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Those Ungrateful Saudis

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Posted on Jan 15, 2008
Bush and Abdullah
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Bush talks with Saudi King Abdullah before their dinner at Al Janadriyah Ranch, the king’s personal country and weekend retreat, on Tuesday.

By Robert Scheer

Why is it that George W. Bush gets only a 12 percent favorability rating in Saudi Arabia?  Even Osama bin Laden and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad scored higher in a poll last month by the nonpartisan Terror Free Tomorrow group, which counts both Republican Sen. John McCain and Democrat former Rep. Lee Hamilton on its advisory board.  What ingrates those Saudis are.  Didn’t the Bush family save them twice from Saddam Hussein?

What more can this president do to curry favor with the Saudis?  He forgave them for nurturing the Wahhabism that spawned al-Qaida, and he never embarrasses them with the fact that bin Laden and 15 of the19 hijackers who attacked America on 9/11 were born and raised in the kingdom.  Nor did Bush let the inconvenient fact that the Saudi government had backed the Taliban until 9/11 intrude on his cozy relations with the royal family.  That warmth, displayed at ranching cookouts in both countries, has now been reinforced by $20 billion in U.S. arms sales to the Saudis and their Persian Gulf allies, officially announced by Bush on Monday.

At first, the Bush administration feared that some pro-Israel members of Congress might be able to derail the arms sale deal, but they solved that one by offering Israel $30 billion in new weapons.  That’s a good deal for the Israelis and for U.S. arms manufacturers, although not for U.S. taxpayers stuck with the tab.  No problem—neither the media nor Congress notices the cost to taxpayers of anything carrying the label of “national security.”  Heck, Iraq’s defense minister was just in Washington with his shopping list for new weapons and didn’t cause much of a stir when he said the United States will have to defend Iraq for at least a decade more.  So much for the impact of the $1 trillion already wasted on the Iraq debacle.

At least the Saudis pay their own way and then some, when you look at how our main banks would now be kaput were it not for the almost daily bailouts from Gulf-based holding companies.  It’s a good deal all around: The Gulf sheiks get their money by raising oil prices that drive up inflation, thus raising the interest rates on home mortgages, and then, when the banks foreclose on those homes at a loss, the oil money comes pouring in to make the banks whole again.  A good deal for everyone, that is, except for the folks who lose the equity in their homes, but they don’t have a lobby that Congress or the president has to worry about.

With Bush’s imperial fantasy fading into dismal reality, our nation saddled with record debt, an immense trade gap and an American public that has seen through his “What, me worry?” con, the president has bizarrely sought validation through visiting the scene of his foreign policy crimes.  Just how bizarre a ploy was summarized in a Wall Street Journal news report predicting, “As President Bush tours the Middle East on his first official visit, he will encounter an Arab public deeply critical of his policies in the region and skeptical that the U.S. means what it says.”  The WSJ article quotes the editor of a leading newspaper aligned with Lebanon’s U.S.-backed government as stating unequivocally: “Democracy in the Middle East is now part of history.  Nobody believes Bush anymore.  He has turned the Middle East into a big mess, and you can’t bring democracy and change with instability.”

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A big mess!  It turns out they hate us not for our success, as Bush once claimed, but for our incompetence, which he has done much to exhibit.  The poll of Saudis found that while only 12 percent hold a favorable opinion of Bush, a much more comfortable 40 percent like the United States.  That’s a lower approval rating than for China—or for Iran, from which Bush now wants to protect them—but it’s a start.  The problem is that few believe that Bush is the least bit serious about addressing any of the region’s problems.  As an editorial in the Arab News, a Saudi English-language newspaper, put it on the occasion of Bush’s visit: ” ... no Palestinian, no Arab believes, he will, or can, deliver. ...  Everything he touches turns to dust and ashes.  Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe now even Iran.”

