Last week, Greece announced it would be sending US-made Patriot anti-missile batteries and soldiers to man them to Saudi Arabia, to replace US-manned Patriots the Biden administration withdrew in April.
It was a momentous development in the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Middle East, and received zero coverage in the corporate media in the United States. When Greece steps up to fill the vacuum left by a US pullout, it gives you a measure of just how far the United States has retreated from the world stage over the past nine months.
This is not the Greece of Alexander the Great, but today’s Greece. Nearly bankrupt just a few years ago, Greece has now replaced the United States as defender of the world’s largest oil producer. Ouch.
Team Biden has been upset with Saudi Arabia from day one. In February, they admonished the Saudis for their war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen and cut off pending US arms deliveries to the Kingdom. They also snubbed Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his involvement in the grisly murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, a Qatari-aligned Saudi dissident.
While the crown prince is certainly no angel, Biden’s decision to outwardly alienate the Saudis has real-world implications. With the US turnover of Afghanistan to the Taliban, another Qatar-ally, a pattern is beginning to emerge: This administration foolishly prefers Sunni Muslim jihadis and Iranian mullahs building nuclear weapons over traditional allies of the United States who oppose a nuclear-armed Iran.
The dismissal of these allies could also be seen in the way Washington simply ignored the first anniversary of the groundbreaking Abraham Accords negotiated by the Trump administration and the governments of Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco last year.
Presented to the public with pomp and ceremony by then-President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020, no one in DC seemed to recall them just one year later.
The only official ceremony attended by a Biden administration representative was held at the United Nations in New York among UN ambassadors.
While US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield muttered praise for the agreement, she “purposefully abstained” from using the term “Abraham Accords,” according to the Times of Israel, and quickly turned to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was precisely the lack of progress in those talks — stalled for years because of Palestinian refusal to accept the Jewish state, curb terrorism and anti-Semitic teachings in government schools — that led Trump aide Jared Kushner to look further afield to widen the circle of peace.
Already in 2018, UAE leader Mohammad bin Zayed was telling American author and evangelical leader Joel Rosenberg that he wanted to “be the next” to make peace with the Jewish State.
In just one year, trade between Israel and the UAE has skyrocketed, climbing from $51 million for the first seven months of 2020, before the accords, to nearly $614 million during the same period this year. And even though Saudi Arabia did not join the agreement, the Kingdom allowed Israeli and Emirati commercial jets to fly over its territory within weeks of it being signed.
These are not mere coincidences, but part of a geopolitical worldview held by Team Biden that subordinates the security of the United States and our allies to self-avowed enemies such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and the newly reborn Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
To its credit, the Biden White House — so far, at least — has not criticized Greece for helping Saudi Arabia defend itself from the Iranian missiles hitting its capitol. Perhaps National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is still trying to figure out how a tiny party island like Mykonos acquired Patriot missiles.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is the best-selling author of “ISIS Begins: A Novel of the Iraq War.” He lectured on Iran at the Pentagon’s Joint Counter-Intelligence Training Academy from 2010-2016.