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Re: NYTimes.com Article: Saudi Tells Bush U.S. Must Temper Backing ofIsrael (fwd)
by Elson Boles
26 April 2002 15:10 UTC
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But there are significant details omitted by Bumiller -- the absence of
which shows her own personal bias.  It was the late arriaval of Abdullah
(incredibly over 10 minutes) which caused the meeting with Mr. Bush to run
past 3:30.  It was in fact this unexpected event which caused the
disproportionaly extended meeting and led to the now famous Turkey sighting
from Mr. Bush's (beige-colored Ford) pickup truck.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wsn-owner@csf.colorado.edu [mailto:wsn-owner@csf.colorado.edu]On
> Behalf Of Boris Stremlin
> Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 2:56 AM
> Subject: NYTimes.com Article: Saudi Tells Bush U.S. Must Temper Backing
> ofIsrael (fwd)
> It seems that the White House press corps has been infiltrated by
> subversives from the theatre of the absurd.  With apologies to any
> real playwrights out there, here is my own dramaturgical
> abstract of this article:
> ACT I:  The Crawford Ranch
> Abdullah:  If you don't rein in Sharon, the whole region is going to go up
> in flames.
> Bush:  Yes, I agree that Saddam is a menace, and must be dealt with
> promptly.  What suggestions do you have?
> ACT II:  The Ranch Parking Lot
> Reporter:  Why is there no joint press conference?
> Administration Official:  The President looked the Prince in the eye.
> They also saw a wild turkey - a good omen.
> ACT III:  New York Times Editor's Office
> Elizabeth Bumiller:  I'm not really sure how this story ties together.
> Editor:  Make sure you provide a full menu of what the President and the
> Prince consumed.
> Eplogue:  The playwright makes a curtain call.
> Voice from Audience:  Are you trying to insult my intelligence?  Or are
> you just nuts?
> Playwright:  It's all part of my evil plan...
> \----------------------------------------------------------/
> Saudi Tells Bush U.S. Must Temper Backing of Israel
> April 26, 2002
> CRAWFORD, Tex., April 25 - Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi
> Arabia told President Bush bluntly today that the United
> States must temper its support for Israel or face grave
> consequences throughout the Arab world, Saudi officials
> said.
> In several sessions lasting five hours at the president's
> central Texas ranch, the crown prince told Mr. Bush that if
> the United States did not do more to stop incursions into
> Palestinian areas by the forces of Prime Minister Ariel
> Sharon, it would continue to lose credibility in the Middle
> East and create more instability there, the Saudi officials
> said.
> "If Sharon is left to his own devices, he will drag the
> region over a cliff," Adel al-Jubeir, the foreign policy
> adviser to the crown prince, said after the meetings
> between Mr. Bush and the prince. "That does not serve
> America's interests, and it does not serve Saudi Arabia's
> interests."
> Mr. Bush and American officials, while they did not deny
> that Prince Abdullah had presented his case forcefully,
> offered a far more positive account of the meetings.
> "One of the really positive things out of this meeting was
> that the crown prince and I established a strong personal
> bond," Mr. Bush told reporters after the meeting. "We spent
> a lot of time alone."
> Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Jubeir said the crown prince had not
> threatened in any way to reduce Saudi oil exports to the
> United States. A person close to the prince had suggested
> on Wednesday that could happen if the United States
> continued what the Saudis view as a one-sided policy toward
> Israel.
> Saudi Arabia is America's second-largest foreign supplier
> of oil, and in 2001 exported nearly 605 million barrels to
> the United States, or 8.5 percent of what the country
> consumed.
> "Saudi Arabia made it clear, and has made it clear
> publicly, that they will not use oil as a weapon," Mr. Bush
> said.
> Mr. Jubeir echoed the president. "Oil is not a weapon," he
> said to reporters here. "Oil is not a tank. You cannot fire
> oil."
> Saudi officials also denied today a suggestion from a
> person close to the royal family who was quoted in The New
> York Times that their government might demand that the
> United States leave strategic military bases in Saudi
> Arabia if the Bush administration refuses to rein in Mr.
> Sharon.
