Angering the Saudis

Don't look now, but your gas prices could go higher.

Every time the Saudis are mad at us, that's what they do and they are probably furious at President Bush and the United States right now.

Wednesday night in his State of the Union (search) speech, the president singled out Saudi Arabia (search) and Egypt (search) as countries which could do a bit more — to put it mildly — in the democracy department.

Here you have this absurd situation where the Palestinians — whose cause the Saudis are always touting and running telethons to raise money for — had a real honest to God election, while under the hated Israeli occupation.

And the Saudis? They are going to get an election soon to choose municipal authorities. In other words, the Saudis send the Palestinians billions of dollars — literally billions — to support suicide bombers, to support the uprising against Israel. All that produces is more death and anguish for the Palestinians.

Meanwhile the Israelis — pressured by the Americans — stand out of the way and allow elections to happen after Arafat died.

So the Palestinians get to pick their national leader and the Saudis get to pick the mayor, who will organize garbage collection and new bulbs for the streetlights.

It's the same with Iraq. Eight million Iraqis show up to vote for their National Assembly, the people who will write their constitution. And the Saudis get to vote on the leaders of municipal commissions and boards, while still being ruled by people who claim to be royal.

So President Bush is right. What's good for the Palestinians and Iraqis ought to be good for the Saudis.

By the way — last time the Saudis were mad at us was in 1973 when we helped Israel in a war. That brought on the oil embargo. So hold on to your hats.

About Egypt: We pay Egypt $2 billion a year to not attack Israel. What do they do with the money? Suppress political debate and jail political opponents, that's what.

I know that Egypt is our friend and that Saudi Arabia is our friend. But those 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and Egyptians.

Anybody connecting dots here?

That's My Word.

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