The lead article on today's NY Times' front page headlined "Saudi Officials Seek to Temper the Price of Oil" . Had they been reading the Huffington Post? Three posts --"Vice President Cheney Visits Saudiland and is Taken Over a Barrel" 11.29.06; "Saudi Realpolitik:Political Blackmail, Oil Price Extortion" 12/17/06; "Dick Cheney and King Abdullah Take a Meeting" 12.23.06-- appeared on the Huffington Post recently. These blogs dealt with Saudi Arabia's arrogance toward the United States and the world at large, citing that their degree of self serving initiatives both as regards the price of oil and political coercion were scaling new heights. The extent of Saudi self aggrandizement finally resulted in the writing of an additional post, and at least to my knowledge a new perception of how to deal with the issue, which may have well struck home, namely "Saudi Arabia's Oil? Sovereign Responsibility Trumps Sovereign Rights!" 1.15.07.
Preposterous you say. You may well be right. But sometimes causality works in strange ways. Let me give you one example, circumstantial perhaps, but then again perhaps meaningful. Shortly after posting the "Saudi Oil" blog a Saudi blogger Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, and a Senior Editor of Arab News mentioned and linked the post, on his blog site "Rasheedsworld.Blogspot.com". His post was entitled "Why Petro Envy is Stupid", not a flattering assessment but the link seemed a red flag to Saudi censors. The post is nowhere to be found and if one tries to access it, one is advised "Internet Explorer Can No Longer Open this Internet Site". The gist of "Saudi Arabia's Oil?..." was to raise the issue of Sovereign Responsibility concurrent to Sovereign Rights and to question, for the reasons enumerated in the post, whether Saudi Arabia had vacated those rights.
I make no particular claim, but I do take umbrage with the platitudes found in the New York Times article. The reporting could have been written by an Aramco flack or the Saudi Embassy's public relations office. After visiting $78 oil, after the Saudi Oil Minister taking the lead in OPEC's recent decision to cut production with the onset of winter, after the quadrupling of oil prices over the last six years, the NY Times permits itself to serve up such puffery without the slightest hint of incredulousness: "Ali al Naimi, the Saudi oil minister said that Saudi Arabia's policy was to maintain "moderate prices"; "...that he effectively put his veto on a emergency meeting of OPEC to prop up prices.."; "The events that propelled prices above $77 a barrel last July is beyond the control of any single producer..."; "...for all the fretting about high energy cost the United States economy has been remarkably resilient..." (see "The Willy Sutton Theory of Oil Pricing" 11.26.06); "The Bush Administration has repeatedly acknowledged Saudi Arabia's efforts in trying to moderate prices"; "The Saudi's have always sought stability in oil prices more than any specific target"; " More recently Iran has favored rising prices over the moderation that Saudi Arabia seeks"; " Mr. Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, borrowing the manner of a careful central banker, is rarely explicit about his plans", and on ad nauseum. The NY Times article selects quotes from third parties that support its incredibly obsequious tip of the hat to the Saudis, writing that is more appropriate to the Op-ed page than the news desk.
And for those who might still question the motives of Saudi "tempering", and at the risk of boring all altogether, may I direct you to one last post, "Taking a Page From John D. Rockefeller: Foreclosing America's Energy Security..." 1.22.07 which deals John D's tactic whereby he brought competitors to heel by giving them "a good sweating", meaning his Standard Oil cut prices until a cheeky rival could no longer survive. Sorry folks.