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Wednesday, March 16

Somehow I don't see Chinese willing to be the Saudis' favorite slaves

"I summon my blue-eyed slaves anytime it pleases me. I command the Americans to send me their bravest soldiers to die for me. Anytime I clap my hands a stupid genie called the American ambassador appears to do my bidding. When the Americans die in my service their bodies are frozen in metal boxes by the US Embassy and American airplanes carry them away, as if they never existed. Truly, America is my favorite slave."
-- Saudi King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz; Jeddeh 1993

Batchelor dispatch re Bahrain and the Saudis (see his website for videos and links):
Last Exit to Bahrain
By John Batchelor on March 15, 2011 3:01 PM

From Youtube, and reported @AJELive #Bahrain Police shooting in Sitra this morning: what looks to be a handful of militia in a rough part of town, with graffiti on the walls, few cars, certainly not uniformed police authority, moving backward from unseen shouting. Two or more shots ring out, unclear from where, and then one of the militia fires a round.

Spoke Pat Pang and Larry Johnson, Tuesday 15, who tell me that Riyadh has broken off communication with Washington re Bahrain. David Sanger, NYT, tells me that the first time the White House knew of the Saudi troops rolling over the causeway to Bahrain was when it saw it on the news.

Pat Lang says this is a major turn in the road, an unprecedented breakdown. Pat Lang and Larry Johnson and I speculated who the Saudis will task for military cover in the Gulf if they are shedding the US. China is the guess.

The Saudis have quit the Obama administration as an ally. The deteriorating started with the Mubarak fiasco of late January and now continues through the [Gadhafi] fiasco of March. The Bahrain event, the imminent brutality, the distrust and disdain by Riyadh for Washington, all signs point to bloodymindedness in the Gulf. There is a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran, and the US is out of the fight.

Wednesday Morning 16

Am reporting now that the Bahrain riot police backed up by tanks [as] the Saudi troops are moving now on the protesters camped out in the open in Manama, using tear-gas and brute force.
The US is out of the fight? Where is my Kleenex box?

I'm not sure I have the same view of the situation as Batchelor, and I'm certain I don't agree with Glenn Beck on this one. Beck is upset because President Obama is talking about basketball scores and Women's History Month while MENA is an uproar. He wants Obama to 'lead.'

I disagree, unless Obama wants to do the right kind of leading: Get out there and shout from a mountaintop, "Drill drill drill!"

But by a funny coincidence, the last time Americans got really serious about weaning themselves from foreign oil -- in 2008 -- which drove down the price of OPEC oil, there was a sudden catastrophe in the global financial markets, the genesis of which was never, ever quite fully explained.

Absent Obama saying that every American homeowner should start drilling for oil in the back yard, he's doing the right thing by being too preoccupied to play slave to squabbling oil kingdoms.

Yes of course there will be suffering for Americans if we seriously cross the Saudis and OPEC. But if there was ever a time to be inspired to take courage, all we have to do is look at how the Japanese are meeting suffering.

Donald Trump said recently that if he were U.S. President he'd make other nations respect us again. No. There can be no respect from others if we don't first respect ourselves. No man can bestow self-respect on others. This is something we have to do ourselves.

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