There they go again, worrying only about themselves.  Didn’t Bush also touch New Orleans?  What about Enron?  Things have gotten so tough here that even Halliburton’s CEO moved his headquarters to Dubai.  The bad news for the Saudis is that Bush broke the United States—but they own it.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By cyrena, January 21, 2008 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

Paolo,

I’m hoping this link may help. It’s lengthy, so I warn up front. However, I think it’s helpful, if you really do want to know the answer to these questions… Is Bush stupid, evil or both.

I say both, and then some. But, I’m not an expert. These guys have written extensively on him, and the article is full of good links to other stuff.

So, take your time with it, and see if you find anything useful to answer your questions.

What Is He Capable Of?
  The Presidential Psychology at the End of Days
  By John P Briggs, M.D. and JP Briggs II, Ph.D.
  t r u t h o u t | Perspective

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011008A.shtml

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 20, 2008 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

Re: Who’s Fooling Whom? By Expat, January 20: “Bush is at least evil.  Stupid… but I’m not so sure…. and his neo-cons will give countries around the world one option:  Come on board or we will destroy you…”

By Paolo, January 19: “Is Bush just stupid, or does he at some level buy into the Saudi regime…

This IS the “medieval” mind at work, guys. Put another way, it is the ongoing “settler society” compulsively, if not mindlessly, pursuing its craze for acquisition by force or by stealth.

It IS what the USA is and what it is good at. It evolved from the repressive English and their brutalization from their Norman invaders 1,000 years ago. It was continued by the Scots and Irish who fled Britain already brutalized by the highland clearances and the “plantations” of Ulster.

Doing to others as was done to you is now epitomized by the Israeli “settler society”, itself both a manipulator and a poodle of US foreign policy. They were mostly European Jews brutalized by the Nazis. Now, they are just another bunch of landgrabbers.

So, why should any of them, Bush Neocons included, ever bother to choose or to genuinely advocate democracy? Actually, they are incapable of doing so and are simply proving it by the kinds of regimes they support never mind emulate with their (Condoleeza’s) renditioning of presumed political prisoners.

Thus, any democratic state not being manipulated in their game is actually an enemy force, in their view - and especially in the view of the Neocons. They might appear to champion democracy merely by their words, and they always seek to do so, in order to maintain the illusion for the sake of the fools at home.

Therefore, the USA is made up of so many ignorant weaklings who are so easily made to cower before imagined threats from non-existent surreal enemies. The rest are idiots who are willing to go on saluting their flag and raining bombs on others until the end, regardless of the immorality of it all.

The USA has never been invaded and doesn’t have a dozen countries on its borders - so why should it be grateful??? Americans neither understand nor care. Theirs is a land of relative wealth and abundance. Sadly, though, they have to pay or import others to do their real thinking for them, uhh. That is the real shortcoming of the “settler society” paradigm.

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By Expat, January 20, 2008 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Paolo,
Coming from you this is a curious question as you are one of the more informed posters.  Bush is at least evil.  Stupid, probably, but I’m not so sure.  Never, never, underestimate.  He and his neo-cons will give countries around the world one option:  Come on board or we will destroy you.  The Sudan is one example.  His continuing demonetization of Iran is further evidence.  Surely your question was rhetorical, yes?

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By Paolo, January 19, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Bush wholeheartedly supports the Saudi regime. The Saudi regime is repressive, supports schools that teach vile anti-Jewish propaganda, and supported the Taliban right up to 9/11.

Is Bush just stupid, or does he at some level buy into the Saudi regime?

Why does he support this medieval, torture-ridden monarchy in Saudi Arabia, but reviles the Iranian regime, which is (to some degree) democratic?

Is Bush stupid, or evil? Or, both?

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By troublesum, January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Learn how Bush really became rich: http://www.democracynow.org  for Friday, Jan 18th.

