declaration increase and i think was widely seen as an attempt to get the increased production to affect and effect was and that was the purpose of his trip. largely driven by american concern and this is a pattern for the societies of scene almost every time before election when an official shows up asked for more. people there are not stupid and then there was all of this other
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stuff that eddie did too and i think what happened was widened as he putth himself in the cornr and this was his uncle as they say, any got desperate and they had together in person. and in doing humiliating the united states. and showing the u.s. to be weaker actually has to be your is any got very little for by the way the saudis in the meeting, but they did not agree to increase the production fact they have not more than 500,000 barrels in the latest meeting and i think that you know, i think the biden has probably internalized the election midterm elections that went badly for him and you know in american politics, news congress, the only room for maneuver for the next president's foreign some going to see more more access with bided foreign-policy the last few years of midterm and i think
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some of it has to do with the society had other things. i see the u.s. is having gotten very little for this set of maneuvers and essentially, unnecessary kind of meeting offense to the saudis and others in the region. it's actually very bizarre behavior on the part of the american president. >> used that word of us are now a couple of times. i cannot say that i disagree with it at all so - let's try, let's assume that there is a rational actor the white housear had that they had a no and going to saudi arabia the saudis not
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going to change course significant significant, without the united states coming forward for their concern and about iran had what were they telling themselves in the white house that they were to get from this trip. >> i think that they thought maybe they would get more oil. and that would help their electoral you know, the chances the democrats that is i think there is a lot of pressure from the people in the white house chief of staff is not an election. but would you that visit is aav kind of like a long-term planning and strategic thinking. as always tactical. the saudis are not interested in sort of a tactical move or increasing production to help an american president political prospects in an election governor interested in strategic matters namely from iran and a
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check from ron's properties like yemen and the thousands of missiles and dronesfr than me he been thrown at them right that are attacking their oil insulation those roof answers, concrete in real concerns and not about you know, intimate analysis of the american public another point about november. [laughter] right right i am going to come back to you on the iran question and bizarre policy coming from the white house. let me turn back to you and can you just give us again, the view from briand and how did this saudi elites, what if they think the biden was coming to do and what they want out of the trip and did they get it or not. >> so to be absolutely fair, one of the biggest rules unruly for
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the saudis but also america's part of the region, for this trip, with the united states wants to do and committed to a securities architect and ifte n, 20s, would they do with the russians, also remember, even the ridges and trent israelis and saudis meeting of the russians on a strategic level because the obamass administratn policies. obama introduced putin to the region and he made this russian syria process a reality everybody in the region and appoint but to do with russia. in no rush any run this one of the issues. and despite this.
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[inaudible]. with the issues over iran in a nuclear fire and are in danger. so there is a mismatch there but further taught to bonnie's point about the amount of investment in the united states is extremely deep, much more so than under commentary washington and like saudi arabia and the technology and more specifically in saudi arabia, based out of houston texas. and technology. [inaudible]. there are many young people today that are higher education in the united states and notwithstanding that other hundreds of thousands of people in previous generation, over 40
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or over 50, in the united states and i come from my father went to school in the united states and i went to school in the united states and all of my siblings went to schoolun in the united states pretty so we do seek iran and you and i have spoken about the u.s. relationship and we've talked to bernie about thisip i thank youo a foolish idea to think that you can replace the united states with china. that is not feasible when ten years ago or 15 years ago, this conversation would've been observant today, we can have an event like this and discuss russia but that only tells you the chinesese are changed and technologies etc. and now the way they are being perpetrated in the u.s. and the young people, young woman who like, one artist or another and
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posted in the new york times the concepts they pay good money. it's a very adverse reaction. >> is problematic with the unites is because hundreds of thousands of people going to school in america. >> sorry, justol make your point was clear to our listeners, you are saying, articles, for performing in saudi arabia. >> correct. >> and among other articles, and i think that suggests every loss for the united states because these people that veteran government to study in the united states. in the confidence in americans and system. these people are romanticizing china quite naïvely. amy: a lot of people are a young
