American Foreign Policy, MENA normalization, and fallout from 2020 American political dispute

"Seek Peace, And Pursue It (Washington, DC)" by takomabibelot is marked with CC0 1.0

By | Rachel Brooks

December 14, 2020 

This is a developing story.

A previous version of this article listed Dr. Joffe as an archaeologist. Dr. Joffe holds a degree in archaeology, and is a senior non-resident fellow at the BESA Center.

World powers are shifting. The roles as they have been understood, post World War 2, are changing. The United States has previously been seen as the world leader of foreign policy. This may be changed, whether by the shift in foreign policy from administration change, or the internal conflict over partisanship and a split American political ideology.

Note on our analysis

On December 14, the electoral college in the American political system voted to certify the next president of the United States. As of the most recent update, the electoral college voted to certify Joe Biden as president-elect. Legal contests will continue, to investigate the allegations of voter fraud in the interim.

Ahead of these investigations, The Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr resigned on December 14, and was replaced with his Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen. 

Alternate votes had also been cast by the GOP in the states of Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona. These symbolic votes were part of the GOP bid to cast alternate ballots for the election contest of invalidating the contested election on the evidence of fraud, and voting instead in favor of the incumbent. This is up to the U.S. Code which requires the Congress to look at all certifications of the electoral votes, before their decisions can be made. See Cornell Law for more.

Why Republic Underground will continue to analyze American election contests until January 6

However, under American law, the potential for these electoral votes to be nullified exists if the Congress votes in opposition to the election. Because the incumbent President Trump has contested the election on the grounds of a federal fraud investigation into the process of vote tabulation, the date of significance is January 6 for the final statement on whether or not all legal contests have been determined. The Congressional hearing date is January 6, 2021. 

Morocco recognized by U.S. as Western Sahara sovereign, establishes normal ties with Israel

Republic Underground News has chosen to forecast this analysis of 2021 American foreign policy in the Middle East under the assumption that January 6 is the final date of certification for election results. This, we have included, to factor in the significance of the political aftermath of the election challenges that will continue to this date, and how they will affect foreign policy’s trajectory. The expected response of the American people to one candidate or the other being chosen by the Congress will have a reflection on all forward-moving American policy, including that of MENA normalization, and the process of Americanism in the MENA from the American voice of influence. 

The foreign policy of the Trump era

 The foreign policy of the Trump era changed dramatically as Trump used economic policies to negotiate in the Middle East. Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear agreement, which sparked outrage among his opposition in the Americas, but also created a unique scenario for forward-moving diplomacy in the Middle East. The changing power demographic created a unique struggle within the region. It forced the locals to regroup and answer the Iranian question, as the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to commit human rights crimes against anyone who criticizes the regime. 

The foreign influence of Iran 

Rahim Hamid, a journalist who advocates the rights of Ahwazi Arabs in the Iranian regime, explained the risks created by the Iranian power arm-stretching beyond its borders. He noted that the other western countries were not as keen to pass judgment on Iran as America has been. 

“The western countries will never raise such issues against Iran, what is important for them is their economic interests and saving the regime

France officials said last week that, for example, their relations with Egypt is more important than the human rights case in this country, so it applies to Iran as well,” said Hamid. 

He then noted that political fugitives of the Iranian regime are not safe just because they escape to a western country, as Iran has its network to lure these fugitives away from the tolerance of the western world. He mentioned the ill-fated execution of the Persian media activist Ruhollah Zam, who was lured from France to Iraq and then captured by the Iran Quds Force guards. 

“Iran executed Ruhollah Zam who ran an opposition Telegram channel Amad News. IRGC lured him to Iraq from France & kidnapped him back to Iran. His father is a senior cleric close to the regime. He made a big naive mistake and was lured in a foolish way to Iraq and was kidnapped from there and brought into Iran,” said Hamid. 

He also noted how a similar fate befell the Ahwazi Arab activist, Swedish national Habib Alaswad Alkaab. 

“The IRGC had another victim outside of Iran’s borders.

Arsalan Rezai is neither their first nor their last victim,” he stated mentioning how Iran had targeted ethnic Ahwazi Arabs activists who have escaped the regime. 

Foreign policy and has focused for many years on the Middle East and North Africa, but with the Trump administration, citing K.T. McFarland withdrew its more intense interests from the area to focus on the risk of China. McFarland referred to the American intervention in the Middle East as “endless wars”, which echoed the sentiment of the Trump era. With Trump’s withdrawal from the Middle East, there was left a power vacuum of sorts. America’s presence as a mediator was undermined due to the sudden absence, citing Irina Tuskerman’s academic report with the Besa Center. 

Dr. Alex Joffe, a senior non-resident fellow at the BESA Center, noted that Qatar would be compelled to take advantage of the “travails” of the Trump administration. Dr. Joffe is a specialist in ancient and modern Middle Eastern studies, American foreign policy, and American cultural politics.

“Qatari sources will undoubtedly take advantage of the Trump Administration’s travails, both indirectly through its various media outlets and through its network of paid agents in Washington,” said Joffe. 

“But the Trump Administration has increasingly boxed in a Biden Administration by orchestrating a growing number of peace agreements between Arab states and Israel as well as with sanctions on Iranian (and Chinese) entities. Biden functionaries are beginning to acknowledge that it will be impossible to snap back to an Obama era Iran policy, and various voices are recommending that Iran not be a priority. At this point, it is unclear whether Iran will be a priority, given the challenge of reviving the American economy. “

Dr. Joffe also noted that Qatari Islamists may take advantage of the precarious situation in American politics regarding the 2020 Presidential Election. While Joe Biden is the currently projected winner, Donald Trump continues to contest the election results, in appeals of previous lawsuits in the Supreme Court. Trump’s legal team likewise states that it is a possibility he will enforce a 2018 executive order to seize assets and investigate foreign election intervention. 