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By Sunbird, January 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Everything he touches turns to dust and ashes. Don’t forget Florida’s 2004 hurricanes.  Florida has still not recovered in spite of Presidential brother Jeb’s claim to be the most popular Governor ever!  People of Florida are the orphans of the storm.  Jeb Bush turned his back on his home state to fly off to lend his ‘expertise’  gaining photo ops to aid the Tsunami victims in Asia.  Florida hurricanes were never mentioned again.  Inflation of building materials and rising insurance rates have forced many to abandon any hope of recovery.

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By Mike, January 18, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Howard, January 18 at 6:31 am #
(334 comments total)
Re: By Howard, January 17 at

“These items below done by Hezballah were done on purpose; big big difference.  I’ll drink the kool-aid, you give up the whiskey.”

Howard:

I’m not sure if you simply misunderstand me or just choose to miss/ignore the point.

In no way do I support, defend, condone, try to explain, etc., the murderous acts perpetrated by Hezbollah. I, as I believe do you, condemn them. That those attacks were willful and wanton, I’m in total agreement.

However, to label the IDF attack on the U.S.S. Liberty as unintentional or a mistake is simply a failure to grasp the reality of the affair. To accept, without question, the official Israeli storyline about the events that occurred on June 8, 1967, boggles the mind.

Consider these questions: Why would anyone lie about the attack? Look at it from both sides of the story. What’s the motivation behind it? What purpose(s) would best be served by being less than truthful? What would the Liberty’s crew stand to lose or gain from lying about it? And what would the IDF stand to gain or lose from lying about it?  Why would Evan Toni lie? (And if you don’t know who he is, you haven’t done enough reading.)

I’m afraid that you misunderstand the reference to Kool-Aid drinking. You want me to give up the whiskey (i.e., not be drunk) but you’ll continue to “drink the Kool-Aid”? Doesn’t quite seem fair, does it?

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By Howard, January 18, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

These items below done by Hezballah were done on purpose; big big difference.  I’ll drink the kool-aid, you give up the whiskey.

Oct,1983; Suicide attacker rams truck loaded with explosives into U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, kiling 241 servicemen. Hezballah claims resposiblity.

April, 1983 Suicide truck-bombing shreds U.S. Embassy building on Muslim West Beirut’s seafront, killing 62 people, including 17 Americans. More than 100 people wounded.

June, 1978:  U.S. Ambassador Frncis E. Meloy Jr. and his economic counselor, Robert O. Waring kidnapped from limousine on demarcation line dividing Beirut into Christian and Muslim sections.  Their bullet-riddled bodies are later found.

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By Expat, January 18, 2008 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

Good post Mike.  I hadn’t known of “Al Arish”.  It’s way worse than I knew.  Here is a link for anybody who doesn’t know the history of Al Arish.

http://www.arij.org/atlas40/chapter1.4.html

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By cyrena, January 18, 2008 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

But, he’s NOT the leader of the free world, or anything else, which is the whole point.

Yes, Moms and Pops really ARE ashamed and embarrassed, but obviously not enough to do anything about him. So, they’re perfectly willing to save themselves any additional embarrassment, by having him committed, and that just goes to show that they don’t give a damn about the rest of us either.

They knew george was a F-up 50 years ago, but they thought that cheney would keep a lid on things. Well, he has. He’s kept a lid so tight we’re all suffocating.

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By Mike, January 17, 2008 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Howard, January 17 at 8:14 am #
(333 comments total)
Re: By Howard, January 16 at

“The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a grievous error…

Oh, so now the attack (previously an “accident” - your description) was a grievous error? Really?

...largely attributable to the fact that it occurred in the midst of the confusion of a full-scale war in 1967.”

In the midst of confusion? Who was confused? The pilots/crew of the IDF surveillance aircraft? The pilots of the attacking aircraft? (Apparently, Evan Toni wasn’t confused.) The captain/crew of the attacking torpedo boats?

“Ten official United States investigations and three official Israeli inquiries have all conclusively established the attack was a tragic mistake.”

