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17 May 2008

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JohnH

It must be getting time to invade Saudi Arabia. If they won't produce according to Bush's dictates, then they'll have to be "convinced" to open their spigots. After all, in Bush thinking, it worked in Iraq! They're all the way up to 3 million barrels per day now. And it only took five years to convince them!

Maureen L.

GWB- an embodiment of the truest meaning of the word "pariah":

1. A social outcast.
2. An untouchable.

Yes, please stay home until January '09, Mr. Bush. Leave the trips overseas to your (hopefully) more competent replacement.

J

Colonel,

his majesty king abdullah has been talking about saving some what they have of oil for future saudi generations. especially how that the london petrol exchange and their speculators/bookies are ripping the saudis off, i can understand his majesty's foresight.

bush's behavior of a bull in a china closet, makes most polite men 'cringe'. if only dubya would stay home and quite ripping off the taxpayer dollar with very unnecessary very expensive overseas presidential traveling. harumpf.

emptywheel

Col. Lang

I'm curious about your take on the US' apparently agreement to share civil nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia?

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2008/may/104961.htm

While I understand the agreement includes assurances from the Saudis that they will rely on others for fuel, this does seem to risk validating the Iranian insistence that NPT guarantees them the right to develop the technology.

jamzo

george bush amd john mccain join the tempations: "just my imagination running away with me"

fred kaplan at slate highlights another piece of bush speech to israeli parliament

Sidney O. Smith III

Eldar is correct, in my opinion. No greater blunder for the Israelis than to have Bush speak to the world from the Knesset. Tragically, Bush’s role in history is to make everything worse. So the symbolism of Bush speaking at the Knesset is horrendous for the Israelis, especially if Bush signs an executive order to launch “limited” military strikes against Iran.

david

I don't know. I thought Schumer's 'threat' to derail weapons sales to Saudia was equally embarrassing. And he did not even have to leave home to do it.

Mad Dogs

Junya - A ten-gallon hat-sized ego precariously perched atop a pea-sized intellect.

I suppose that Junya thought by holding hands in public in Crawford with King Abdullah, that they were "engaged".

Simple minds always think simple thoughts.

The play was so bad that even the actors booed.

Paul

Col. Lang,

You forgot to mention that Mr. Irrelevant's constant mumblings about everyone in the world yearning for freedom and liberty is not something a King and Princes want to hear.

A change in the adminstration next January will be meaningless for many years. The Saudis keep score and they will not forget that for a long time 50 to 75 percent of the population supported the rantings of Bush and his coterie. Why even that loudmouth Schumer is going to teach the Saudis a lesson the next time they apply for arms transfers. Has it dawned on Schumer that the Saudis may not want the over-priced worthless junk and gizmos produced by our vaunted defense industrial base. (When was the last time a weapons system, ship or platform was satisfactorily completed?)

America's wealth, importance and influence has vanished; it has sunk well below the horizon. My wife and I live in a foreign country in Europe six months of the year and we notice the attitudes of common people of that country. In a sentence: America is the butt of most jokes.

A few "wedgies" and an old-fashioned thrashing may just be what we need to wake us from our sloth and slumber.

Save your money, boys and girls, it is going to get bumpy!

Mongoose

It would be our good fortune for him to slink away from public affairs. But he won't. Beyond the sovereign borders of the U.S. people still pay attention to the boor. They have no choice. Not so at home. Even among stalwart Republicans (is there any other kind right now?), Bush is ignored in public and ridiculed in private. His enhanced irrelevance at home indicates that much of the public has moved on from W's macho tartufferie. Ignoring the "decider" at home, however, may actually increase the likelihood that he'll launch some sort of assault on Iran, just to remind everyone of his ever-present Vaudevillian "relevance." Would that the gods could help us. Now.