“The various lawsuits challenging the election results, thus far unsuccessful, as well as trivial statements from various individuals regarding secession, will undoubtedly be blown completely out of proportion by Qatari and other Islamist sources,” said Dr. Joffe. 

“The former, while not totally exhausted, are nearing an end, while the other are simply expressions of deep cultural and political divides within the US. More important adversaries, namely China and Russia, will exploit these divisions in more damaging and systematic ways than Islamists. But the geopolitical ground has shifted in the Middle East and the Israeli alliance with Gulf states, as well as Saudi Arabia, is here to stay. A tacit alliance between the American far left and the Iranian revolutionary regime is unlikely to positively influence American voters, particularly before the 2022 midterm elections when Republicans are expected to do well.” 

A clash in western political ideologies

The realities of the radical changes brought on by the Trump administration have been referred to in America as “Trumpism” and signify a catalyzing point of change in the western world. 

American politics are now divided in two between the political ideologies of nationalism and globalism. National patriotism influenced Americanism abroad in former historical periods. Yet, under the nationalism movement in the United States, the ideals of isolating America from the rest of the world have been promoted more.

Morocco recognized by U.S. as Western Sahara sovereign, establishes normal ties with Israel

The extremist leftist policies are opposed to American isolationism, but also to the more moderate forms of American mediation that have generally been promoted by American national patriotism at the more moderate spectrum.

Leftists prefer to promote a globalist ideology of American interventionism. In the vacuum that exists from Trump’s past four years in office, which were seen as American isolationism in some respects, an American forcing an interventionist agenda would likely not be welcomed in the MENA states. 

American interventionism vs. American mediation 

The Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden have been involved in American politics in one capacity or the other for 47 years. These four decades serve to give the analysis patterns of policy anticipation. 

Biden is anticipated to appoint former deputy director of the CIA Avril Haines to preside over his foreign policy teams. 

The Haines stance on MENA policy is one that reflects American interventionism. While America has led in previous years as a sort of global police of regional criminal activity and uprising, American interventionism is the instance where policy failure complicates and even self-sabotages this delicate foreign counterbalance presence. An America that acts as a mediator has been viewed positively, but America as a foreign comptroller has received a negative response. 

When questioning Haines’s policy on Saudi, one may refer to her former dialogue regarding the Kingdom. Haines spoke at America’s Cybersecurity Problem conference with the 9/11 Memorial Museum in October 2018. From the transcript, one may observe her rhetoric regarding Mohammed bin Salman. She was recorded on the transcript of this event speaking on the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi’s role as a journalist is, in part, skewed, as his position was one of promoting propaganda. 

“On Saudi Arabia more generally, honestly, it’s very hard for a person, I guess, in my position, with my experience– and I think most of my colleagues would say the same thing– to believe that… that Mohammed bin Salman didn’t order, essentially, the… you know, the capture of Jamal Khashoggi.

And the question of whether or not he was intended to be killed at the consulate or not I think is, you know, still a question. But it also seems very likely that he was, given the additional information that’s come out. I mean, the fact that what appears to be a body double having been brought there, you know, being dressed up in his clothes, being essentially… you know, walking around in order to try to promote the story that was being told, all of those seem to suggest premeditation that would indicate that they did, in fact, intend, you know, potentially to kill him, but, of course, they might have done that also even if they were capturing him and bringing him back to Saudi Arabia. So, so I… You know, some of the details, I think, are ones that you still want to hear the facts on. But it’s just very, very hard to believe that it isn’t Mohammed bin Salman doing that,” she said, specifically noting bin Salman as responsible, at least potentially, in the death of Khashoggi.  

“I think one of the implications of that is just how… I think how much he has grown in confidence in his position and his power in Saudi Arabia. And that, I think, is, you know, not surprising in some respects, but we see a lot of signs of it, but this would be one of them. And I also think there’s a sort of a recklessness to this activity and other things that we’ve seen surrounding that.”

“Too cold, then spiking hot” American intervention in a vacuum could be problematic 

Dr. Haines then makes a direct reference to the Trump administration’s policy in Saudi Arabia. In her position, the Trump administration did not take a stance that was proactive enough. This sentiment has been echoed by various political analyses. However, a sudden dramatic shift in policy in a region grown accustomed to the absenteeism of Donald Trump may not be as well-received as a Biden administration might expect. 

Threats the U.S. perceives as domestic security issues may reshape foreign policy.

“Then there’s the reaction of the Trump administration, obviously, to the sequence of events. And I think, you know, to the extent that the Trump administration already has not been direct and immediate in their demand for an investigation that goes beyond Saudi Arabia, I think that is a real problem. And mostly because, first of all, this is unacceptable behavior that we should in no circumstances… and I think there are, you know, on a bipartisan basis, agreement on that view. Moreover, I think it sends a signal to the region and others in the space that this is somehow something that we’re willing to tolerate,” she said. Her statement indicates that a Biden administration, with her in the lead of foreign policy, would take the approach of American interventionism. The circumstances of Khashoggi’s death were a complex political scenario. 

Irina Tsukerman, an American human rights attorney and geopolitical analyst, noted the media-backing and propaganda of scenarios like the death of Khashoggi in launching political dissent campaigns. She filed an academic review of this scenario with the Besa Center. 

Comparing the political agendas of Trump versus Biden in the MENA region serves as a means to forecast the potential outcome of American policy in the region following the 2016-2020 American political era. 