Actually, it’s been reported that there were eleven U.S. investigations. And they’ve all been refuted…investigations that weren’t investigations. As far as Israeli inquiries… Inquiries? WTF? And what are the odds that   any official Israeli inquiry would conclude that they were at fault and that the attack was NOT a mistake…accident…error? 

Would you care to enlighten us as to how long (and how much arm twisting) it took for the Israeli government to make reparations for their “tragic mistake”? Did the inquiries have anything to do with how much it would take to make things right? (Which, at 6 million bucks, for a 40 million dollar vessel, is a pretty good deal, right? And the money for the Americans killed and wounded? Chicken feed.)

“No reason for Israel to do this on purpose since during this war, the U.S. was airlifitng military supplies to resupply Israeli forces from the multi country attacks.”

No reason? None? Nothing about that “little situation” in Al Arish?

Someone needs to stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

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By jbart, January 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please Google everything about the Alaska potential. I’m sure that it will, as they say, “OPEN YOUR EYES”.
We have almost unlimited amounts of oil available to us and, please rememeber that, Alaska is part of America. We paid for a pipeline that remains dry, because that oil (brought to the supply) would effectively, drive down the pricing (supply vs. demand model). We have the oil, but we “choose” to go to outside suppliers without using what we have(which we own and which has been paid for). I plead for all of you Americans that want to preserve our country to discover the truth and act accordingly. If not for you, for your kids and theirs.

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By Sharon Ash, January 17, 2008 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Louise, I am all in favor of giving the devil their due, however, neither a real estate agent nor their broker makes the determination as to who does or does not get qualified for financing.  Most real estate professionals will not even get some one in their car to show property to until they have already gone to a lender and been pre-qualified, so it is the lender who determines what a buyer can or cannot qualify to purchase.  Moreover, most real estate agents steer clear of telling a client who to choose as a lender, rather recommending they check rates with more than one lender.  The vast majority of these people in trouble with the subprime mortgages, got caught up with a lender over the net which most real estate sales persons have never heard of and further, in thousands of cases where buyers have been advised by real estate sales persons to check further with other lenders because the terms of their financing seemed very questionable, it did no good.  It is quite discouraging to have told a buyer that if that is the best they can do on a loan they should just delay buying for a year, and receive a call saying I sure wish I had listened to you because I went ahead and bought and now I am losing my home.  What should I do?  Louise, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, one way or another. Ultimately, the fault is the poor decisions made by the buyers and the lenders who purposefully led them down the path to failure.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, January 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Once a Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir; Geo TV fame, asked Osama bin laden in his interview;
Q: (asked HamidMir) “Don’t you think that what all you do helps President Bush a lot in his resolve?

and

Osama bin Laden replied; “Yes I know; but George Bush is the only one, who can destroy America.”

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By Sharon Ash, January 17, 2008 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thing the Saudis have bailed W out of his last misadventure so his plan for economic recovery for the U.S., begging for oil, is going to fall on deaf ears.  They have to be saying themselves “Didn’t we already bail him out of several personal financial messes?  And, now he expects us to bail out an entire country. I think not!”

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By Howard, January 17, 2008 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a grievous error, largely attributable to the fact that it occurred in the midst of the confusion of a full-scale war in 1967. Ten official United States investigations and three official Israeli inquiries have all conclusively established the attack was a tragic mistake.

No reason for Israel to do this on purpose since during this war, the U.S. was airlifitng military supplies to resupply Israeli forces from the multi country attacks.

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By Mudwollow, January 17, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Bush’s approval rating makes the most sense when looked at as an economic equation. When Bush’s rating was 20%, he had only managed to transfer 80% of America’s wealth from the many to the few. A 10% approval rating would indicate a 90% transfer of wealth. No wonder he’s smiling. He’s finally succeeded at something in life.

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By James Goldberg, January 17, 2008 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder whether the Saudi’s will put Bush on their payroll after his presidency is finally over. Did they negotiate the deal this week? Or will they cut ties due to “incompetency?”

