Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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Bush Administration, Middle East

Jim Hoagland writes in today’s Washington Post that the Bushie-Saudi relationship is on the rocks.

President Bush enjoys hosting formal state dinners about as much as having a root canal. Or proposing tax increases. So his decision to schedule a mid-April White House gala for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah signified the president’s high regard for an Arab monarch who is also a Bush family friend.

Now the White House ponders what Abdullah’s sudden and sparsely explained cancellation of the dinner signifies. Nothing good — especially for Condoleezza Rice’s most important Middle East initiatives — is the clearest available answer.

Abdullah’s bowing out of the April 17 event is, in fact, one more warning sign that the Bush administration’s downward spiral at home is undermining its ability to achieve its policy objectives abroad. Friends as well as foes see the need, or the chance, to distance themselves from the politically besieged Bush.

So sad. What’s worse, King Abdullah has been going out with other heads of state.

Abdullah gave a warm welcome to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Riyadh in early March, not long after the Saudis pressured Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas into accepting a political accord that entrenches Hamas in an unwieldy coalition government with Abbas’s Fatah movement.

The Saudis “know how to read election returns,” Hoagland says.

Next week: In a jealous rage, George W. Bush mails Bob Woodward a copy of the 28 pages redacted from the congressional report on 9/11. (The section of the report that dealt with Saudi Arabia’s role in the September 11 attacks.)

See also Sun Tzu at The Agonist.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. biggerbox  •  Mar 28, 2007 @2:51 pm

    Why bother going to have dinner with ‘the help’ when you’ve decided they can’t do the job properly? It looks like the Saudis have decided that if they want a job done right, they’ll have to do it themselves, and give up on using that bumbling idiot to arrange the Middle East the way they want it.

  2. Sam Thornton  •  Mar 28, 2007 @2:55 pm

    Comment on the Agonist reports Saudis now calling for US pullout from Iraq. Oops.

  3. maha  •  Mar 28, 2007 @3:05 pm

    At some point heads of state like King Abdullah (and the other King Abdullah, of Jordan) have to start thinking about keeping their butts on the throne. Given how, um, unpopular we are in the Middle East, a leader who is too cozy with us might find himself deposed one of these days.

  4. merciless  •  Mar 28, 2007 @3:59 pm

    Pretty soon it’s just going to be George and his dog, and maybe Karl, alone on Saturday night, eating cheetos and playing Halo II.

  5. Jerri  •  Mar 28, 2007 @6:03 pm

    The kings are giving bush a way out of Iraq. The question is….will bush take advantage of it??

  6. Swami  •  Mar 28, 2007 @8:48 pm

    Hell hath no fury like a war president scorned..?

  7. Donna  •  Mar 28, 2007 @8:57 pm

    So, the Saudis are abandoning GWB, preceded in that action by the majority of Americans, and now, an increasing number of Republicans. I expect the White House to trot out their lame deflection response along the lines of ‘we know there’s a lot of frustration out there…..’

    That talking point response vis a vis the mess is Iraq has always infuriated me. Today I noticed that WH acting press sec’y Dana used it to respond/deflect when asked about Republicans being angry over the DOJ mess.

  8. Swami  •  Mar 28, 2007 @9:12 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I were Bush, I’d be thinking that maybe I might have overstayed my welcome in the Middle-East. People are funny that way..after four years of continual carnage and with no end in sight they get tired of the grand visions and noble causes… they just want to be left in peace to bear the normal burdens that life imposes.

  9. erinyes  •  Mar 28, 2007 @9:46 pm

    On the rocks? More like “straight up” or “main lining”.
    I’m thinking the Jack Daniels is flowing at the White House.
    Gonzo will soon be gone, Laura will be spending more nights in a hotel, the twins will be on planet Zebulon (as usual), and Cheney will retreat to his hidden lair seeking to replenish the atomic pyle for his pacemaker, leaving George neked as a new born.
    Reality is fixin’ to nail Mr. Bush in the crotch……..
    Oh, the pain………



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