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Bush on middle east politics - the arab perspective(19 posts)

Bush on middle east politics - the arab perspectiveMJ
May 15, 2002 1:45 AM,7369,715714,00.html

George Bush? He's nice but dim, says crown prince

Matthew Engel in Washington
Wednesday May 15, 2002
The Guardian

In the most regal possible manner, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia skewered President George Bush yesterday as a man so ignorant about the Middle East, and specifically about the suffering of the Palestinians, that he needed several hours of personal tuition to bring him up to speed.
When the prince visited the presidential ranch in Texas last month, the two men spent five hours together, far longer than expected. This was an indication - according to the White House spin machine - of how well they got on. Prince Abdullah presents a different interpretation: the time was spent coaching the president in political realities.

"He is the type of person who sleeps at 9.30pm after watching the domestic news," the prince told Okaz, a Saudi newspaper. "In the morning, he only reads a few lines about what is written on the Middle East and the world due to his huge responsibilities."

The prince proves himself to be a master of the art of damning with faint praise, saying of Mr Bush that "he listens and debates politely, but was not fully informed about the real conditions in the region, especially the conditions suffered by the Palestinian people". And so, he continues, "I felt it was my duty to spend as long a time as possible to brief him on the facts directly and without an intermediary".

The prince's shaft was concealed in a velvet glove of compliments for his host. "I found a man totally different from what I had expected," he told the paper. "He has noble qualities. He is honest, courageous and highly compassionate. These are all good news for the Palestinians."

He said Mr Bush was deeply moved when he showed him pictures and videos about the "tragedies in the Palestinian territories".

"I told him 'you are the president of the world's most powerful country, you have principles and deep-rooted political values that stress human rights, justice and equality. You also have the ability to move towards justice and peace'. I came out fully convinced that the man will act in the right direction," the prince said.

However, despite the veiled criticism, Mr Bush can take comfort in the opinions of the people who matter most to him: a poll conducted last week suggested that 70% of the American public approved of his Middle East policies.
Is this your pro_American side showing? nmBikeViking at home
May 15, 2002 7:37 AM
er, I didn't write it... - nmMJ
May 15, 2002 8:00 AM
er, I didn't write it... - nmBikeViking at home
May 15, 2002 8:06 AM
You having posted it, I would have thought you agreed with it.
er, I didn't write it... - nmMJ
May 16, 2002 12:20 AM
do I agree that's what they Saudi Prince said? yes

do I understand Bush's failures in international diplomacy and agree this as yet another sorry example? yes

do I agree Bush should be portrayed like this? if factual then yes

do I think Bush should be such an untutored idiot who presents so poorly to everyone apart from the extreme right in the US who are only vaguely aware of a world outside their own state much less their own country? - no

is that what you meant by agree?
re: Bush is a total Tool..jrm
May 15, 2002 7:54 AM
It's because of him that in this day and age we have old men practicing 1980's reagan/pappa bush foreign policy. it sounds like im not the only person that feels this way either.

How about those pictures that he's giving away to his priority supporters? Self absorbed defender of freedom in the face of E-vil (in your best Dr. E-vil voice..please).
re: Bush is a total Tool..BikeViking at home
May 15, 2002 8:05 AM
It woould be unwise o believe the anecdotal evidence of the leader of the country from where 15 of the 19 bombers came from? Why are you so quick to believe a despot? He was not elected and yet his word is gold? The standard of living fdor your average Saudi is not great. But they get all this money from the "evil" Americans. Where does that money go? Not to improving the lot of the people...Hmmmm.....Could it be ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS!! (Dana Carvey eat your heart out!)

I would tend not to believe anything the Saudi Govt says.

That is crappy about the pictures...That was a DUMB thing to do.
re: He's still a total tool...jrm
May 15, 2002 10:38 AM
it would unwise to not question administration & media spun public policy based on assumption, speculation and stereotypes.

Or to sujectively analyze one's belief system based on those very assuptions, speculations and stereotypes.

Just the fact's jack...
re: He's still a total tool...BikeViking at home
May 15, 2002 11:13 AM
I am not saying don't question the Administration, my point is nto to put much stock in what a Saudi Prince (with an ax to grind) says about what happened in private meeting(s). Personally, I just think it was bad manners to talk about that in publis, whether it's true or not. Bush has his own probelms (letting that stinker of campaign finance go w/o a veto).

I put NO stock in ANYTHING the Saudi's have to say.

I truly look forward to the day when we tell them to p!$$ off, we don't need your #@$%ing oil.
But doesn't fit in the tool pouch! Leatherman for president.....128
May 15, 2002 11:54 AM
re: Thing isjrm
May 15, 2002 12:22 PM
The saudi's arent the only one's to say such things about the bush administration. As long as we finance Isreal.