William R. Cumming

Probably basic but the President should have visited Saudi Arabia first just to make clear that neither Saudis or Israelis are first in the hearts and minds of Americans but instead the amount they pay for each tank of gas. The so-called American Century (if it ever was) was premised on cheap supply of energy. My guess is that in the long run if those countries believe they exist and will exist because of their American protector someone, someday, somewhere will be in for a rude shock. Clearly a new history of Islam and the West started on 9/11. Probably a new history of American/Israeli relations. It is very obvious the AQ's estimate of the economic impacts on the US direct and indirect of the WTC attack as being in the range of $500B is quite correct and other figures are just slight of hand to keep the American people from understanding the permanent change in their lives caused in part by just 19 Saudi citizens. Those of us with some expertise in targeting are just glad they picked the WTC rather than better targets. It does now appear that oil, not war (and of course long have conceded their real politic interesection) may dictate the outcome of the 2008 election. The trip was designed to help McCain and does and had nothing to do with Bush. Suspect McCain is already being given clearance on major Bush foreign policy events. If not he should be.

Green Zone Cafe

As is always the case, everything Bush said and did is for domestic political considerations, to please the "base" which Rove built.

John DeIulio, a serious thinker, wrote about his experience on the domestic policy side in the early Bush administration. He said there was no substantive policy discussion. Every decision was made on political grounds, so he left. The term he used to describe them was "Mayberry Machiavellis." After the last years, I think that was not only unfair to Machiavelli, but to Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.

Marcus

Bush is like a defeated bully . Blind faith and hanging out with toadies is his only refuge now.

Used to be the fool had the scary specter of the US military behind him. Now that he's ground the military down in Iraq, and has a 28% rating at home (it is still a democracy, ain't it) the dog is de-fanged.

What an absolute disgrace of a man, much less an American president.

arbogast

On bended knee, with abject humility and covering my head with ashes, I disagree with Colonel Lang.

He is right and I am wrong. But I believe now is the time for George Bush to be in the headlines every night, causing as much meaningless mischief as possible.

I do not believe that the Democratic Party is morally superior to the Republican Party. But I believe they will do a better job, and the best way to elect the most Democrats is to have George Bush speak before the Knesset every day.

condfusedponderer

emptywheel,
as the Bushies are quite conpersistent in their own demented peculiar way, they will probably require the Saudis to not bother about the NPT in any way.

I find it utterly unsurprising that the press release talks about the IAEA (the pre-existing agency that was eventually tasked with implementing the NPT and it's inconvenient 'inalienable rights') and in the same breath mentions what is effectively a counter-NPT - the PSI (John 'treaty buster' Bolton's brainchild).

The NPT gives the signatory nation a right to pursue any nuclear technology for peaceful uses - what they need or not need is at their discretion. Where does the PSI fit in? The PSI is an instrument to sanction target countries and to deny them nuclear technology the US doesn't want them to have. At the very least as far as 'dual use' technology is concerned, the PSI conflicts with the NPT, and does infringe those inalienable rights. Considering that, a signatory nation does have inalienable rights only if they are deemed by the powers that be in D.C. to be deserving of those rights.
If a nation doesn't bend over/ fails to regime change/ vows vassalship and eternal brotherly love doesn't meet D.C.'s test, its rights are indeed quite 'alienable'. The PSI, in my understanding, appears to be incompatible with the NPT because of the very different goals both pursue. I do not think that those goals can be reconciled without a fundamental shift in US foreign policy.

Grimgrin

My question isn't "Why didn't the Saudis raise production?" but "What if the Saudis cannot significantly raise production?".

After all OPEC has traditionally tried to keep prices from getting to high as a way of discouraging the development of other sources of fuel, whether those are renewable 'alternatives' or things like tar sands, shale oil or other marginal sources of fossil hydrocarbons that suddenly become attractive during periods of high oil prices.

I hope the Saudi refusal to raise production levels indicates disgust with Bush. Bush will be gone soon. The possibility that the Saudis lack the capability to significantly increase production, or that they lack the capability to increase production enough to cope with demand is much scarier. That means oil prices are not coming back down until demand starts to contract.

