I was wondering what that meeting between Dick Cheney and SA's king might have been like considering that one would think Cheney could have just threatened to expose those 28 redacted pages from the 9/11 Commission Report that dealt with the Saudis or that he might have told them that he'd tell the truth about why Saudi nationals were immediately flown out of the US following 9/11 despite the imposed flying restrictions. Then again, to do so might actually reveal information about the Bush regime that they would prefer to keep secret for time immemorial so he probably didn't have much of a bargaining chip.
Instead, the Saudis appear to be in charge of any possible timetable the Bush administration might consider:
Until now Saudi officials have promised their counterparts in the United States that they would refrain from aiding Iraq’s Sunni insurgency. But that pledge holds only as long as the United States remains in Iraq.
Sounds exactly like blackmail to me.
The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who told his staff on Monday that he was resigning his post, recently fired Nawaf Obaid, a consultant who wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post two weeks ago contending that “one of the first consequences” of an American pullout of Iraq would “be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.”
Mr. Obaid also suggested that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half by raising its production, a move that he said “would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even with today’s high oil prices.” The Saudi government disavowed Mr. Obaid’s column, and Prince Turki canceled his contract.
But Arab diplomats said Tuesday that Mr. Obaid’s column reflected the view of the Saudi government, which has made clear its opposition to an American pullout from Iraq.
He who owns the oil rules the world. Just look at the Bush administration. Oilmongers from way back who must be damn pissed off that Bush's best friend, King Abdullah, is now threatening a very public family feud of massive proportions (or that it has finally come out in the open, at least). It looks like Bush's only choice will be to keep American troops in Iraq throughout the rest of his term if he needs to appease the Saudis. Whose best interests does Bush have at heart again? The soldiers, as he claims, or his oil buddies?