Well we're part of the way with finance stop term limit's.
May 16, 2002 12:39 AM
if you put your fingers in your ears and hum loudly enough you can block out anyone who you 'don't put stock in'

with oily Bush in the white house how likely do you think it that the US ends it oil dependancy?
maybeBikeViking at home
May 16, 2002 5:06 AM
Ending our oil dependence is not an easy task. A two prong approach is required...drilling to lessen foreign dependnce for the short term and alternative fuel research for the long term. THis is the Bush plan, but our short-sighted Dems don't want to drill, yet they have no alternatives. They are b1tching for b1tching sake
Wait it was oily Bush...jrm
May 16, 2002 7:14 AM
Why should we drill? to create more supply of an exhaustable resource whose demand already exceeds the current supply. Lets not forget that the year 2000 has marked the point when the current supply of crude oil is beginning to decline. And that no one knows exactly how much is left or howe fast it will be depleted. kef we drill then we are expanding the supply for a product that the demand

Bush was the one who decided to shift funds away from nitrogen research in favor of fuel cell. In the EC, Nitrogen research is far more extensive and advancing. The japanese have proven that Fuel cell technolgy is limited and constrained. But yet we want to throw more $$$ @ it so we can prop up the suto industry. Thus keeping the auto industry lobby happy and in the game.

It was the democrats that suggested we take note of whats being done in the EC. manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes are slating nitorgen powered production models. The respectable govt's are creating funding for the implementation and infrastructure of nitrogen technology with the help of other EC nations. Can the EC be wrong on this one?
a truly myopic viewpoint, this oneweiwentg
May 16, 2002 7:36 AM
sorry to say this, BV. but having such a viewpoint - we're right, everyone else can go to hell - is one way to ensure that you alienate everyone else you meet. I should know - I was like that once.
remember, the Saudis were your allies in the Gulf War. the US supports them (the government) politically. the few extremists there are are just that, extremists. no need to tar a whole people just beacuse of the actions of a few madmen. if that were the case, I would easily have enough reason to tar your whole country by the actions of your government. and, to keep this fair, you would also have reason to do the same to my country (e.g. the caning of Michael Fay, the fact that Singapore isn't quite a democracy...)
I have had contact with Muslims - Singapore is surrounded by Muslim countries (Malaysia and Indonesia), and Muslims make up around 10% of our population. the vast majority of Muslims are not maniacs. fundamentalism among Muslims is no more a problem than fundamentalism among Christians in this country (although the results are different, Muslim fundamentalists tend to use violence, while Christian fundamentalists in the US tend to use polital power).
I wouldn't say Prince Abdullah has an axe to grind. he is angry at the treatment of the Palestinians, and he wishes to bring it to a stop. the extent of his grudge with the US is that government policies support Israel, and generally don't consider the Palestinian point of view.
Wahabbism, Saudi Arabia, and OilJon Billheimer
May 16, 2002 8:20 AM
I had the interesting good fortune to listen to an interview recently of an Italian professor of Islamic studies, who is also the head of the Italian Islamic Association. He is also an arab and a sheikh. He said what I have long thought, but didn't feel knowledgeable enough to defend. Until the late 18th century mainstream Islam was much more tolerant and cosmopolitan than it is now, particularly in the middle east. Since then a conservative, xenophobic fundamentalism has become more influential within what is admittedly a pluralistic religion. Today Wahabbism is the growing voice of this reactionary portion of Islamic culture. The seat of Wahabbism is Saudi Arabia, supported morally and financially by the Saudi Royal Family. His point was that if the U.S. were serious about dealing Al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism a mortal blow, it would with draw support from the House of Saud and Saudi Arabia. That this is tactically possible, from an energy supply perspective, is buttressed by the fact that Canada sells the U.S. more oil than does Saudi Arabia, and that our oilsands have more provable, recoverable reserves than does Saudi Arabia. However, pulling up a barrel of oil out of the Arabian peninsula costs $2.50 while mining the same barrel of oil from the oilsands costs anywhere from $13.00 to $18.00 per barrel, depending on technology used and method of amortization. The bottom line here is that that Pres. Bush and the American gov't seem more driven by their allegiance to the bottom lines of international oil companies than the moral virtues which they so loudly proclaim. Hence the schizophrenic and hypocritical relationship of the U.S. government toward the Saudis and their allied Gulf states.
May 16, 2002 3:30 PM
dataJon Billheimer
May 16, 2002 8:02 PM
Oops, sorry Doug. Canada's the U.S.'s 2nd largest foreign source of oil. But a politically safe, friendly, and stable source which does not use petro-dollars to finance anti-American and anti-Israel terrorism. But then, return on invested capital comes ahead of public safety, morality, etc.
re: Bush is a total Tool..empacher6seat
May 19, 2002 9:26 PM
If you can't trust a country where 15 of the 19 bombers came from, how can you trust one where God knows how many mass murders, drug dealers, child molesters, and rapists come from??