Jeddah tanker attacks and the GCC

On December 14, a tanker owned by Singapore was attacked in the Gulf near Jeddah. This was reported by the BBC. The tanker’s owner company Hafnia reported that the BW rhine oil tanker had made an impact with an external source, which resulted in an explosion and subsequent fire. This incident comes a few weeks after the Saudis had accused Houthi rebels of launching such attacks on Gulf tankers. Due to Qatar’s financing of Houthis, this will likely renew tensions between Saudi and Qatar, as Saudi looks to Qatar for accountability over the situation. 

This took place just two days after Saudi announced this year’s Gulf Cooperation Council GCC Summit will be held on January 5. The summit was scheduled with the optimism of an end to the blockade dispute between the other member nations, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait, with the remaining member nation Qatar. The dispute has continued since 2017. The other members placed a blockade on Qatar for its financing of Houthi terrorism in Yemen. 

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Culpability over the recent incident will be a hot stressor for conflict resolution, as all sides will question it. 

Recent information points in the direction of the Houthis. Irina Tsukerman, a national security analyst, explains that some US contractors have been called on by a major international body and by some US federal authorities to testify about this summer’s revelations of Qatar’s financial sponsorship and role in delivering Chinese drones for Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.

Houthis have repeatedly used these weapons to attack KSA targets. Tsukerman said: “I have personally interviewed the main source of the most recent revelations in Germany. His latest evidence demonstrates the direct link between the inner circles of the Al Thani family and the financing of those drones. I had an opportunity to examine the evidence. This contractor had previously worked as an elite Western intelligence operative; most recently he has begun contract work with the German intelligence services. This information has been corroborated. Today he confirmed to me that the latest attack on the oil tanker near Jeddah, using a sophisticated driverless boat, has been perpetrated by the Houthis. They would not have access to such weapons without direct financial assistance from Qatar, and Iran’s backing. This brings the GCC reconciliation process into question. How can KSA lift the blockade against Qatar when the very group that just attacked it and that has previously attacked it is directly financed and sponsored by Qatar’s royal family? Opening airspace and other territory to Qatar is an invitation for additional smuggling and future attacks”.

Indeed, Erem News, an Arabic language outlet, recently reported that the talks, initially filled with enthusiasm, has already shown signs of faltering with obstacles appearing far more significant than a week of shuttle diplomacy between US and Kuwaiti officials could resolve. In the event Biden administration takes place any pressure on Saudi Arabia to bring Qatar back into the fold, given the most recent evidence emerging, would have to take these efforts and challenges into consideration.

Enter America, with is diplomatic mediative responsibility. While Trump will likely continue to push for all GCC states to reconcile, even with the Jeddah attack looming overhead, Biden will have a far more aggressive policy regarding the other GCC members and is expected to place pressure on the KSA over its stance against Qatar. The Trump policy is driven by a desire to separate Qatar away from Iran and to form a cohesive line against the Islamic Republic, that would be less dependent on US presence. This policy is fraught with many challenges, including the fact that the normalization process with Israel has not been completed by several members. Moreover, this would credit the Trump administration with significant diplomatic clout of having resolved another major Middle Eastern crisis.

For Biden, however, the calculation is different. The Democrats are significantly closer to Qatar and its proxies; they are not necessarily looking to weaken Qatar’s alliance with Iran or to unite the GCC against Iran; on the contrary, they view pressuring Saudis in that regard as empowering Qatar, which they see as an important potential intermediary between Iran and Washington in the event of future JCPOA talks. Bringing Qatar back into GCC would be a show of goodwill towards Doha and Tehran, and forcing KSA to compromise its own security in that regard, would mean that Iran could be appreciative of the US effort to once again reorient its alliance away from Riyadh and towards Tehran, which could facilitate diplomacy (in Biden’s view).

From KSA’s perspective, for better or for worse, it is better to take steps to examine this issue before Biden forces the resolution on his own terms. The most recent incident coupled with the new information may give the pretext to table the conclusive resolution for the foreseeable future; not even Biden would be able in good conscience to criticize Saudi Arabia for failing to give Qatar an opportunity when it was attacked by Qatar’s protegee during the talks.

A note on December 14 electoral results

At this stage of the election contest, Joe Biden is anticipated to become officially the president-elect. This is due to the anticipated outcome of the vote certification of the American electoral college on December 14. The whole world anticipated this day because it is the final process of the actual election itself.  

For the sake of technical correctness, Biden will not be officially the president-elect until the Congressional hearing on January 6, 2021. If the Congress votes against Biden’s election, and against the electoral college’s final certification of it, then the election results will be considered null and disqualified due to the alleged fraud and irregular processes. Congress could invalidate state electoral votes where fraud and foreign interference are currently alleged to have compromised election integrity, then Trump may become president for a second term.

This potential scenario will be based on the evidence. Within the next week, Trump can use his executive powers to seize assets for an election investigation. This is based on an executive order he signed in 2018.

Likewise, the Trump administration toted the possibility that it would ask the SCOTUS to allow it to appoint separate electors to certify the election. This may create additional controversy, as the Biden supporting electoral body will certify their votes today. A full report of proposed alternate electors was published in The Epoch Times on December 14. In recent reports, Pennsylvania’s Republican party cast alternate electoral votes even as the Democratic-appointed electors cast their votes. 

Republic Underground News has taken these issues into account with our analysis of MENA normalization under American influence.

If Biden, then… 

Avril Haines as a foreign policy choice for Joe Biden creates some potential issues with the current trajectory of normalized ties, and nuances of policy direction in the MENA region. For one, the greater willingness of the MENA states to cooperate with Israel against Iran makes the black and white politics of Haines’ stance on Israel a bit more complex. Haines is quite opposed to Israel’s policies, as well as critical of Saudi. 

