Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stand Aside, Obama ~ Let Bush Show How Negotiating With Terrorists Is Done

Capping his Nazi-invoking performance in Israel, Bush pays a visit to Saudi Arabia and the Sultans of Oil to "jawbone" his good friends there into increasing oil production.
Sultans say ~ er, NO!

~ Tide of chrome-encrusted SUV's expected to flood American used car lots~

In a real dig at Obama's naiive postulations that we can "negotiate with terrorists," or so Bushco propaganda has it, Bush promptly turns around and proves it's a different matter entirely when you're only negotiating with the countries who finance them. And even so manages to fall flat on his face, even though he's promised the Saudis enriched uranium (for "peaceful" nuclear uses), according to the WaPo today.

Well, that's some admirably tough negotiating for yas. Give 'em anything they want, including the capacity to make nukes, even if you get nothing in return. Even conservative bloggers are going apopolectic over the news.

Turns out that it wasn't only McCain and Obama watching Bush's performance before the Israeli Knesset. The Sultans of Oil were, too, and reportedly did not like it one bit.

..."With the president under pressure at home to show he is fighting to lower gasoline prices, the Saudi gesture gave Bush a face-saving outcome after a day of meetings with Saudi leaders. Bush has invested enormously in improving his personal ties to King Abdullah, and administration officials say the effort has paid off in greater cooperation in fighting terrorism, confronting Iran and other shared concerns.

"But the limits to this warmth were on full display as Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia for his second visit of the year and was whisked off for private consultations and dinner with the king at his palatial horse farm near Riyadh. Not only did the Saudis resist efforts to boost production even more -- as many congressional leaders are demanding -- they also pointedly said that the extra output was a week-old response to commercial customers, not to the president. And they made clear their unhappiness with Bush's emotional speech Thursday to the Israeli Knesset.

"In the address, Bush touched only lightly on the Palestinian quest for a state, while paying homage to the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state -- a contrast that deeply angered many Arabs. 'It was so one-sided,' said Saudi academic and writer Khalid al-Dakhil. 'The president is supposed to be evenhanded.'

"Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal voiced disappointment in remarks to reporters. 'We are well aware of the special U.S.-Israeli relationship'" he said. 'Stressing the right of a nation to exist should not strike out or revoke the rights of other nations.' The Palestinians 'are in dire need to enjoy their rights,' he said.

"White House officials dismissed the suggestions that the president is insufficiently committed to his goal of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of the year, and said Bush will renew his efforts on Saturday when he meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Egypt.

"After a detailed briefing for the president by the Saudi oil minister, White House officials also seemed satisfied with Saudi explanations that they are investing billions to expand their production capability over the next several years and that there is not much more they can do to lower prices. White House officials said Bush asked the Saudis to increase production as much as they can but made no specific numerical demand."
"The Saudis have taken the measure of the administration and found they can convey their concerns to the administration, but they are not required to do much in return," said Dennis Ross, a Middle East envoy in both Democratic and Republican administrations."
"Another source of tension is the financing of terrorists. Saudi promises to set up a charities commission to regulate the flow of money that U.S. officials believe is supporting terrorism have not materialized, according to current and former U.S. officials. In little-noticed Senate testimony last month, the top U.S. official tracking terrorist financing portrayed a mixed picture of cooperation.

"'They are serious about fighting al-Qaeda in their kingdom, and they do,' said Stuart A. Levey, a Treasury undersecretary, who added that the same 'seriousness of purpose' has not extended to combating financing for terrorists. 'Saudi Arabia today remains the location from which more money is going to Sunni terror groups and the Taliban than from any other place in the world,' Levey said. "

And in other news today, Bush shows he can negotiate with North Korea's Kim Jong Il and safely ignore our allies, the Japanese, who are in the way, after all, of North Korea's nukes. They persist in thinking they should have a say and are being uncharacteristically vocal about the matter.

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