RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – 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.
This was a big part of Bush’s mideast trip. The funny part that the other part was to go and praise Israel and everything they do.
JERUSALEM – President Bush said Wednesday that 60 years of Israel‘s existence is cause for optimism for democratic change throughout the Middle East. “What happened here is possible everywhere,” Bush said, opening a trip divided between ceremonial duties and a new push for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“I suspect if you looked back 60 years ago and tried to guess where Israel would be at that time, it would be hard to be able to project such a prosperous, hopeful land,” Bush said during a meeting with Israeli President. “No question, people would have said, ‘We’d be surrounded by hostile forces.'”
Yet Bush’s message of optimism was immediately offset by troubling realities in the region.
Israel confirmed plans to expand settlement activity in the, a development likely to undermine peace talks with Palestinians. A weakened fended off corruption allegations. And another burst of violence erupted in the Gaza Strip just ahead of Bush’s arrival in Israel.
I’m not sure if a country dominated by a particular religion, having a 40-year occupation of another religion, having secret nuclear weapons, a history of pre-emptively attacking her neighbors, and occasionally assassinating whoever they want is exactly the example we are looking for here. Yes, sure, people get to go out and party (which is a big deal), but to act like Israel is the end-all be-all of Middle Eastern civilization is a bit of stretch.
And that’s a decent part of why the Saudi’s and like “meh” when it comes to sending more oil (and they are bathing in cash right now, which tends to silence the pleas of others).