For example, Haines signed a formal letter penned by the Democratic National Committee, alongside 30 U.S. officials, to take a tough stance on Israel, and promote the rights and interests of the Palestinian authority. This was reported by the Jewish News Syndicate on May 5, 2020. This is problematic because nations surrounding Israel as well as Israel itself are beginning to enforce a stricter stance on the Palestinian Authority due to its cooperation with Hizbullah. 

Biden’s appointment of Haines paves the pathway for Haines to execute this leftist policy at an elevated level. Haines would likely support leftist policies and stiff stance control on counterpart states of the MENA as well. 

Even though major institutions, such as Chatham House, believe that Biden will stabilize the region after Trump’s four years, this is an idealistic vision of a situation far more complex in 2020 than in previous eras. It is worthy of note that Chatham House, is financed by Qatar, and that the institution takes a position favorable to Doha’s foreign policy. 

Note on the process of fraud contest

Trump has so far been incredibly unsuccessful in his bid to contest the alleged fraud of the 2020 election, with a most recent lawsuit in the Wisconsin Supreme Court tossed on December 14, despite the facts of an abundance of evidence revealing Chinese and Iranian interventionism in the Dominion voting software and the mail-in ballots. Likewise, there have been fraud arguments in the Wisconsin legislature, in which United States Postal Service workers state there was not a proper chain of custody in the delivery of mail-in votes from the ballot boxes. 

If Trump then…

One must assume a Congressional invalidation of current elections results, to forecast the potential of a renewed Trump administration in 2021.

Should Trump resume his presidency, and be successful in his election challenges, one may watch the stance he takes domestically to observe what his foreign policy will look like in the future. Should Trump continue to take the approach of an isolationist, one might witness the power vacuums presented by his administration’s withdrawal as widening and deepening. In which case, the United States will have effectively disengaged from the Middle East, paving the way for the contest of dominant voice to resume. 

Yet, Trump’s policy itself may be forced by his domestic situation to drastically change. If so, the consequences will be observed based on the specifics of his actions and reactions. 

Trump has struggled severely domestically with constant undermining by the opposition party. There have likewise been many members of his party who have undermined his authority in the executive position. From voting to lessen his war powers after the assassination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, to the outcry and protest of his decision to move the American embassy of Israel to Jerusalem, Trump has been leading in foreign policy but more or less dragging U.S. officials behind him. 

His reelection, if successful, will be met with calculated and intense protest by his opposition. Regarding Trump’s reelection campaign, confusion, and domestic disturbance circles directly around the cooperative intervention of China and Iran in the U.S. presidential election. Allegations surfaced in the courts that China and Iran were able to log onto the server of Dominion election software and intervene in the process of U.S. elections, infiltrating sensitive systems that would give them access to compromising information directly jeopardizing the American people. 

For this reason, Trump, who is a staunch nationalist and believes in a pro-American policy on all counts, would likely enforce a stiff and possibly even dramatic lockdown on both China and Iran as considered-joint foreign actors. In this, Trump is likely to find commonalities with Saudi Arabia, if not a direct ally in them. This is due to the need to form a coalition over the threat of Iranian proxies overall, and its takeover of four Arab states and meddling in the Eastern Shia-majority population of KSA as well. Likewise, Iran is guilty of backing mention the Houthis in Yemen. 

American interventionism vs. American mediation 

The Haines stance on MENA policy is one that reflects American interventionism. While America has led in previous years as a sort of global police of regional criminal activity and uprising, American interventionism is the instance where policy failure complicates and even self-sabotages this delicate foreign counterbalance presence. An America that acts as a mediator has been viewed positively, but America as a foreign comptroller has received a negative response. 

When questioning Haines’s policy on Saudi, one may refer to her former dialogue regarding the Kingdom. Haines spoke at America’s Cybersecurity Problem conference with the 9/11 Memorial Museum in October 2018. From the transcript, one may observe her rhetoric regarding Mohammed bin Salman. She was recorded on the transcript of this event speaking on the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi’s role as a journalist is, in part, skewed, as his position was one of promoting propaganda. 

“On Saudi Arabia more generally, honestly, it’s very hard for a person, I guess, in my position, with my experience– and I think most of my colleagues would say the same thing– to believe that… that Mohammed bin Salman didn’t order, essentially, the… you know, the capture of Jamal Khashoggi. And the question of whether or not he was intended to be killed at the consulate or not I think is, you know, still a question. But it also seems very likely that he was, given the additional information that’s come out.

I mean, the fact that what appears to be a body double having been brought there, you know, being dressed up in his clothes, being essentially… you know, walking around in order to try to promote the story that was being told, all of those seem to suggest premeditation that would indicate that they did, in fact, intend, you know, potentially to kill him, but, of course, they might have done that also even if they were capturing him and bringing him back to Saudi Arabia. So, so I… You know, some of the details, I think, are ones that you still want to hear the facts on. But it’s just very, very hard to believe that it isn’t Mohammed bin Salman doing that,” she said, specifically noting bin Salman as responsible, at least potentially, in the death of Khashoggi.  

“I think one of the implications of that is just how… I think how much he has grown in confidence in his position and his power in Saudi Arabia. And that, I think, is, you know, not surprising in some respects, but we see a lot of signs of it, but this would be one of them. And I also think there’s a sort of a recklessness to this activity and other things that we’ve seen surrounding that.”

American domestic power clash resulting from election dispute

It is difficult to gauge the likely outcome of election contests. If they should follow the pattern that they have currently presented, then they will be unsuccessful. 

