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History As It Happens

Jun 21, 2022

President Biden's upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia is an example of reality imposing itself on a situation Mr. Biden vowed to change. In November 2019, Democratic candidate Biden said the kingdom should be punished and treated as a pariah, because its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had been implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But as Middle East expert Bob Vitalis explains in this episode, the Americans and Saudis still need each other, thereby maintaining a decades-long relationship shaped by oil, war, terrorism, and political expediency.