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Gas price to fall as election approaches? Don't count on it!

THE DEAL IS OFF AS OF THE ISRAEL-U.S. AGREEMENT ON GAZA/WEST BANK. According to Youssef Ibrahim, economist with the Strategic Investment Group of Dubai, the deal "exposed" recently by Bob Woodward --- for the Saudis to lower gas prices before the November election as a favor to their old friends of the Bush family ---- THE DEAL IS OFF.
Thanks to Prime Minister Sharon's success in getting Dumbya to go along with the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza in return for recognition of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as permanent annexations to Israel proper, any move that might appear to be made by any Arab government (including Saudi Arabia) for the benefit of the U.S. government would be seen as traitorous. It just won't happen. Even within the Saudi royal family itself, any such move now would be seen as traitorous. No Middle East government will let itself be seen in such a light.

Interviewed today (April 19, 2004) on the radio program "To The Point" (Public Radio International, produced by KCRW of Los Angeles, carried in Oregon by Jefferson Public Radio), Youssef Ibrahim (economist with the Strategic Investment Group of Dubai) spoke from Dubai to let Americans know how things look from the Gulf Region. He explained that, whereas earlier many Arabs in the affluent Gulf Region disliked U.S. policies but generally liked Americans, now they plain flat-out don't like us. It used to be that affluent oil-rich Arabs thought that it would be wise to go along with some pro-Israeli U.S. policies, in exchange for a conservative government in the U.S., but any more that idea is out. I don't have a transcript, but, closely paraphrased, Youssef Ibrahim said that the deal reported by Woodward is OFF.

There is an old Middle East proverb about "the straw that broke the camel's back." Another old proberb: "The tail cannot wag the dog forever."

(If I can obtain the transcript or other report of Youssef Ibrahim's views, I will post it.)