Yet, there are also scenarios in which the following contests may have merits. This is a reason why the analysis of forward-moving American influence in MENA policy must be based on two potential outcomes. While the media supports the narrative that Biden is the cemented victor, the U.S. media is owned and operated by the far-left opposition. It is in the favor of the media to promote their candidate of choice. Time Magazine even went so far as to name Biden and his vice president pick Kamala Harris, as their “people of the year.” Yet, when one looks at the court dockets, one sees a more direct comparison of the legal battle status. 

On December 11, the United States was split nearly into factions over its support or opposition of presenting a legal electoral challenge in the Supreme Court of the United States. The state of Texas had sued the “battleground” states, or key elector states, for violating their own election laws. On December 11, the State Legislature hearing in Wisconsin heard arguments by United States Postal Service workers and attorneys. The argument was over the violation of Wisconsin state voter plans. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, was found to have financed a separate and unlawful private voting plan for the state of Wisconsin that only applied to urban areas.

The state of Texas was joined by 18 states as well as by Republican majorities from California and Nevada districts in its lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Trump likewise petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case, which was joined by 106 House Republicans. Prominent influencers of Trump’s party likewise voiced their support, asking the SCOTUS to hear the case. Also, states that were sued had their Republic representatives petition the court to hear the case. This included Arizona and Pennsylvania. Trump’s opposition, particularly Chuck Schumer of the House, and at least 22 other states had filed motions to prevent this case from going to the SCOTUS. 

In addition to these cases, other cases that were dismissed from State Supreme Courts have filed for an appeal in the SCOTUS. 

The general opinion of the American people is that the SCOTUS is under extreme pressure to hear at least some of these cases. This opinion was reflected, in part, by Kevin Jackson of the Tea Party, which is a right-wing lobby. Jackson stated that at least 75 percent of Americans were estimated to have been in favor of Donald Trump’s reelection. This included a surprising number of Democrats, the opposite party. The majority of Trump’s opposition hail from the Democratic party. 

So far as Jackson was concerned, Trump’s reelection campaign had high chances of success. 

“I’m 100 percent confident. Donald Trump will be president again,” he said. 

Jackson also voiced a common sentiment to Trump, that an American under a resumed Trump administration would be strongly opposed to further Chinese interventionism. 

“80 million Americans will not buy Chinese. We are going to hurt their economy like they will never believe. You wanna poke the dragon, the tiger will eat the dragon,” said Jackson, denouncing the fractional voting that Dominion software used to tabulate the 2020 election. He likewise had a strong rebuke from Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia. Jackson referred to Kemp as “a Rhino” which is a political term for a Republican that is sympathetic to the opposition party or does not reflect the interests of the conservative body of the Republican party. 

Fractional voting. They didn’t think it through. So when it’s all said and done, Rhino Kemp ends up in prison… It’s one thing to piss off the American government. Once that occurs, China better watch out. They pissed off the American people. Far worse.”

Jackson noted that America as a whole will lose its approval of trade with China, due to the risk to national security presented by Chinese interventionism in U.S. elections. China’s close cooperation with Iran will stimulate renewed American opposition to pro-Iranian interests by proxy.

This proxy sentiment will stir the American people to lobby for Iranian opposed policies. This would create a smooth process for Trump’s foreign policy regarding Iran, which may include greater cooperation with Saudi’s Iran diverting interests.

This may likewise include American crackdown on China’s interests in Iran. At this moment, Saudi Arabia is invested in its relationship with China but also knows that there are limitations to it. If given the correct motivation, Saudi Arabia may relax its ties with China.

“There is no official Saudi support for Ahwazis and other opposition groups and Saudis are very conservative to declare that they support or are in relation with Ahwazis and other groups even if it was sort of suppot,” said Rahim Hamid.

By the same token, American sentiment toward China and Iran is likely to be embittered in the case that Biden is elected, even after legal challenges. The voting public that feels it has been cheated of its votes will not forget the process by which this disenfranchisement occurred. American voters and lobby against the interests of the candidate they view as a usurper will likely make Biden face similar circumstances from the right-wing political body that Trump faced from the staunch-left in that event. 

American interventionism and doublespeak 

A recurring problem with American interventionist rhetoric of the far left of U.S. politics is its doublespeak. For example, the Biden choice for foreign policy leader has some ideals that tend to reveal a negative perspective of Saudi during the normalization process. The Biden campaign has expressed negative rhetoric toward Israel. Biden’s politics have been favorable to Iran in many cases. 

Yet, Biden’s selection for a national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has been active in vocally condemning Iran and China in their human rights abuses, via his social media. This reflects a political double-speak of sorts common in the politics of American interventionism. 

The rhetoric of a Biden administration is one of condemning the acts of foreign leaders and pledging a globalist approach toward resolving these issues. This positions America to take the stance that it has repeated over the years, as an entity injecting western agenda into complex foreign scenarios, all while pacifying the American public with the promise to protect human rights. 

Biden “boxed in” regardless 

Regardless of the election outcome, Biden may be boxed into a corner he cannot easily step away from in terms of the Abraham Accords policy. The Jerusalem Post analyzed that Biden while expressing acceptance of the Abraham Accords, would likely be uncomfortable with some of the incidental circumstances of the agreement. These “strings,” the Jerusalem Post called them, present Biden and his foreign with inconvenient circumstances that he may try to block. Yet, the delicate defense and security issues of these policies may block Biden in, in such a way that he cannot make any rapid-process decision without creating errors on many more fronts. 

