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MBS’s October Messaging Buy

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Right: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebano... White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Right: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photos by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 13, 2022 11:20 a.m.

Ken Klippenstein has a piece in The Intercept about the Saudi-driven OPEC production cut as the “October Surprise” of the 2022 election cycle — one not simply aimed at maximizing domestic profits and assisting Russia in its war on Ukraine but specifically aimed at bringing Trump and his MAGA-infused GOP back to power. I think he’s right. I do notice though that the experts he quotes making this argument are longtime critics of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia. So they are people inclined to see events through a Saudi-hostile lens.

This is frequently a difficulty in making sense of current events. You want to see what the experts say but most experts have their own preconceptions and established narratives through which they are inclined to organize new events. I wanted to add this caution as a limitation or counter to my own view. But it remains my own view. This move is not only an example of the lopsided and outmoded relationship with Saudi Arabia but a specific effort to damage the party the Saudi leader, Mohamed bin Salman, opposes in U.S. domestic politics.

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