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Americans Pay Price at the Pump as Gulf Allies Swap US Dictate for Multipolarity

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on January 5, 2021, shows from L to R: Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd Bin Mahmud, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Dubai’s Ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Nayef al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) posing for a pictures before the opening session of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in the northwestern Saudi city of al-Ula. — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the Gulf states had signed an agreement on regional «solidarity and stability» at a summit aimed at resolving a three-year embargo against Qatar. InternationalIndiaAfricaThe average price of gasoline across the US jumped over 8 percent over the past month, hitting a national average of $3.82 per gallon, and $5+ on the West Coast. The price hike comes key Gulf allies including Saudi Arabia and the UAE have rejected US-led pressure to increase oil output, or to limit contacts with Russia and China.Gasoline prices in the US are continuing their upward march. While still below the devastating price hikes seen last summer as speculators made a killing off of Washington and Brussels’ shortsighted decision to try to restrict Russian energy exports, prices are still high enough to affect consumers “very directly and very profoundly.”The price rise, stemming from a 10 percent spike in the price of crude oil over the past three months, is the last thing ordinary Americans need as the nation continues to be plagued by spiraling debt, inflation, poor jobs numbers, spiking interest rates, and the impact of Biden administration’s technology and trade war with China.US economists have rushed to blame OPEC+ and its decision to cut global output for the rising prices, ignoring the role of Washington’s own policy.AmericasBidenomics in Action: Americans’ Credit Card Debt Tops Record $1 Trillion9 August, 13:05 GMTRussian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in May that Western “interference with market dynamics” via the attempted Western “price cap” on Russian oil, combined with the US and European mini-banking crisis, were two of the central reasons for OPEC+’s decision to cut production.President Biden dismissed the impact of OPEC+’s one million barrel per day production cut decision in April, assuring that “it’s not going to be as bad as you think,” while National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Washington didn’t see cuts as “advisable at this moment given the market uncertainty.”

Gulf Frustrations

As Americans face higher prices at the pump, the US has become increasingly frustrated with many of its Gulf allies – the energy price kingmakers who traditionally acceded to US demands to flood the market with cheap energy, until now.Saudi Arabia was among the first to show an independent streak, with Biden’s in-person visit to the Kingdom last year and fist bump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman failing to convince Riyadh to substantially raise output after the West unilaterally cut itself off from Russian crude.

This week, the US’s "newspaper of record" attacked the United Arab Emirates and its leader, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Implying that Abu Dhabi was ungrateful for US military protection, the outlet complained that Zayed "traveled twice to Russia over the past year to meet with President Vladimir Putin," and that "later this month, the Emirati and Chinese air forces plan to train together for the first time, a notable shift for an oil-rich Gulf nation" that has long-relied on American fighter jets and other weapons.

Washington, the paper lamented, has had «limited success» in persuading Abu Dhabi to limit its contacts with America’s strategic adversaries, as well as India, as the sheikdom apparently prepares «for a world that may someday be no longer dominated by the United States.»WorldGlobal South Charts Own Course in Geopolitics & Trade, Ditches US-Led World Order9 August, 10:56 GMTThe UAE hosts roughly 5,000 US military personnel at the Al Dhafra Air Base outside Abu Dhabi, with thousands more US troops situated at the nearby Fifth Fleet Headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, and US Central Command’s Al Udeid Air Base forward headquarters in Qatar.Yet like the Saudis, the UAE has increasingly moved away from walking lockstep with US foreign policy, normalizing ties with Syria, enjoying a thaw in relations with Iran, and withdrawing from the US-backed Saudi-led war against the Houthis in Yemen in 2019. In 2022, Abu Dhabi and other regional countries joined most of the rest of the world in announcing their neutrality in the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, sparking outrage from Washington.

‘Days When US Can Impose Its Will on Us are Over’

“The countries of the Persian Gulf, among them the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, support the formation of a multipolar world for one simple reason – the hegemony of the USA and Britain affected everyone, especially our region,” Qatar-based Middle East expert Dr. Ali al-Heil told Sputnik Arabic.

"The Arabs remember how former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright justified the murder of half-a-million Iraqi children. Washington continues to try to dictate its own rules. However, the Persian Gulf monarchies no longer need such 'guardianship'. Therefore, I think it’s correct for the UAE and Saudi Arabia to seek rapprochement with Russia and China. Other countries in the region, such as Oman and Kuwait, are also in favor of multipolarity, even if they don’t say so publicly," Dr. al-Heil said.

The professor believes that the recent deployment of an additional 3,000 US troops to the Middle East, ostensibly under the pretext of the «battle with Iran,» actually «testifies only to one thing – Washington declares ‘we are here and can strike at any moment.’ But it’s important to understand that the days when the US can impose its will on us are over,» the academic summed up.WorldRise of BRICS Signals Decline of US as Unipolar Superpower25 July, 14:52 GMT

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