President Bush Begs Saudi Arabia for Cheap Oil

January 18, 2008 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Mercifully for Republican Presidential candidates, President Bush traveled on his first-ever Middle Eastern junket this week. He’s an albatross around any candidate’s neck; in fact, when Mitt Romney won the Republican primary in Michigan this week, he referenced former President George Herbert Walker Bush several times, but pointedly omitted any reference to Dubya. Talk about persona non grata.

When Pigs FlyThe heady combination of primary fever and mesmerization (or hypnosis) by the increasingly way-over-the-top behavior of Britney Spears — last seen shopping for pregnancy tests to confirm that she can create replacements for the two children she recently lost custody of — left little room for coverage of Bush’s adventures this week, including the $20 billion in thermonuclear “smart bombs” we he gave to the Saudis. Not that the money couldn’t be used at home to oh, let’s say, bail out beleaguered homeowners from foreclosure, or find jobs for people in the Ohio Rust Belt or Michigan or finally repair the damage done by Hurricane Katrina or. . .well, you get the picture. But nooooo, the Saudis are in need of our assistance.

Pinocchio, Doing What He Does Best

Although the announced intent of the eight-day trip to Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt was to further foist promote democracy and to continue demonization of Iraq, the $20 billion arms donation to Saudi Arabia, a decidedly undemocratic country, was just a prelude to soften the Saudis up. Bush finally got to the point — high oil prices — on Tuesday, telling Saudi King Abdullah: “I would hope, as OPEC considers different production levels, that they understand that if their — one of their biggest consumers’ economy suffers — it will mean less purchases, less oil and gas sold.” As reported by Arab News, Bush also said: “OPEC should understand that if they can put more supply on the market, it will be helpful…high energy prices can affect economic growth because it’s painful for our consumers. It could cause the U.S. economy to slow down.” No, you still don’t get it! Oil will go to the highest bidders: like India and China, whose economies are growing rapidly.


Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia Oil Minister

Bush got an almost-immediate frosty response to his laughable implied threat from Saudi Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister, Ali Al-Naimi, who said: “We will raise production when the market justifies it, this is our policy…We, as a producing country, look to maintain the fundamentals of the oil market as healthy as possible…Presidents and kings have every right, every privilege to comment or ask or say whatever they want…Concerns about U.S. economic growth are valid. But the U.S. economy is more than just the price of oil. OPEC is not the only influence.”

Middle Eastern reaction to his trip was lukewarm at best. While one Middle Eastern newspaper editorialized that everything Bush touches “turns to dust,” we particularly liked a Saudi Gazette editorial, in which Sabria S. Jawhar wrote: “I hope that President Bush collects a lot of ceremonial swords and Ouda on his trip to the Middle East, because that’s all he is getting if he thinks he is gathering support for his war of words against Iran. His trip to the Middle East is nothing more than a ‘farewell’ tour of countries he has never been to and less productive than any of the trips U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took to the region.

“Let’s take stock of his accomplishments so far…He started off by visiting Israel, where the first words out of his mouth were directed at Iran. As an afterthought, he mentioned as he was leaving that he had a Middle East peace plan that would give the Palestinians statehood…But that’s not why he is here. He is here to gather support for his tough talk on Iran.

“Bush says on his trip that Iran funds terrorists. But didn’t he create many of those terrorists when his invasion of Iraq spiraled out of control?…He says that Iran sends weapons to the Taleban [sic]. But didn’t he underestimate the appropriate troop strength in Afghanistan to defeat the Taleban in the first place?”

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Prison

“Bush says governments can never build trust by harassing or imprisoning candidates and protesters. But doesn’t he hold prisoners without trial and spy on his own people, especially those who oppose his policies? Iran may or may not be responsible for many of these problems, but the U.S. has culpability in this whole affair and is whitewashing it by pointing fingers.


“It’s unfortunate, indeed a tragedy, that Bush decided to visit us in his final year in office. Imagine what could have been accomplished if he had visited us in 2002, the year before the Iraq invasion. Or even in 2004, when there still was some lingering support here for his foreign policies. But he ignored us…and ignored the thousands of innocent people who died at the hands of insurgents and U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Now he wants us to join the battle to contain Iran. Sorry, I just don’t have the enthusiasm to join him.”

Today, Bush will enlighten us with his “guiding principles” regarding recovery from the current economic recession. How about…stop spending billions of dollars on an unwinnable war in Iraq? (See our ever-increasing “Cost of the War in Iraq” counter at the bottom of the page, which we’ll be running until the end of the war.) The financial bloodletting there is one of the primary causes of the current financial morass and the weakening U.S. dollar. The emergence of economies such as those in China and India didn’t help either, but hey! We’re the ones who outsourced jobs to India, Mexico, China, etc. We needed cheap toys, clothes and computers at Wal-Mart, you know.

Read more economic news.

Copyright © 2008


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