Washington sends arms to Europe to fight for democracy, while American weapons to Arab autocrats help defeat the struggle for freedom.

By Emile Nakhleh, Responsible Statecraft

The Biden administration is correct in responding to reported Russian atrocities by arming Ukraine to defend itself, and is equally justified in assiduously avoiding a direct military confrontation with Putin’s Russia.

As the Russian war in Ukraine has impacted the Middle East economically and politically, however, Middle Eastern publics are seeing several stark contradictions in how President Biden has approached both regions.

Campaign protesters at the Save Sheikh Jarrah rally for a Free Palestine

In Ukraine, he has poured billions of dollars in weapons of all kinds to help President Volodymyr Zelensky defend his country in its battle for democracy and freedom and rejection of Putin’s dictatorship and inhumane war. In the Middle East, by contrast, Washington has sold billions worth of weapons to Arab dictators despite their atrocious human rights record and the suppression of their peoples’ civil liberties.

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