For example, the post noted the renewed sale of UAE F35 planes between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. This is a sale that Biden as the diplomatic mediator of America could vote to subvert if he was uncomfortable with its proceeding. This could create unique problems, as Americans may be seen to have given a gift and then snatched it back in the process of normalized trade. The United Arab Emirates has wanted for some time to buy the planes in question, for example, and American interference may be questioned as an action of American interventionism. If the UAE, in this scenario, were denied the process of the sale as set forth by the accords, it could turn to Russia, China, or other countries. This would be a step backward for U.S. regional policy. 

Preventing such a sale would likewise generate disdain from the American public, as sales of munitions in the Gulf could create revenue and jobs for U.S. defense industry.

Biden must earn the trust of MENA states

Biden’s ascent to power is a thorny path. Held under extreme scrutiny in his own country, he will also have the shadow of his role in the Obama administration looming over him when he enters the negotiation table once more in the MENA region. The MENA region has held Obama accountable for the aftermath of the Arab Spring, stating that the Obama era gave a certification to allow Islamists subversive insurrections against stable governments. Biden is a familiar face from those days.

Due to this familiarity with a traumatic period of MENA history, Biden will be held to high scrutiny by a more progressive movement in the region. They will demand he earns their trust, and show that he is more committed to maintaining a positive American influence in the region than his counterpart. 

Biden will likely also need to factor in Trump’s popularity in the region to be successfully political. Because Trump had such positive reception from especially Israel, Biden must be careful not to undermine his legacy for mere politicization. Severe disruption of this legacy, for example, would be moving the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv after Trump moved it to Jerusalem, which is recognized as the ancient Jewish capital by the Jewish state. To do this would be to express favoritism of the arguments of the Palestinian Authority, which may have a ripple effect on the politics of normalization, as the PA has been held under scrutiny in the region for its involvement with the Iranian regime. 

A note on the scenarios of the clash 

Regardless of the final results of the U.S. election contest, the power clash between the two extreme demographics of the American domestic political struggle will have their effect on U.S. foreign policy. This domestic clash could generate reactionary politics in the MENA. 

The domestic battle thus far 

For the past week, the legal battle for the U.S. election proceeded with some profound setbacks for the Trump campaign, which triggered an immense response from his supporters. 

On December 11, that issue was still being challenged in court. It was verbally recognized in the oral arguments of the State of Wisconsin Legislature’s election fraud hearings, early in the afternoon of December 11, that there is no Constitutionally fixed deadline of December 8 or December 14 for contesting election results. The date of grave importance is that of January 6, 2021, when Congress will meet to vote on the final verdict of elections. 

Morocco recognized by U.S. as Western Sahara sovereign, establishes normal ties with Israel

The prolonged legal battle causes challenges for forecasted analysis of U.S. foreign policy in 2021. One may infer two separate patterns of outcomes depending on the policy and forward-moving activity of either candidate in the continued debate. 

On December 11, the Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, rejected the lawsuit by Texas and the other 18 states in the Supreme Court because Texas was not a state directly affected by the fraud, therefore it was not considered the best option to file.

The Trump legal team considered new options to file lawsuits with the Supreme Courts of the states impacted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, noting that the Supreme Court had not dismissed the allegations of fraud. Jenna Ellis, a lawyer with the Trump legal defense, states that the legal contests still have until the Congressional hearing on January 6 to contest the election. The electoral college will move to vote for their electors on December 14, but the case still may be overturned if fraud is found.

For this reason, the absolute results of the United Presidential Election of 2020 will not be known until January 6, 2021. Rudy Guliani likewise stated that the case was not rejected on merits but on standing.

Follow up cases will be based on standing. The court wishes to stay out of the battle. Guliani stated that the accusations need to decide to hear these allegations, and decide whether they are true or false. Guliani states that the cases will be filed immediately in district courts, as separate courts, in which Trump will have standing. Guiliani states that the voter fraud issue must be extended past the present issue of Biden and Trump. 

“We’re not finished, believe me,” Rudy Guliani told Newsmax TV on December 11 following the Supreme Court’s decision. 

In addition to the Guliani promise to continue the election contest, Attorney Lin Wood of Georgia has appealed his lawsuit to the Supreme Court. This appeal was filed on December 11. The case was docketed by the Supreme Court before the court decided to reject the Texas bid. 

In the hours that followed, a protest was launched in Washington, D.C. The domestic clash was seen first hand, with extremist groups of both the right and the left falling upon each other. Four people were stabbed, and numerous others were arrested. 

The reflection on foreign policy from the U.S. domestic political clash 

The situation in Washington, D.C. shows the security risk of the clash between nationalism and globalism ideologies in the United States. It also shows that America will be preoccupied with its internal security issues. The scenario presented by allegations against the leftist globalist agenda reflects Hamid’s review of the Iranian regime’s influence in abducting prisoners and fugitives from European asylum. 

The U.S. may be influenced toward more isolated policies not by political ideology but by a preoccupation with an internal crisis. 

Scenario 1: Kingdom influence grows in American vacuum 

Another potential outcome of an America self-sabotaged by its domestic dominance upheaval is the event that Saudi takes a stronger lead in MENA relations. Saudi’s progressive interests in the MENA are based around the prince’s glittering Neom city project, built-in Bedouin territory. Neom has been called bin Salman’s “bloody dream city.” $500 billion have been invested to realize this massive smart city rising in the desert. The investment and motivation to raise the city over the rest of the region show that Saudi Arabia is by no means, as Dr. Haines inferred, ready to relinquish its strong influence in the region. 

Likewise, should America revert to the Obama-era interventionism that is regionally accredited with igniting the Arab Spring, the MENA nations may double back from America. Progress has commenced under a radically different the United States than the one Obama led. A policy of undermining the former administration for the sake of undermining the former administration may not be received so favorably as the projected Biden cabinet would anticipate. To this end, Qatar-propaganda and leftist rhetoric also have their limits. The influence of these outlets stands to be undermined.  