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and the chinese don't do this or do that when i answer i say, the relationships that we have what we doing in the see how you feel, the relationship of the united states is important but the point that i am making, a lot of americans don't have the relationship military relationship, positioning but also the number of saudis. [inaudible]. internationalists with the american education and to score of that and because of the recent progressive policies, there are real consequences in his idea among a bunch of young saudis the chinese . [inaudible]. >> bernie, mohammed wrote a brilliant article don't tell him
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that i thought it was brilliant, he wrote a brilliant article recently getting some of the points that he just made, basically and obviously paraphrasing here, basically saying look, there are two different visions of the future that today before the arab youth and middle eastern youth, and one of them is represented by iran in one of them is represented by mohammed's view. which is no the way i think most americans newspaper readers say the college students are use to singing mohammed. my take away for mohammed's article is that the united states and foreign policy terms and strategic terms are s not jt talking about soft power, when in strategic terms, when biden image of power, had a choice
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between the path the donald trump had been following which as you mentioned which was contained iran on the ground to try to prevent it from getting nuclear weapon working with a coalition of the state. of the arab states in israel interested in those outcomes but also one of pointed towards normalization of between the arab statesoi and israel through the accordance. any other alternative was to normalize with iran which represents all of the worst elements of the middle east either direct allies of a right nor they are aligned with orionn and i include our qaeda advices in this we don't need to go into this thing to take us down the rabbit hole but i think that the strategic vector of radical islam and of a run, is really
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quite parallel there are a few areas where this restrictions that they're both moving the same direction it so we could have this, we could present a new picture of the region now interacts with the rest of the world and one that would isolate karen and instead we chose to build up iran and i wonder if you bernie, not just an analyst in the middle express but you are also a person who is very courageously gone out to the very strange land which is american academia and you decided as a pioneer to build a house in a strange landscape that's oh, i wondered, could you explain to us, how the american
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academia is understanding all of this because i think maybe it will give us a little bit of an insight the world view of the biden administration. >> yes so i mean, you know look, only to think about this in very simple terms is that a country like saudi arabia or like israel, our status quo powers enemy that they want american influence to remain dominant and to remain important in the world and in general and in the regio? and particularly countries like iran come as a revolutionary power is a power that would like to see the united states - from the middle east and destroyed all of the world and so in a sense, iran is a lot like north korea and saudi arabia is a lot like south korea okay, and imagine if the united states you know sided with north korea against south korea which is the signal that obama administration
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and biden administration been making in the middle east to put aside with our enemy and wanted turned our backs to our friends is a very strange way to think about politics geopolitics and strategy and i think that part of the reason for this view of the middle east, does come from american academia and western academia to remember that most academics are sort of very influence on marxism and leftist ideology anything america is a force of evil in the world and therefore by definition, anyone who was opposed to the united states in the country close must be a force for good and you see this for instance in zero criticism of the regime back in the makes almost no criticism of iran and always criticizing america's allies in the region in the middle east and around
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the world and so i think this comes anything about it and i said that the obama view is kind of a hyper intellectualize of you becomes out of academia said that has a sort of knee-jerk view and perspective that the u.s. is just bad actor in the world. we live in a strange universe in which you are friends and our allies in the middle east, by which, i mean, you know, sally, uad, israel and others, william ricketts, you are good, believe me you are good. [laughter] >> as you on the halls of the ivy league bernie, two pole exhibit come up to you and whisper you that i agree with you, we should support friends and punish enemies. [laughter]
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>> no, very few because there a lot of group thanks and also these people are engaged in mutual support and you have to as you know from marxism, you're either a card-carrying member of the party where you are in any of people. [applause] [applause] >> i spent enough time academia to learn that, it is not possible to sit quietly in the corner and just do your, you have to stand up and testify in public. [laughter] [laughter] >> so, mohammed, let me summarize slightly interpret something that you sent a minute ago i get a reaction to my interpretation. as you mentioned to come up that you can't substitute china for