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By weather, January 17, 2008 at 4:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel’s arrogance is only exceeded by their remarkable capacity for deceit.

Until Israel has the balls to confront their own dark truths w/out manipulating blame onto others Peace, like humility will elude them, trouble will follow them and denial becomes them.

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By Allen Thomas, January 16, 2008 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush looks so cozy sitting there amid luxury and royal friends.  How much would it cost the U.S. to pay the Saudis to keep Bush as a castle pet?  Ship Bush’es rocking horse and box of plastic toy soldiers over for him to play with in his new sandbox. It would certainly cheaper than this stupid war.

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By Enemy of State, January 16, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

The Saudis don’t own the US, yet! Currently the Chinese own more, but with oil in scarce supply (its not manipulation by oil interests, but increasing demand, and supply that at best is treading water thats driving up the price). As oil gets scarcer and scarcer and expensiver and expensiver the transfer of wealth to the oil exporting nations will grow, and grow. We are already transferring wealth at an unprecedented rate. And we ain’t seen nothin yet!

  Amazingly GWB today questioned the ability of the Saudis to pump more oil, yet one more indiscrete admission that peakoil is upon us. And we have done so much these past seven years to wean ourselves off of oil!  The s&%$ is about to hit the fan, but Bush & Chenney can relocate to Abu Daubi.

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By Mike Sparks, January 16, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Howard, January 16 at 12:59 pm #
(332 comments total)
Re: Re: Are Bush and Rice Psychotic?

“I wouldn’t get bent of shape about the Liberty ship as it was an accident at sea under war conditions almost 40 years ago.”

Are you kidding me?

First of all, it wasn’t a “Liberty” ship. It was the U.S.S. Liberty. A 40-million dollar ship. When the Israelis were done with it, the Liberty was sold for scrap for about $100,000.00

June 8, 1967 is more than forty years ago.

And by calling the attack an accident, you dishonor the 34 dead seamen. I doubt that you would care to face the remainder of the crew (including the 174 wounded) and call that attack an accident.

Inconceivable.

“The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack…was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew…. It was our shared belief. . .that the attack. . .could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors. . .were well aware that the ship was American.”

—Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry

But wait! There’s more!

“I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship.”

—NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby

Still care to categorize the attack as an accident?

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By Europeanview, January 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

The bad news for the Saudis is that Bush broke the United States—but they own it.

That is indeed priceless!

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By James, January 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He didn’t go to Saudi Arabia to gain support from the people, he went as a salesman for Haliburton, Northrop Gruman, et al.

The Saudi princes do not even have a favorable rating in their own country… yet when we give their dictatorial leaders weapons to suppress their own people we wonder why they fight us to the death.

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By brhorton, January 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Today’s allies are tomorrow’s enemies, giving technology to barbarians is not a good thing,  the Saudis will one day turn on us and use our weapons against us.

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By Howard, January 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

I wouldn’t get bent of shape about the Liberty ship as it was an accident at sea under war conditions almost 40 years ago.

But look at Hezballah, talk about psychotic:

Feb.1988:  Marine Corps Lt. Col. Wiliam Higgins kidnapped and murdered by Iranian-backed terrorists while serving with the U.N. peace keeping force in southern Lebanon.

March, 1984.  Wiliam Buckley, CIA station chief in Beirut,kidnapped and killed by Islamic Jihad.

Sept, 1984:  Suicide bomber attacks U.S. Embassy annex in Christian suburb of Aukar, six miles north of Beirut,killing 14 people, including two Americans. Ninety-six others wounded, including then-U.S. Ambassador Reginald B-artholeomew.

Oct,1983;  Suicide attacker rams truck loaded with explosives into U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, kiling 241 servicemen.

April, 1983 Suicide truck-bombing shreds U.S. Embassy building on Muslim West Beirut’s seafront, killing 62 people, including 17 Americans. More than 100 people wounded.

