This is what you get for pandering to the Sauds: A big, fat middle finger.
What’s Arabic for flipping the bird?
President Bush failed to win the help he sought from Saudi Arabia to relieve skyrocketing American gas prices Friday, a setback for the former Texas oilman who took office predicting he would jawbone oil-producing nations to help the U.S.
Bush got a red-carpet welcome to this desert kingdom, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, and promised to ask King Abdullah to increase production to reduce pressure on prices, which soared past $127 for the first time Friday. But Saudi officials said they already were meeting the needs of their customers worldwide and there was no need to pump more.
Their answer recalled Bush’s trip to Saudi Arabia in January when he urged an increase in production but was rebuffed.
They blow off Bush on oil production.
He tells them, “OK, we’ll give you nukes.”
Like Toynbee said: “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”
More: A commenter notes that the Sauds increased production by a scant 300,000 barrels last week. But as the White House itself said, it was token:
The White House said the increase would not be enough to lower gasoline prices, which are nearing $4 a gallon, and industry analysts called it mostly symbolic.
Justin Hart rightly takes the Bush White House to task for raising false hopes:
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One rule I’ve learned about fundraising events over the years: If you set a goal and make it public you better meet it and BEAT it handily. The Bush administration cut itself again by publicly acknowledging that Bush would ask OPEC to increase production and then failing to obtain that result. If you knew there was little chance of accomplishing that goal… why publicize it as part of your mission!?
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