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the united states. in ten years ago nobody would even suggest that but now you have have this conversation all of the time. i think that structurally, let's forget for a second, let's get what mindset in the outlook of the saudi elite in public as msa structurally, i also think that it is true that there is a china option for saudi arabia with the uae at this moment by that, i mean, we are not in terms of the contacts in the global contextxt between the united states and china, not yet at a point like that is to where the united states and the soviet union were say in 1956. and by 1956, they could turn to
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moscow and moscow could deliver massive arms and a superpower patronage that would protect nassau for many counter moves by the united states and the soviet union is rival. we don't have an example yet i china offering that kind of military diplomatic support to know i knew me china doesn't even really have any allies and so, that model china has not been tested yet however, receiving the chinese move intot areas of our power were unthinkable just a few years ago and when i worked in the white house which was 2005 through 2007, arrhenius option was that the chinese had no interest in
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anything to do with it hard power the middle east because that would put them on opposite side of the conflict and they want to be okay with everybodyit that when a extract resources and traits the countries of the region they don't want to get - andd any other conflict but increasingly were sing them get into power arena, quietly and again in the forms of the soviet union did in 1956 so, the option is not there yet as a kind of a clear cut path but were getting a lot closer i wonder if you could explain to us, how you think that the saudi elite think about that. and with to the respective iran represents to the kingdom.ed >> i think has an excellent question and when you are in the
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white house, that's a fairho characterization, china and power in looking to make money and invest in infrastructure, away from hard power of course in strategic and but in 2017, and also i think china has changed over the past 15 years. at some point in time, china and the technology and televisions and people thought the koreans couldn't do it now the koreans are bringing the japanese and china's 5g system has proven while there are many issues but under purposes for which they use it for was interesting is the advancement. in the electric cart in the
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chinese has improved by leaps and bounds about seven or eight years and china also has the t strategic conversations with people testing the waters. and to see how things work and so i agree, this discussion is one that we can have today when in the past we cannot have it and china acting like a soviet union from the past, no, the capacity for that i think yes. now in terms of china and option i think there is an option but the question is what option and i think best option would be for all of america's for there to be a strong america and americans need technologically the needs prolifically that ensures that the people in the aftermath of
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world war ii, the cold war is at peace and transcends go around the world and the biggest threat today but not of course the soviet union or russia. the places like china and the right, chinese have annoyance system in the american alliance system by a longshot that's precisely with trying to do in their outreach. two other actors i think bernie was right, you know two tables down and whatever you want to talk, go over there. there's a lot to be offered and there is no thing in america in the technological sense asked
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many questions. you do your own thing and that is what is changing. this what china would look like in five or ten years, and the changing in competitors or what they can sell and what they can buy. >> bernie, if you are going to advise president biden about what to do to make sure that china option doess not become, real or a lot more tangible and a lot quicker, what would you tell them to do and what should he have said to mohammed that he did not say. >> will mean, i think that you know, offering protection military protection, and it
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would be very important and also, i think many americans and many westerners don't quite that protecting saudi arabia is not just protecting saudict arabia, this protecting global energy resources. as protecting ourselves. what we don't want is for a p power either like iran through the properties or china for that matter, it is not think of the world and the way that we do in another words when i use, they would use oil as a weapon 70s don't use oil as a weapon they think of it isn't a commodity that is traded. and stuff the world that we need to protect, not sure the biden is given sufficient guarantees fully understood what is at stake and i think now it's withh that war in ukraine, that's constipated the mind a bit of western elites in the market elites frankly even in the biden administration, there's only one person seems to understandst
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energy and that is hein and stein . [inaudible]. and they understand how the global energy market works had roles the saudi snowpack and others play and so, this is a real focus on domestic issues following domestic debates to influence foreign policy in ways that have been detrimental and continued be deaf detrimental. ... -- dr. doran: let me take a position that is unusual for me. i am going to defend joe biden for a moment as an intellectual exercise if nothing else. if i were him and heard what you just said, i can say the following you know, burning, when i went to saudi arabia yeah , i had to eat a lot of crow.