June, 1978:  U.S. Ambassador Frncis E. Meloy Jr. and his economic counselor, Robert O. Waring kidnapped from limousine on demarcation line dividing Beirut into Christian and Muslim sections.  Their bullet-riddled bodies are later found.

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By Louise, January 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

“How about the cupidity of the families reaching for homes far larger, and more expensive than their needs, or financial resources would permit?”

How about the greedy Real Estate Brokers who make the determination, “I dont care whether or not they can afford it! Make it happen!” And the Real Estate sales-person who responds, “But they cant afford it, eventually they’ll lose everything.” And the Broker who responds ... “That’s not your problem. Make it happen!”

Missing in the debate over the mortgage meltdown ... the Real Estate people WHO MADE IT HAPPEN!

Maybe we need to quit blaming the victims!

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By P. T., January 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Everybody has a right to defend themselves from Zionist terrorism.  Recall what U.S. taxpayers have received for their generous handouts to the Zionists:  Remember the USS Liberty !!!

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Gabir's avatar

By Gabir, January 16, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

What separates Saudi Arabia from all the other countries that U.S. Administrations , present and past , have tried to dominate through every conceivable method of illegal and unethical military , political, and social intervention to create puppet states with our government pulling the strings ? Let us count the ways .
    The Saudis have played the role of “good dog” , all the while taking everything they can get from our “dinner table” . If you were on a military base in the 1970’s , especially where nuclear power schools were , you more than likely saw large groups of Saudi Military Staff walking around and attending classes at the Nuke school on base . Our government and military establishment placed so much trust in the Saudis , that we trained them in nuclear power technology without restriction , while we would not trust most other countries around the world with even a morsel of the information given freely to Saudi personnel .
    The Saudi Government has been one of ,if not the most stable in the middle east . How do they work this miracle in a land of governments and populations so volatile that we can only wonder where the next coup , assassination , or terrorist attack will occur . In Saudi Arabia , human rights apply mostly to Royalty , something George W. Shrub (love you Molly !) must envy . Women are still dominated , almost to a point of domestic and political voicelessness , a fact George W. Facist must envy . Any attempt for citizens to congregate for social or political discourse results in instant prison sentences without trial , a model for that place so dear to George W. Nazi’s heart (?)with the cute , fuzzy name - Gitmo .
    The Saudi’s control OPEC , so despite all the other sources of oil and natural gas , the Saudis control oil prices . The Saudis along with George W. Traitor created 9/11 . Believe what you want , but 9/11 was a staged event and the current administration conspired to gain support for their military excursions through a cold blooded act against thier own citizens . The Saudis now control us not only economically and at the gas pumps ,  but also through BLACKMAIL .
    Although China holds the largest monetary leverage over our (their) country , the Saudis hold some very powerful cards which make for a very unsavory intergovernmental relationship . Maybe it is too late for us to awaken , because I can not conceive a solution in my mind to this dilemma . Maybe the next administration will perform the old Clinton Magic of “Now you see it , now you don’t “. Ah , the good ol days .

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By Howard, January 16, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Nah, they should reach out and have their clients stop sending rockets , missles and mortars into Israel.

And give some of their oil monies to their clients to help start a viable country.  A normal country instead of being on the world’s dole forever.

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By GB, January 16, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush makes a 20 billion dollar weapons sale to Saudi Arabia of which GE, who owns NBC will profit enormously. GE will run a debate forcing a very poular anti war candidate of the stage.
How much more in your face could this be?
Bush/Cheney are personally raking in billions in profits from the illegal war they started and the king of Saudi Arabia gets richer on our backs by higher oil prices.
Why won’t the Dems impeach? Hmmm…

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By P. T., January 16, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

President Bush and Secretary of State Rice say Arabs should reach out to Israel’s government, as it continues illegal settlement building.  It is as if the two of them were hallucinating.