Scenario 2: Turkey dominates where the U.S. withdraws 

Regardless of the Saudi influence factor, a high-likelihood outcome of the U.S. domestic chaos and its corresponding interruptions to foreign policy is the removal of stop-blocks to Turkey’s Ottoman revisionist politics. 

Turkey’s advancement of interests on the region, however, has met one key obstacle on December 14, with the motion of the U.S. decision to sanction the nation for its purchase of the Russian S400 weapons system. This was publicly addressed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Despite our warnings, Turkey moved ahead with its purchase and testing of the S-400 system from Russia. Today’s sanctions on Turkey’s SSB demonstrates the U.S. will fully implement #CAATSA. We will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia’s defense sector,” tweeted Pompeo. 

The question remains as to whether a U.S. sanction will prevent Turkish negative activity in the region, or whether it will push Turkey to trade to a higher capacity with Russia. On the one hand, Turkey may have accessibilty to further war equipment with Russian trade, but the U.S. may issue follow up sanctions. This is dependant on the Biden stance over the Trump stance on Turkey sanctions.

Normalization in Morocco 

Mellah Radio has closely covered the scenario of the Trump administration’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara. While some of the American Democrats may find a Biden administration will return the region to a Clinton-styled halcyon era policy, they might be mistaken. Trump announced a U.S. recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in December, which sent ripples through the world policy theater. Analysis by Tim Lister at CNN called Trump’s Morocco policy a “headache” for the Biden team. The American recognition of Morocco as the sovereign of the region goes against the grain of the Democratic agenda in the region, which is one of a more forceful American intervention. 

Morocco recognized by U.S. as Western Sahara sovereign, establishes normal ties with Israel

The Association Mimouna, along with the U.S. Jewish-American Sephardi Federation, are partners in preserving the legacy of King Mohammed VI. They work to preserve his legacy as preserving and promoting Judeo-Moroccan relations. King Mohammed VI was credited with making strides in gaining U.S. recognition, as well as making strides in Israel ties and expansion. The two associations released a statement regarding the American recognition of Morocco. The American recognition of Morocco is seen by Morocco as a great stride of progress, with a traceable heritage of historical sovereignty over Western Sahara. Solidarity for this recognition has been expressed by America’s Moroccan Jewish diaspora of 900,000 people. This is the world’s second-largest diaspora of Moroccan people, with the largest being in France. 

MENA Normalization and Abraham Accords – the scenarios under Biden and Trump

At the core of all the questions about America moving forward in 2021, is the Abraham Accords and the presence of America as a mediator of Israel policy. Trump was well received in Israel, a U.S. president who paved the path to stability in the region. Trump’s policies were perceived to have reversed the issues created by the Oslo Accords of the Clinton administration, as he opted through various channels to allow Israel more power of annexation in the West Bank region, the area of dispute between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a region controlled by the political and cultural leadership of Islamists.

 His policies were also believed to have reversed the complex degradation of the regional peace created by Obama’s foreign policy. Under Trump, Israel was elevated to a place it has never been permitted to have since its national repatriation in 1948. 

The anticipated Biden administration has already published rhetoric that suggests the Biden administration would attempt to reverse the policies Trump has put in place. Whether he would be able to do so, is unclear, due to the status of the real-time scene on the ground in the MENA. 

Background on the Abraham Accords 

The Abraham Accords are the American mediated agreement between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to establish normal diplomatic relations between their nations. They were named the “Abraham Accords” by recognizing that Arabs and Jews share a common ancestor in the Biblical Abraham. The accords lay out the grounds of the ethnic similarities between the two races and encouraged cooperation between their kingdoms and states regardless of religious and cultural differences. 

The text of the Bahrain end of the agreement began as follows: 

“His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have agreed to open an era of friendship and cooperation in pursuit of a Middle East region that is stable, secure, and prosperous for the benefit of all States and peoples in the region. In this spirit Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and Foreign Minister Mr. Abdullatif Al Zayani met in Washington today, at the invitation of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, to endorse the principles of Abraham Accords and to commence a new chapter of peace. 

This diplomatic breakthrough was facilitated by the Abraham Accords initiative of President Donald J. Trump. It reflects the successful perseverance of the United States’ efforts to promote peace and stability in the Middle East. The Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel trust that this development will help lead to a future in which all peoples and all faiths can live together in the spirit of cooperation and enjoy peace and prosperity where states focus on shared interests and building a better future.”

The treaty of peace and agreement of full cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates opened as follows: 

The Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Government of the State of Israel (hereinafter, the “Parties”) Aspiring to realize the vision of a Middle East region that is stable, peaceful, and prosperous, for the benefit of all States and peoples in the region;

 Desiring to establish peace, diplomatic and friendly relations, co-operation and full normalization of ties between them and their peoples, in accordance with this Treaty, and to chain together a new path to unlock the vast potential of their countries and of the region;

 Reaffirming the “Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates” (the “Abraham Accords”), dated 13 August 2020; 

Believing that the further development of friendly relations meets the interests of lasting peace in the Middle East and that challenges can only be effectively addressed by cooperation and not by conflict; Determined to ensure lasting peace, stability, security, and prosperity for both their States and to develop and enhance their dynamic and innovative economies; 

Reaffirming their shared commitment to normalize relations and promote stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic cooperation, and other close coordination; 

Reaffirming also their shared belief that the establishment of peace and full normalization between them can help transform the Middle East by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations; 

Recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham, and inspired, in that spirit, to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians, and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs, and nationalities live in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding, and mutual respect;

 Recalling the reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and committing to continuing their efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic, and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; 

Recalling the Treaties of Peace between the State of Israel and the Arab Republic of Egypt and between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and committed to working together to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability, and prosperity; 

Emphasizing the belief that the normalization of Israeli and Emirati relations is in the interest of both peoples and contributes to the cause of peace in the Middle East and the world; 

Expressing deep appreciation to the United States for its profound contribution to this historic achievement; Have agreed as follows:  

The agreement then proceeds to layout items of economic and logistic significance that would execute the realistic scenarios of this agreement of peace. 

