Friday, May 16, 2008

Saudi King to BFF Bush: "I would prefer not to."

Today during a visit to Saudi Arabia, our so-called president brought the full weight of his personal charms, punchy cowboy persona, and profound insights into political economy to bear as he begged the Saudi King to drop oil prices. Saudi King to Bush: Nah.

Saudi Arabia’s leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices.

It was Bush’s second personal appeal this year to King Abdullah, head of the monarchy that rules this desert kingdom that is a longtime prime U.S. ally and home to the world’s largest oil reserves. But Saudi officials stuck to their position that they will only pump more oil into the system when asked to by buyers, something they say is not happening now, the president’s national security adviser told reporters.
The article goes on to note that
Bush was spending the day with Abdullah at his lavish farm complex outside Riyadh, talking mostly out of public view over multiple tea services and meals. Abdullah greeted Bush warmly at the airport, and rode with him in his limousine out into the desert.
Truly a swell time was had by all. No one can fairly accuse our president of paying careful attention to the substance or coherence of his musings-aloud from one day to the next, so in a sense, it would be unfair to note the incongruity of Bush having tea and cakes with the Saudi despot the day after addressing the Israeli Knesset and invoking The World's Scariest Exemplum about international relations:
Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
It's not realistic to expect the US president to control oil prices -- the world doesn't fit together that way. But it would be refreshing to see him show enough sense to stay within the terms of a single simplistic morality tale over a 48-hour period of international diplomacy. Clearly I ask too much. I should, I take it, take pride that he didn't visibly soil himself in front of the cameras.


Laura said...

Uh oh, I think I soiled myself when I read this. Dale, you're a national treasure.

Laura said...

As I was cleaning up, I had another thought on the matter:

Maybe there was something about the Saudi King that not only strangely disarmed Bush, but in a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted him. Perhaps Bush will begin to reason with him.

mikesdak said...

This seems to be part of Bush's pattern of trotting out ideas that have failed,somehow thinking that he'll get a different result. His recent statements about Iraq and,well,just about everything have been rehashed from earlier points in his presidency. Now he tries to do the same thing he did with the Saudis in January, and surprise, he gets the same answer. It's the classic definiton of insanity.

Dale said...

Well played, Laura.

You're right, Mike. Bush is just mailing it in at this point -- he can barely stay on task. And it's not as though he was doing really good work before this senioritis.