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By GW=MCHammered, January 16, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“President Bush currently visiting our good friends in Saudi Arabia. And today, President Bush said the Saudis are fully enlisted in the war on terrorism. Oh, yeah. So fully, they’re on both sides.”
-Jay Leno

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By Bill Blackolive, January 16, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where Jesus’s birthday is a market of Santa Claus,
the 9/11 coverup is too, too real, and old librals may say whatever works for them.

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By abutaza, January 16, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

…analogy is a good one, “The bad news for the Saudis is that Bush broke the United States—but they own it.”  And therefore some of the exaggerations in the story should be forgiven – but only some.  As we both know, it is not the Saudis who own the bankrupt United States, but the Chinese.  At best, the Saudis hold the second, or third mortgage.
The “greedy” Arab oil sheiks responsible for American families being thrown out of their homes via foreclosures.  Wow!  That really is a bit far-fetched. How about the cupidity of the families reaching for homes far larger, and more expensive than their needs, or financial resources would permit?  How about the gazillion offers to re-finance your home, all that “creative” Wall Street financing that let’s one buy a home for nothing down, extremely low “teaser” rates at the beginning, and the reassurances of countless real estate agents that “of course you’ll be able to re-finance before the interest rates ratchet up because your home will be worth 50% more…”  It is not those greedy sheiks who are “driving up the price of oil”, it is US, our unwillingness to change our policies to deal with a limited resource as both China and India move towards consuming a slightly larger share of the pie.
On the other hand, 30 billion to Israel, 20 billion to the Gulf, weapons all, and this is called peace?  What would Tacitus say?  You are “spot-on” highlighting this.
But can you actually imagine a group called “Terror Free Tomorrow” (OK, they used a subsidiary with a different name) conducting an accurate poll in Saudi Arabia?  Where is your skepticism? Pleeeze.  Yes, the stated methodology looks so “plausible,”  except it does not pass the “sniff test.” The Saudis themselves would not reveal their true sentiments to each other! I know, I lived there for a period of a quarter century, and even with those Saudis I knew for years I could never be certain if they were telling me what I wanted to hear, or were actually revealing their true sentiment. So, can you imagine being a Saudi, and receiving a phone call from a foreign country, albeit in Arabic, from a total stranger (who you might suspect is your own Ministry of the Interior, or perhaps one of the Emir’s entourage), and suddenly revealing the true sentiments of your heart? One sentence in the methodology requires 10 more questions: “The field team seeks to match respondent gender with interviewer gender to maximize response rates”  SEEKS ?  And if they didn’t achieve this?  Would a Saudi woman actually talk with an Arabic speaking stranger in a foreign country?  Or the other way around, a Saudi man receives a phone call from an Arabic speaking woman?  Sure, what do you want to hear?  I might concede that “Terror Free Tomorrow” made some attempt at obtaining a sample, but if we believe the result, we are only fooling ourselves.

Mr. Sheer – I have admired numerous columns that you have published, sometimes subscribing to every word.  Less “Arab bashing”, and a bit more skepticism would have made this a much better column.

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By Rogelio, January 16, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

The U.S. stormed into Iraq preaching democracy and now the imbecile of a leader who once tried to fight his own father in a drunken rage sits proudly with the Saudi King. You would assume the leader of the free world would start preaching democratic elections and equality for women.

I am going to assume that even Papa and Mama Bush are ashamed of their son. ‘W’ sure has some audacity or perhaps we are the idiots since he once said that he communicates with God and surely God would not steer him in the wrong direction.

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By Expat, January 16, 2008 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

These are not satellite-guided missiles; they are GPS guided tail fin assemblies for bombs.  This is a rehash of old news.  Congress should stop this sale; fat chance.

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By ocjim, January 16, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Scheer describes it well.

My wonder is that Bush goes on masquerading as the president, appearing to not notice the scorn felt by others, including his own fellow Americans (and I choke on the fellow).