The Abraham Accords were signed on September 15. Symbolically, Abraham Accords were a completely new direction for American foreign policy, MENA normalization, and mediation in the region. Ivanka Trump, the incumbent president’s daughter and advisor on job creation, called the Abraham Accords a “breaking free” from the “failed approaches of the past.”  

The question of Kingdom Come 

Into this complex scenario of MENA nations working toward modern progress in the region, steps the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An ancient leader in not only regional politics, but also in Islamic spirituality, the Kingdom has an ancient culture defining the process of its decision making. This is no less reflected by the current normalization. Saudi is already establishing some mild amicable relations with Israel, but the decision to fully normalize has not yet been made. 

The issue here is whether or not the American haste, in its prolonged domestic dispute, will rush the process and aim to force it. The incumbent administration is running out of time to cross all remaining items off of its list of political victories, and the prospects of the reelection have greatly diminished. Should the Trump campaign attempt to force the Saudi normalization, this may create complex consequences. 

At its core, Saudi Arabia is a tribal society. The many sects of tribes and their customs and faith-based traditions require the proper time to mediate new ideas. Western ideas move at a uniform across the boarding process, but in Saudi Arabia, the process of idea reform is usually a slow-moving process. If anything, the move of public realization of the warming Saudi sentiment toward Israel is happening in a manner resembling a soft Renaissance. 

Irina Tsukerman comments: 

“It is true that Saudis can take many additional steps towards improving relations with Israel while stopping short of full normalization without violating the country’s official policy and causing turmoil among the conservative segments of the population. Indeed, to some extent, this has already been an ongoing process as evidenced by the rapidly changing coverage in the Saudi media, the proliferation of Saudi intellectual voices calling for better relations (and in some cases, normalization), and the ongoing changes in the country’s educational system, as the government seeks to eschew extremism and Jew-hatred from textbooks. 

 All of these moves are signaling openness to the idea and willingness to engage in the type of discussion that breaks psychological barriers towards the public acceptance of a once-unthinkable and controversial context. Far from being a totalitarian dictatorship as some human rights NGOs and its adversaries seek to portray the Kingdom to be, Saudi Arabia, considers popular sentiments and seeks to balance pragmatic and preferred foreign policy moves with the necessity to prepare the population towards understanding and accepting the process, rather than causing unnecessary friction and resentment.

 After decades of rejection of the very notion of Israel’s existence in public (despite long term secret ties related to defense and other matters), it takes time to bring about a public understanding of the idea. While many lament that KSA has not normalized yet, in reality, the reforms and the push for this level of openness have been taking place at a breakneck speed. Those who have had any practical experience with Saudis should be shocked rather than complaining, given how slowly normal political processes usually work there. Furthermore, Saudi Arabian leadership has wisely learned from the mistakes made under similar circumstances with Egypt and Jordan, where the cold peace had led to stagnant people-to-people relations for decades, and created a perception of hypocrisy and lack of real understanding between the governments and their citizens. 

Saudi Arabia, by taking the time to build up public support for the idea, and to make this concept publicly normalized, is seeking to demonstrate the goodwill and its dedication to real peace, not just agreements signed on paper for the sake of PR and scoring points with the White House or in the international media. It also is forced to balance the prospects for effective collaboration with Israel with its own security interests. Instead of pressuring the Crown Prince to move too rapidly before the foundation is laid for a proper relationship (for which some of the same people would inevitably criticize him later and complain that he was too impatient and moved too quickly and did not communicate his intent clearly enough and caused problems!), those who wish to see peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia come faster, should instead of focus on combating the very real threats stemming from ideological extremism and various state and non-state parties that seek to spread chaos, disrupt the reforms, and are doing everything possible to get in the way of progress and relationship-building.”

Comparing Morocco and KSA’s normalization process 

Another nation that bears a massive responsibility to the Islamic world yet has elected to move forward with normalization, is Morocco. It is a place of rich cultural diversity and has historically enjoyed a positive relationship with Israel and the United States. In December, Morocco agreed to normalize ties with Israel. It was recognized as the sovereign over Western Sahara by the United States.

Through the leadership of its king, Morocco was committed to a policy of moderation, tolerance, and appreciation, which has facilitated bridge building between Morocco and Israel, and Morocco and other states of the region.While the KSA has been less overt in its dealings with Israel, it has also had a history of Jewish presence which is slowly coming to the surface.

Once a pluralistic place of trade and from all over the world, it is rediscovering its roots and traditions of various tribes from different religions coexisting and engaging in business; the movements that had caused friction, isolation, and stifled the diversity of internal discourse are giving way thanks to the leadership of the Crown Prince and his commitment to reforms and open engagement with others.

KSA has its own history and past that can overcome the above-described obstacles, following its own path; and all without letting go without its own unique traditions and religious pathClear signs within the KSA signal a shift in domestic thinking, with respect to the KSA’s leading role, that has pushed other Gulf States to normalize, which prompted them to take steps toward normalization. It was KSA. Because Saudi was open to the idea of more friendly relations between the states, this prompted other members to sign the Abraham Accords. Once this approach is fully integrated, KSA leadership in the Middle East will flourish.