Here’s the real problem with Joe Biden’s reversal on Saudi Arabia
US President Joe Biden attends the Jeddah Security and Development Summit at a hotel in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on July 16, 2022. - Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

President Joe Biden took a defensive tone in the run-up to his visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday. “I have never been quiet about talking about human rights,” he said at a news conference in Israel on Thursday. But his reason for going to Saudi Arabia, he said, was much broader: to promote U.S. interests and reassert our influence in the Middle East. And anyway, Biden added, he was “going to be meeting with nine other heads of state. It’s not just — it happens to be in Saudi Arabia.” That’s a shorter version of the argument the president has made for weeks since his first official Middle East vis...