Josef Olmert
3 min readMar 7, 2021

ON DOUBLE STANDARDS AND HYPOCRISY-BIDEN, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND FOREIGN POLICY

President Biden and his team want us to believe, that this is a new US foreign policy-human rights are now a crucial element of this approach-this is the ‘’good’’ US, the US which is applying the best visions of the founding fathers. More politically relevant- this is the third Obama foreign policy term, with the rousing talks about morality in foreign policy. Yes, they are right-this is so different than Trump’s policy but with it some disturbing questions arise about consistency, for example.

Let us concentrate on the Middle East, and take the case of Saudi Arabia, and let us make it abundantly clear-Saudi Arabia is a violator of human rights-one of the worst in the world. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi ignited the wrath of the Biden team and its Progressive cheerleaders and for obvious reasons. The Crown Prince MBS is in charge of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, so there is no way to exempt him from responsibility, even if there is no smoking gun. Khashoggi was an adversary of the Saudi regime, and the regime does not like adversity of any kind. Khashoggi did not deserve to die, not because of that, nor because of his blatant anti-Semitic tweets. He was not the right person to become the symbol of the struggle between ‘’good’’ and ‘’evil’’ in Saudi Arabia, but the killing turned him into one, and was an inexcusable crime, which cannot be justified in any way, shape or form. So, where is the problem? Biden did the right thing, didn’t he? Well, a nagging question comes to mind. Why the singling out of Saudi Arabia, particularly when the Biden and Obama teams before him were, for years, aware of the atrocious state of human relations in the kingdom? Two cynical thoughts are bothering my suspicious mind. One has to do with oil, and the fact, that the US is far less dependent on Saudi oil than ever before, so why not settling scores with the Saudis at a time when they are so vulnerable? I somehow expect support for this idea from an unexpected source-the progressives around Biden, as these are the people who liked to criticize American administrations in the past for preferring oil over morality, but I have no illusions about that. This is because there is another reason why we need to be suspicious regarding the motivations of Biden and the progressives. This has to do with Iran-the sad reality is, that they prefer Iran over Saudi Arabia, and while they were busy issuing a damning report about MBS and the Khashoggi murder, they took the Houtis of Yemen off the terror list of the State Department. Here is where it is becoming so murky, so disingenuous. Iran is the patron of the Houtis, a terrible movement which is inflicting untold suffering on the Yemeni people in the service of Iran. The response of the Houtis to the Biden change of heart, was to intensify missile attacks on civilian population targets in Saudi Arabia. This is what terrorists are all about-you want to bribe them, and they know that you are weak. The Saudis cannot be exempted from responsibility to the atrocities in Yemen, but then, blaming only them and exonerating the Houtis, i.e the Iranians, is exactly the opposite of a consistent, moral position on human rights, let alone the overall terrible record of the Islamic Republic against minorities, women, the LGBTQ community. We can add to that, the suffering they inflict on the Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese people through their support of terror movements in these countries. We can go a further step ahead here.

Who remembers the name of NAVID AFKARI, the Iranian wrestler executed by the regime on 12 September 2020? His death was no less tragic than that of Khashoggi-was approved by the highest hierarchy in Iran, was directed against an innocent person whose only sin was his opposition to the blood thirsty regime in Tehran. Not too late to issue the AFKARI report, but alas, it is about Iran-it will not be published. The fact, that Iran is the baby of the progressives is in itself something to wonder about, but maybe a possible answer lies with the historic precedents of people like Noam Chomsky defending Pol Pot and an army of intellectuals defending Stalin. Somehow too many progressives seem to like bloody dictators provided they are “Ours” rather than “theirs”.

So, here is in a nutshell the story-Saudi Arabia is terrible when it comes to human rights-right. Iran?, not really-wrong. Consistency in Biden foreign policy? Not really-rather double standards and hypocrisy.