WASHINGTON—In an effort to move past a tense diplomatic moment with the Gulf state, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the United States would allocate $500 million for Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to use on anger management counseling. “Despite obvious differences in opinion, it’s crucial that we maintain Saudi Arabia as a partner in the region, and that means getting the crown prince the help that he needs to deal with his anger issues,” said Biden in a press conference, adding that the half-billion in U.S. aid would allow bin Salman to attend group therapy sessions with others who have similar emotional difficulties and speak with a private counsel about the mental habits that led him to kill and dismember journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “I’ll admit it: Fixing his problems is not going to happen overnight. But with great effort and introspection, he’ll be able to understand the origin of his hatred of dissidents and see that he doesn’t need to be controlled by these feelings. If he can make that progress, then this is money well spent.” At press time, Biden was backpedaling after critics suggested he had failed to learn the lessons of the Obama administration’s botched Syria policy of sending Bashar al-Assad Feeling Good by cognitive behavioral therapist David D. Burns.
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