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May 14, 2015

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Side-note: new replies to Rogue Columnist and to Concern Troll on the issues of water use and pricing have been added to the previous thread and can be read by clicking here:

http://www.roguecolumnist.com/rogue_columnist/2015/05/the-hard-way.html

No doubt House of Saud and the GCC kingdoms will be pouring money into Jeb Bush's presidential campaign. Through corporations of course which possess personhood blessing from the right-wing US Supreme Court.

House of Saud and the Bush dynasty have been joined at the hip for decades. Want much higher oil prices, vote Republican in 2016.

It isn't clear to me that an anti-Obama snub has occurred, though the American media seem to be jumping to that conclusion. One alternative explanation that seems likely:

"Diplomatic cables leaked in 2010 revealed Arab leaders singled out Iran as the greatest threat to regional stability, yet refuse to speak publicly, telling US diplomats in private, they'd face domestic troubles if they were seen as siding with the West against a Muslim country."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League%E2%80%93Iran_relations

One of the biggest initial reasons for the rift between countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan on the one hand, and Iran on the other, was the Ayatollah Khomeini's public pronouncement that monarchy is not consistent with Islam. Sunni religious radicals within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere agree, and at best tolerate the dynasty of the House of Saud. For the king to personally attend a high profile conference and express views openly critical of Islamic Iran in collusion with the West would leave the king himself without plausible deniability or a fall-guy to sacrifice on the altar of domestic public opinion.

Also note that some Gulf States, notably Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, have cordial relations with Iran. Appearing at a summit where Saudi Arabia would be required to air its hostility to Iran and urge the West to military action against it, in front of ministers from countries enjoying good relations with Iran, guarantees leaks and bad press for Saudi Arabia.

P.S. Also note that the new Saudi king hasn't traveled abroad since his succession in January. It's entirely possible that he has domestic rivals who might use his absence, as well as his close personal collaboration with the United States at such a summit meeting, as an opportunity to stage a coup. I'm not familiar enough with Saudi dynastic issues to be able to say whether the new king has broad support among the power brokers of his own government or whether there are other, ambitious Saudi royals biding their time. He might even fear the engineering of a plane "accident".

Sorry Emil, your post is wrong in so many ways it isn't possible to correct.

It is interesting to read statements from knowledgeable Americans such as yourself who haven't been to the Middle East. The difference between on the ground experience and purely intellectual knowledge of the region is striking.

Easy to understand how US warmongers readily and continually manipulate the US electorate.

Ah com on FSI, you can do better than that.
Like how do U know and how about a thumb nail sketch?

"FSI and more" wrote:

"Sorry Emil, your post is wrong in so many ways it isn't possible to correct."

It's not only possible, its easy -- assuming there is anything to correct. It sounds as though you have nothing substantive to say and can only conceal the fact by hiding behind personal attacks while you refuse to justify your extremely vague claims. I might also add that you have no basis for the assertion that I have no "on the ground experience" in the Middle East; and if this is a provocation to goad me into personal revelations, I refuse to confirm or deny it.

I'm interested in learning about this issue. If you have insights to impart, you should simply do so without fanfare and without presumptions or insults. That's probably more than you can deliver.

Just curious: what does "FSI" stand for? Foreign Service Institute? Free Sons of Israel? Tell me, before I piss my pants: I'm quivering with fear that U.S. State Department diplomats or Jewish Masons are hot on my trail!

Sterling Hayden is still alive and living in Scottsdale. His OSS experience and his role in, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,will allow us to be fully informed of Obama and the Wahhabism.

Rogue wrote, "And let's quit buying Saudi oil — "
I can not say I agree. It may be better to trade dollars for Saudi's oil than to use tar sands.

Of course, it would be best if the US were on a faster track to alternative fuel sources.

US is running on really bad tracks, to go fast on.
The planet has gone looney. And Fox news is leading the way as they know Amtrack derailed because the engineer is gay. And Obama is Satan. So to shut off the noise of insanity I am going to lie down and listen to good Mexican guitar music and watch a Antonio Banderas seeks revenge on those who killed his Juliette.
And Quentin Tarintino pretend to act. Fortunately He gets killed off in the first 5 mintues.
Hasta Luego

The OSS, Cal?