Babak Makkinejad

condfusedponderer:

Pigs will fly before any nuclear technology is made available to the Arab states by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Duncan Kinder

We Americans should add our own plea that he stay home home until January to avoid embarrassing us further.

Bush is quite capable of embarrassing us while stateside, as he he has demonstrated too many times to count.

The only interesting question is how, and under what circumstances, he will embarrass us after he leaves office.

Farmer Don

While this excellent blog details the squandering of US foreign policy capital, another blog http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/
details how the same thing is happening to the US economy.

What a waste.

par4

We should give Bush a trip to the Hague

Montag

I thought the Saudis made a good point that it isn't the amount of crude oil on the market that determines the supply of gasoline, but refining capacity, which is limited. So increasing production might just be a feel-good measure, like a gas tax holiday, which does nothing to address the underlying problem.

meletius

I think Grimgrin gets to the heart of the matter.

If the Saudis refrain from increasing production in the current environment, with crude prices at record levels, bringing on recessions in the Western democracies and massively enriching their chief opponent Iran, then the only real conclusion that can be made is that they cannot increase production any longer.

I've read some speculation by oil writers that the Saudis are at peak. They are thus no longer the "swing producer" and can no longer control prices. That means the years of relentless, implacable price rises have begun and spell the end of Gas Guzzlin' Nation and its hallucinated economy.

I'm also curious what exactly the Saudi's views are about the imperial garrison in Iraq. Do they actually approve of the Bush Quagmire now that Iran's position has been enhanced? Do they see our garrison as benefitting the minority sunnis? Do they wish the troops would begin to be withdrawn? Do they wish to see 50,000 US troops in Koraq for another 50 years ala McCain?

Any thoughts by the great team of strategists here would be welcome. I haven't seen anything on this topic.

Dana Jones

GrimGrin: Check out Twilight in the Desert by Matthew Simmions regarding the possible reasons that the Saudi's are unable to increase production. According to MS, the Saudi's main oil field is at or nearing peak production capacity, and even with water injection at the fringes, they have just about tapped out that resource. So if they are saying that they won't increase production now so that there is continuing production for the next couple of generations, then they are in reality quite happy with the price of oil, as the price keeps going up and they don't have to do anything.
The other main concern is in what currency they get paid in. Will they keep getting paid in devaluing dollars, or will they move to a "basket" of currencies, as the Chinese have done, but which means that oil will cost us even more. Just Google 'peak oil', and also check out The Oil Drum site.
Montag, you would think that with the huge profits the big oil companies have been posting the past few years that they would be investing in more refining capacity, because it takes a long time to bring it online. But oddly, they aren't, as least as far as I know. Perhaps they feel that there is no point in making such an investment as decreasing oil supplies will make the new refineries redundant. Also increased capacity means lower prices at the pump, and lower profits, and smaller multi-million bonuses for the executives. Talk about putting personal gain ahead of the national well being.

Cloned Poster

That he served one term, shame on USA, that he served two terms, shame on USA twice.

parvati_roma

Re Babak Makkinejad's comment "Pigs will fly before any nuclear technology is made available to the Arab states by the Nuclear Suppliers Group. "

Dunno? See:

http://www.wmdinsights.com/I24/I24_ME1_NewFrenchNuclear.htm
"On January 15, 2008, the Associated Press announced that France and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) had signed an agreement that establishes a framework for the construction of two nuclear reactors in the UAE. [1] The announcement follows a series of similar tentative agreements between France and other Arab states pledging nuclear cooperation, which have been signed since Nicolas Sarkozy assumed the French presidency in May 2007. In response to France’s newest agreement, many experts and politicians, including International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, have issued statements warning that France’s aggressive efforts to provide nuclear technology may pose proliferation risks..." etc.

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