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because, i came in and took position saying i was going to turn the country and i made a lot of statements that suggested that we were quickly going to move away from fossil fuels to a net zero future. and i then encountered reality. in other words i align myself with the progressives in the united states. and i adopted a fully progressive foreign policy. and then i realized that washa t going to work. and so i went to saudi arabia. yes, i did not get that much tangible from the saudi's. but i opened up a window, i opened up a window not controlled by the progressives are in discussion with thesc
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saudi's and the israelis about the future of the region. isn't that something that's a little bit valuable? >> i would say yes. biden has reset or attempted to reset the relationship. and effectively has admitted he was smoking some really weird stuff before. and he won't be smoking it again when it comes to the saudi's in the israelis. but look, immediately one of the iranians done? they reopen the issue. for the whole obama doctrine about around. we will see whether the americans will stick to their guns and say no we will not reenter this agreement because of this, that, and thets other. or what i suspect will most likely happen they will enter the agreement will see a removal
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of many sanctions. the many sanctions have already been removed and secret and so on. iran will be flush with tens of billions of dollars. which will not in fact help anybody in the region. and certainly will undermine any guaranties he may have given to the saudi leadership on this last trip. what test brings an end to my effort. [laughter] see the world to the eyes of joe biden. because i could not agree the more course. muhammad, how about you? i realize this is not your job as a saudi national. but as a friend of the u.s. saudi relationship but if you found yourself alone in the room with joe biden'slo top advisers
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and you wanted to suggest to could do, knowing full well you understand the political context in which he is operating. the pressures that are on him and so forth. if you wanted to offer concrete advice about how to but the u.s./saudi relationship on a much healthier basis what would you suggest to him? >> if you remember in february of 2022 united states purchased more in that month then in month on record before that. february 2022 when the americans were criticizing the israelis and theca saudi's for not doing enough to counter russia as punishment for its invasion of ukraine. no i do not blame the united states for buying all of that
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because people need their cards to go to work and people need to heat their homes, and cook. the physical need and the systems we had require energy. the issue with the discourse on the region. and also on russia and other cases is divorced from real strategic needs, political reality. you get a weird sort of discourse that exists somewhere else away from the physical needs of people which is security, stability, energy security, economic.o
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i was to be asked for some of the policymakers all of these discussions. the saudi's have helped the soviet union by lowering the price of oil from time. after world war ii, again through stabilizing energy markets and regions in various ways. soviet media companies and
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corporations of the united states. all of these things the saudi's did work real results of the world. it was stability for if not billions of people. so there's something there out works. the realization the strategic relationship that's important by the energy markets. you deteriorate and if that answers your question.
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doesn't exactly answer the question. it was an unfair question to put you anyway. i thought he might get a reaction. it does appointment in the right direction. so listen, enclosing my summation i concluded here and i'm toyed with the agree or not and say goodbye to eachan other. i would say that the biden administration is still operating fundamentally the evidence of that is as eli continues to pursue iran for the nuclear deal. and all the nuclear deal will mean in terms of strengthening
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iran, moving it toward a nuclear weapon and strengthening its forces all around the region and the forces are aligned with it. at the same time, there is something of an awareness growing in the white house that this is causing trouble with allies. saudi arabia and israel in particular that a needs. to placate those hours. has not begun to agree with that when i don't understand is why the obvious reality may only
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explanation is domestic policy that tested committed after a party the biden administration concluding with national concert he interests. >> park i think you explained it to us this is ruled by professors appeared we are in this amazing world now the worldview running policy is pretty much the same ivy league professors. iran with the ivy league when i it was so detached from reality that's what we are seeing. any last words for us?
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what beautiful part of saudi arabia. [laughter] friend of mine that it's a flowering, sewing to the place to be exciting highlight and everything. it's the place to go. now i cance see what he's talkig about. [laughter] have fun onn the beaches. [laughter] 's former secretary of homeland security jeh johnson and former cia director mike morale talk about the fbi search at mar-a-lago. implications of the search rate watch tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan2. you can also watch under freight mobile video app c-span now.
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