> Mr. Bush, who a week ago infuriated the Arab world by
> calling Mr. Sharon "a man of peace," said he had told
> Prince Abdullah that he was counting on Israel to withdraw
> its forces from Palestinian areas, including, he said,
> resolving the standoffs in Ramallah and Bethlehem.
> "I made it clear to him that I expected Israel to withdraw,
> just like I've made it clear to Israel," Mr. Bush said.
> "And we expect them to be finished. He knows my position.
> He also knows that I will work for peace. I will bring
> parties along."
> "But I think he recognizes that America can't do it alone,
> that it's going to require a unified effort," the president
> added. "And one of the main things about this visit was to
> solidify that effort."
> The meeting today seemed primarily to be a chance for the
> Saudis to lecture the American president, to strengthen
> their hand and quiet the growing unrest in their streets.
> No joint statement was issued afterward, although the White
> House proposed one on Wednesday that was rejected by the
> Saudis, an official familiar with the talks said.
> The Saudis objected to the United States' characterization
> of a peace initiative proposed by the crown prince in
> March, the official said. Specifically, the official said,
> the United States emphasized the recognition of Israel in
> the statement but did not include the requirement that
> Israel withdraw to its 1967 borders. The prince's plan
> calls for "normal relations" with Israel, the creation of a
> Palestinian state and Israel's return to its 1967
> boundaries.
> A Bush administration official who briefed reporters after
> the meeting did not explain the reason for the lack of a
> joint statement.
> "You know, after these meetings, we sometimes have joint
> statements, and we sometimes don't have joint statements,"
> the official said. "There is not going to be a joint
> statement for this meeting."
> Administration officials said the president and the prince
> had discussed the idea of an international peace
> conference, but had not come to a conclusion.
> "We haven't made any decision about whether we think an
> international conference makes sense now," the
> administration official said. "Any such conference would
> have be to very well prepared."
> Saudi officials appeared skeptical about the idea,
> particularly given Mr. Sharon's isolation of Yasir Arafat,
> the Palestinian leader, in his compound in Ramallah, and
> Mr. Sharon's refusal to have Mr. Arafat attend an Arab
> League meeting in March.
> "You can't have a peace conference if Sharon gets to decide
> who attends and who doesn't attend," Mr. Jubeir said.
> "That's not a peace conference. That's not going to fly."
> Mr. Bush and Prince Abdullah also discussed American
> proposals to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq,
> American and Saudi officials said, offering no details of
> the conversation.
> "The president, once again, noted that Saddam Hussein and
> his efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction are a
> threat to the region," the administration official said. He
> added: "The Saudis clearly understand the dangers from
> Saddam Hussein. They live in his neighborhood. They know
> what kind of regime that is."
> Mr. Jubeir said after the meeting that the United States
> strategy for removing Mr. Hussein was not fully developed.
> "We do not believe the policy of the administration has
> been finalized," he said.
> But he nonetheless said Saudi Arabia would not allow the
> United States to use Saudi bases to stage any future attack
> against Iraq.
> "The administration is not at the point where they would
> ask that question," Mr. Jubeir said. "Were they to ask that
> question, our response would be that it would not serve the
> interests of the U.S. and it would not serve the interests
> of the region."
> Prince Abdullah arrived this morning at the airport in
> Waco, Tex., where he was greeted by Secretary of State
> Colin L. Powell, and was then driven for 50 minutes to Mr.
> Bush's 1,600-acre ranch.
> The prince was 10 minutes late in arriving at the ranch,
> where reporters could see the president in the breezeway of
> the house shifting from foot to foot like an anxious host.
> The president and the prince met for two hours in the
> morning, and spent part of that time one-on-one,
> administration officials said. Afterward, Mr. Bush gave him
> a tour of the ranch in his pickup truck.
> "He's a man who's got a farm and he understands the land,
> and I really took great delight in being able to drive him
> around in a pickup truck and showing him the trees and my
> favorite spots," Mr. Bush said. "And we saw a wild turkey,
> which was good."
> Afterward, the two had a lunch of beef tenderloin, potato
> salad, brownies and ice cream. The lunch broke up after
> 3:30 p.m., more than an hour after it was scheduled to end.
> http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/26/international/middleeast/26PREX.

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