To get red roses delivered in Saudi Arabia on Valentine’s Day you need to have them arrive early in the morning or in the middle of the night before–if you can find a florist willing to risk his business and, perhaps, his life. Valentine’s Day is a sin amongst your enlightened Saudi Muslims, the Wahhabi kind. Also known as the tolerant Religion of Peace, dontcha know.
Methanol, as currently produced and sold, is a losing proposition, most energy analysts will tell you, requiring huge government subsidies: Big Corn replaces Big Oil. That wouldn’t be the case if all we could get was methanol, as this analysis contends. Of course, that could only come about by government mandate and the Bush administration–indeed, most Republicans, except Nixon and his price controls of yore–don’t like issuing mandates. Besides, the terror bankers, meaning "our friends" the Saudis, have their hands in too many high political pockets for anyone to seriously commit to such a course. So get used to the war on terror, folks. Its explosives’ and weapons’ purveyors get a fresh boost everytime we buy gas.
I often think the Seablogger, Alan Sullivan, is too pessimistic by half. And considering that he’s struggling with cancer, that’s not too surprising. But he’s just dead-on right about the current situation in Iraq.
"…we are not taking the fight to the enemy, and we never will. Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia continue to support Iraqi ‘insurgents.’ If we were at war, we would have assailed the regimes of those countries for warring on us. But we are merely playing at war…"
Indeed, I am starting to cringe everytime I read about another American casualty in Iraq, partly because it’s as though Bush wanted to set up another Vietnam losing proposition, with sanctuaries for the enemy, sanctuaries that (so far) have not been assailed, and may never be. Unlike Sullivan I won’t say never, but it does look that way. Some say we should cringe at all the dead Iraqi civilians, but we aren’t killing them, and the people who are won’t stop even if/when we leave.
UPDATE Still some hope in the recent infighting among the "insurgents."
"We get the sense the Saudis grin and kiss us on both cheeks when we walk into their palaces, then spit on the ground the moment we leave."
When you sleep with the oil ticks, you rise up with fleas. Little mixey metaphor there.
The letter X could be banned in Saudi Arabia because it too closely resembles that hated symbol, the Christian cross:
"In a kingdom where Friday preachers routinely refer to Christians as pigs and infidel crusaders, even a twisted cross ranks as an abomination."
Quick, someone alert the Carter Center, which derives a good chunk of its funding from the Saudis. Charming people, the oil ticks. Don’t you just love lining their pockets every time you fill up with gas?
Via Power Line
In Bush’s coming speech Wednesday we’ll learn whether he finally has the will to do what he should already have done, i.e. taken the war to Iran, Syria and, if they don’t stop sending money and volunteers to Iraq’s Sunni insurgency, Saudi Arabia. Or not. He’s made so little effort in the past four years to explain himself and his strategy, popping up every three months or so to make another speech, then disappearing again for another three months, that serious change doesn’t seem to be in him. Apparently he’s just going to shuffle the commanders around and send a token 10,000 more troops to Iraq for "a push," which will be inconsequential in the long run. It will just give the bad guys more American targets to shoot at and bomb, while Iraq’s neighbors keep undermining Iraq and us. Debka sees hope for more than a token effort. But Debka always sees more, whether it materializes or not. For one thing, Debka has the Stennis carrier strike group already headed for the Persian Gulf when the Navy says it won’t leave until late this month. So far, we haven’t even had the sense to arrest or kill Mookie Sadr and put his Shiite militia out of business. Bush might as well bring the troops home, or shuffle some to Afghanistan, where Iran and Pakistan can go on undermining the effort there. Not that I think the Dems have anything more to offer than retreat. Wretchard says what we really need is the will to win. The bitterly divided populace plainly doesn’t have it. It’s becoming apparent that even the leadership doesn’t. Not even 9/11 could produce it, and it remains to be seen if even a second 9/11 would do it. Though we may get the chance to find out.
For all who ever said we shouldn’t be in Iraq but should be fighting Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism, their facist offshoot of Islam, Stephen Schwartz, Muslim convert, bestselling author and Washington consultant, has some news. He says the Saudi religious faction that drives al Q could be losing its grip on the kingdom and Islamofacism:
"Many leading clerics and intellectuals among Sunni Muslims indicate that King Abdullah has effectively told the Wahhabis that they will no longer receive official subsidies, and must end their violent jihad around the world. The greatest impact of this development may be seen in Iraq, but Wahhabis everywhere have begun to worry about their future. In a totalitarian system like Wahhabism, the weakest links snap first. And the beginning of the end for them may now be visible in the Muslim Balkans."
Worth a read. Via Michael Barone in US News & World Report.