Everything you need to know about the reliability of the OSS can be judged from the character of its founder, Bill Donovan. A single anecdote will suffice

"Soon after Pearl Harbor, a private citizen from Irwin, Pennsylvania wrote to the White House alleging that the Japanese had a mortal fear of bats and suggesting that they could be used in a return "surprise attack". Roosevelt turned it over to Donovan, who enthusiastically investigated how vast quantities of the animals could be bred to bombard the Japanese. The project was abandoned only when huge numbers of bats persisted in freezing to death during high altitude experiments. No one bothered to check whether the Japanese were, as alleged, frightened of bats."

(From David Stafford's book Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets.)

This is the organization which developed into the CIA, which allowed Aldrich Ames to carry literally bags full of top secret documents out through the front door for years on end; which tried to kill Fidel Castro with exploding cigars; was run by a succession of Cuban spies during the 1980s (whom the CIA thought it had recruited but who in fact were Cuban intelligence agents collecting information about CIA sources and methods); a CIA which reportedly never saw the collapse of the Soviet Union coming. Need I go on? FSI "and more" forsooth!

Donovan, " I sailed the Adriatic with a movie star."
it's been about Oil even before Sinclair.
Making a favorite movie, Three Days of the Condor.
"Games, yes we play Games, What If."
Speaking of Oil or Fuel (Pig Shit works) the Mad Max fourth movie is out and playing at your favorite theater.

Cal Lash wrote:

"Sterling Hayden is still alive and living in Scottsdale. His OSS experience..."

So is G. Gordon Liddy:

http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/g-gordon-liddys-house/view/bing/

Many years ago I saw him briefly, driving a car through the parking area of Biltmore Fashion Park at 24th Street and Camelback.

Idle observation apropos of nothing but mirroring your comment.

Cal Lash wrote:

"So to shut off the noise of insanity I am going to lie down and listen to good Mexican guitar music..."

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NlmNcuK9O0E

It's not Mexican guitar music but since it's from an opera called Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City) Cal Lash might give it a thumbs up anyway.

Can't vouch for the audio quality of this particular bitstream given my playback equipment at the moment...

It must be kismet:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bacevich-middle-east-saudis-israel-20150513-story.html

Or great minds think alike.

Gee whiz Emil U were in Scottsdale? Was Gordon Liddy Smoking a Cigarette? Did you think to ask to see his scarred arms? Was it raining and lighting? Was he carrying a rope and near a tree?
I would like to know what the conflict was that caused Gordon's attorney son to drop out of the Arpaio case?

Sorry Emil but I should have been clearer. The Mexicam Music was the beautiful sound of rapid automatic gunfire emitting from the ends of guitar cases and the whoosh of rockets exiting guitar cases as Banderas and friends took on the evil men and saved Las Senoritas tan hermosa.
The opera background was good, also.
Tonight rather than watch a dead city movie Ithink I will watch,again, the two Rodriquez movies, Sin City. I will try and remember to check the music credits.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln. . . Other than that, guys, what did you think of Jon's column? He is right on every point. Every single point. (BTW, I, too, have considerable Middle Eastern experience, and by living in John Boehner's district, I also know my B.S.)

From the War Nerd a few weeks ago:

http://pando.com/2015/03/28/the-war-nerd-a-brief-history-of-the-yemen-clusterfck/

http://pando.com/2015/03/30/the-war-nerd-to-lighten-the-mood-heres-the-cheery-tale-of-dammaj/

http://pando.com/2015/04/27/the-war-nerd-bentleys-for-houthis/

Tough time for the Bamster. Just seems to get “dissed” from every direction – domestically and international. Even the Congressional Dems seemed to have had enough of him.

I’d hold off on the “doing the Full Harry” thing until - you know - he can.

Lame duck status doesn’t help at all. Of course he can always call on all that good will he’s built up over the last six years.

