Guess who's upset about the president's declaration that we are addicted to oil and that we have to reduce or eliminate our dependence on Mideast oil?

The Saudis, of all people.

Can you imagine? The Saudis know how America thinks and works as well or better than any Arab or Muslim nation.

The Saudis are still a little red-faced that it is a Saudi — bin Ladin — who leads the global jihad against America, and that it was Saudi young men who were the majority in the 9/11 attacks.

The Saudis know better than anybody that it's America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil — from Saudi Arabia, from the Gulf, from Iran, from Iraq — that forces our hand to act in the Middle East.

And yet when an American president recognizes that reality publicly the Saudis say, "What? You are planning to not buy from us anymore? You are planning to cut us off from the billions of dollars you now send us every year for oil?"

The Saudis are seeing racehorses disappear, palaces disappear, private 747s disappear, servants for everything disappear, the pampered life of the oil rich itself will disappear. And they are saying:

"Wait, we want access to the American consumer. Don't cut us off. Yes we hate you. Yes we hate your decadence. Yes we hate the western lifestyle you live, though we cavort in it ourselves every once in a while. Yes we produce young men who hate you so much the promise of six-dozen virgins will send them hurtling toward your shores or your soldiers with fuses burning from their shoes or their vest bombs. Yes we are Saudis and we do all that."

"But we want your money."

"We can't grow anything in our desert. All we can do is stick a straw under the sand and suck out oil. And now you say you want to run your cars on corn that you grow in your own country? How can you turn on us like this?"

The Saudis now want an emergency meeting with President Bush.

Here's what they will say: "Please, don't force us to go to China and India. Hang out in Beijing and New Delhi instead of New York and London? How could you do that to us?"

Bush has to say: "Look, you have to get off the gravy train because it's hurting us so much. Yes we have bought your oil for half-a-century, but now it's a problem. We can't ask Americans to face your terrorists just because we buy your oil. We're going to try another way."

That's what Bush should say when the Saudis come to see him.

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