As I was listening to the song “Ahsan Nas (The Best of People)” by the late, great singer Dalida during a car ride with a friend, I read the news that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee had advanced the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act bill. The NOPEC bill will require approval by the House and Senate and President Joe Biden’s signature to become law.
The NOPEC bill is not the first attempt by U.S. legislators to capitalize on the demonization of oil-rich Arab countries by evoking the oil issue or demanding that OPEC be dismantled. The motivation of U.S. legislators has remained exactly the same now as it was then, to serve their own election agendas given that the Bedouin character, long exploited by Western media, is still ripe for political and media exploitation.
The American psyche has deteriorated into one driven by consumerism, even by political consumerism, and it has developed as such independent of the fact that the United States is the greatest economic and social model known to mankind. As painful as it is to witness what has become of those who descended from America’s Founding Fathers since they drafted the Declaration of Independence, one has to accept it is part and parcel of the passage of time.
The new American era of globalization has ended in failure; America’s unfulfilled promises to spread economic justice and prosperity have quickly been replaced by the spread of creative chaos to produce a more suitable social geography that fits a new vision (i.e., a Middle East delineated by sectarian rather than national borders). Yet, here we are today, witnessing a new form of American blunder marked by an obscure domestic policy and an absurd foreign policy. In the versions of both its domestic and foreign strategies, this blunder is premised on the same heavy-handed approach that marked American diplomacy during the invasion of Iraq: you’re either with us or against us.
Just like the Democrats, the Republicans have also practiced political intimidation on oil giants, as we are labeled by the press, simply because they have the power to intimidate and we tend to indulge the American Congress.
Even when U.S. legislators or administration officials describe us as “strategic allies” on their visits to our capitals, they only do so to boost their credentials and secure roles for themselves in domestic and foreign decision-making centers once they retire from public service or leave office.
However, Democratic administrations after Jimmy Carter’s White House have all exhibited a heightened disdain for the Arab Gulf personality and an adamant refusal to deal rationally and realistically with the exigencies of adapting their political approach to our countries. By contrast, our countries have always been loyal allies of the United States, even after Barack Obama’s administration adopted the strategy of wholesale regime change via the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, which was one of the dumbest American foreign policy models since the 1973 overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende.
President Biden, we want you to know that when it comes to the Ukraine crisis, we have neither a horse in the race nor a dog in the fight. Our countries have never taken an unethical position on foreign crises, whereas your administration has revoked the designation of the Houthi Ansarallah group as a terrorist group. Your honorable administration is also currently negotiating with the Iranian regime about the removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations in the hope that Tehran will agree to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement pursuant to its own conditions, despite your previous strong avowals that this would never happen or, as the Egyptians say, “over your dead body.”
President Biden, before you embark on your Middle East tour, we would advise your State Department to listen to the song “The Best of People” by Dalida, particularly the lyrics, “Let’s get to know each other, what else have we got to do?” Mr. President, achieving political baptism by showing contempt for the Arab Gulf character is no longer acceptable, and our countries must refuse to welcome any member of Congress who tries to demonize our countries or endanger our interests.