The presidency is an office that would normally bring genuine esteem from the majority of other countries. My wonder is whether it will ever have that esteem again.

Is Bush so shielded, so self-deluded that he cannot detect this scorn? Are the leaders he visits so good at acting as flattering hosts?

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By Howard, January 16, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

After all, we give those Saudis billions for defense against what?

The Bush administration notified Congress Monday that it would sell 900 sophisticated satellite-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia as part of a $20 billion arms sale. The administration is worried that some in Congress might object, since the missiles are some of the most accurate produced by the U.S. (New York Times

And the majority of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis.  The Saudis have yet to shut down the mosques in their country which sermonize on hate against the U.S. and anything in West. They and Iran create the majority of terrorists and suicide bombers.

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By Hammo, January 16, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Once again, Scheer provides us with useful “intelligence information” about
current situations within the Bush-Cheney administration, important aspects of “the war on terror,” our worsening economic situation and related important elements.

Gathering and communicating important “intel” as Scheer and many others do helps Americans, and people internationally, understand what is going on.

More on this in the article ...

“Gathering intelligence: Grassroots intel by and for the people”

AmericanChronicle.com
January 26, 2007

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=19777

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By Mike, January 16, 2008 at 5:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

...I’ll be the Saudis just had to chuckle when Shrub was in Jerusalem or wherever wearing that yulmuka(or however its spelled, apologies to my Jewish friends)...

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By lilmamzer, January 16, 2008 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

previous post directed at Chalmers

Douglas Chalmers, January 16 at 12:42 am

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By lilmamzer, January 16, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

No wonder then that It turns out they hate us not for our success….but for our incompetence… ” as they must be really viewing the USA as the greatest source of exploitable suckers in the world today - only rivalled by Bush’s Neocon poodle from France, uhh. Soon - game, set + match re Israel!

So many bad ideas, so many things you consistently get wrong. But the icing on your cake is the disassociative nonsense you manage to plug in at the end. Are you making a prediction or a threat? Care to try and lay out a rational explanation for that bizzare statement?

And thanks for the “uhh”.

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By Expat, January 16, 2008 at 3:56 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer,
You lost me somewhere in this paean to?????  Most of us (your readers) already know 99% of what you have written.  IMO you could have said; “Bush has proved so incompetent in his Mid-East policies (and everything else) that even the Saudis don’t like us (as if they ever did).  So, we now owe them and the Chinese so much money we will never be able to pay them back and we are now screwed.” 
Hardly worth this article/filler.
Do not pass go and do not collect $200, go directly to jail.

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By republicanSScareme, January 16, 2008 at 3:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doesn’t our idiot President look right at home sitting in a monarch’s thrownroom? He’s giggling like he just goosed the King.  I’m sure our personal idiot thinks he SHOULD be a King because it would so much easier and all that.

What a retard.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 16, 2008 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer: “The Gulf sheiks get their money by raising oil prices that drive up inflation…”

Once again weakly blaming others for the USA’s own self-created problems, Scheer? Pity that you missed turning your attention to the real issues in the Gulf this last weekend:-

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has begun a Gulf tour, during which he is due to sign a nuclear co-operation deal with the United Arab Emirates. He has arrived in Saudi Arabia and will go on to Qatar and the UAE over the next three days. All three are seeking to develop civilian nuclear programmes.

Mr Sarkozy has said the Arab world should have the same rights to such programmes as other states. France has already signed nuclear agreements with Algeria and Libya. Mr Sarkozy said the sale of such technology could foster trust between the West and the Muslim world.

“The sharing of civilian nuclear [technology] will be one of the foundations of a pact of confidence which the West must forge with the Islamic world.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7185660.stm

No wonder then that It turns out they hate us not for our success….but for our incompetence… “ as they must be really viewing the USA as the greatest source of exploitable suckers in the world today - only rivalled by Bush’s Neocon poodle from France, uhh. Soon - game, set + match re Israel!

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