If you are known by your enemies,Obama is doing just fine.if you want to object to the "diss",drive less or take the bus.

"We have a surplus of oil to see through the transition" could use a footnote maybe, but otherwise I couldn't agree more and, as always, I like when you write angry.

Petro,

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, Saudi Arabia supplied 26.5 million barrels in February, out of a total 258 million bbls imported that month.

The United States consumes about 579 million barrels in petroleum products per month. (All these figures are rough).

So a transition away from Saudi is possible, if painful. The higher crude costs, combined with the right policies, might also help carbon in the ground.

"Energy independence" is unrealistic. But we certainly don't have to engage in foreign policy that is contrary to our national interest just to get Saudi oil.

Wonder what John Q Adams would have thought of the CIA? What Colonel Johns refers to as Christian's In Action as he oversees mass murder 7000 miles from where he sits in Nevada. "Good Kill". May Santa bring you a Drone.

There might be good reasons for breaking off relations with the Saudis, but the Saudi king sending an underling in his stead to a summit meeting on Iran obviously isn't one of them, whether this substitution is a snub or not..

Bibi Netanyahu's actions are clearly hostile to President Obama: but again, one can't conduct foreign policy with nations on the basis of personal differences of the sort in question. If the President of the United States broke off longstanding regional alliances merely from adolescent pique he'd deserve to be impeached.

As with Saudi Arabia, there might be good reasons for redrawing the terms and conditions of the relationship with Israel: but again I don't think the writer has made a convincing case. Giving a speech to Congress is scarcely the last straw.

Beyond this there is the question of what the President can do without Congress.

There is also a question of leverage. The writer has pointed out that the quantity of oil purchased from Saudi Arabia is comparatively small. It isn't as though there aren't plenty more potential buyers for that amount of good quality, easy to refine Saudi oil. So the oil would NOT stay in the ground; the Saudis would NOT be deprived of funds; and the United States would have cut off its nose to spite its face.

"Between October 2010 and October 2014, Washington and Riyadh reached more than $90 billion in weapons deals, according to a report published in January by the Congressional Research Service. The sales have included everything from war planes to armored vehicles, along with powerful missiles and bombs."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/03/26/how-u-s-weapons-will-play-a-large-role-in-saudi-arabias-war-in-yemen/

According to contemporaneous news accounts, in 2010 Congress had 30 days to block the $60 billion in two arms deals announced that year. It didn't. Those deals are now five years old and the arms have already been acquired. How is that money recoverable?

What's highly ironic to me is how another infuriated overreaction resulted in the conservative Likud government which now dominates Israeli politics coming to power; and U.S. arms sales were involved.

Believe it or not, until 1978 the religious parties that now caucus with Likud had previously caucused with the Labor Party, which had been in power for three decades.

In 1977 then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin held a ceremony to welcome the arrival of the first of the F-15 Eagle fighter jets purchased as part of the 1975 Sinai II disengagement agreement. The Jewish Sabbath starts at sundown and as the event stretched into the evening the religious parties Rabin depended on for his coalition majority withdrew in protest from the government.

Instead of pouring oil on the wounds, Rabin resigned and called for a general election -- which led to the loss of power of his Labor Party.

The religious parties then joined the right-wing "free-market" coalition to form a nationalist coalition transcending the priorities of each.

Emil, all very logical but how big apart of logic does logic play in the human political stage. Money, religion and power continue to illogically destroy the planet.

P.S. So far as I know the arms deal with the Saudis was a sale rather than a gift. (I admit that hard details are tough to come by and that subsidies may be indirect.) But if the USG simply approved the deal, I don't see how preventing it to begin with would have given the USG $60 billion for infrastructure spending (or anything else). Maybe I missed the point?

Emil,

I suppose the better way to put it would have been: If we invested in a future economy the way we subsidize arms-makers, we would be in a position to sell the Saudis, say, high-speed trains instead of just arms. Or solar technology to help the Kingdom wean itself off oil. Instead, China, Germany and Japan are those market leaders.

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