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Aug 25

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:22 AM 

Turki's two faces (thanks to Ruth King): Neither likes the idea of US oil independence.


Turki al-Faisal is extremely upset with talk, just talk, of US oil independence, even from the vassal-in-chief. Today, in Foreign Policy, the Saudi  inveighs against such "demagoguery."

It's an amusing read, actually, and quite revealing of the depth of fear even the lip-serviced prospect of American Independence from Saudi Arabia inspires in the desert chieftains.

He writes:

"Energy independence" has become a byword on the American political scene, and invoking it is now as essential as baby-kissing. All the recent U.S. presidential candidates employed it, and to this day, the White House Web site lists as a guiding principle the need to "curb our dependence on fossil fuels and make America energy independent."...

Turki note to Obama: Remove "guiding principle" from WH website. Turki goes on:

But this "energy independence" motto is political posturing at its worst -- a concept that is unrealistic, misguided, and ultimately harmful to energy-producing and -consuming countries alike.

In other words, it must be a good idea and completely viable. He continues:

And it is often deployed as little more than code for arguing that the United States has a dangerous reliance on my country of Saudi Arabia, which gets blamed for everything from global terrorism to high gasoline prices....

Tsk, tsk. Can you imagine that?

There is no technology on the horizon that can completely replace oil as the fuel for the United States' massive manufacturing, transportation, and military needs....

In other words, the technology exists.

Considering this, efforts spent proselytizing about energy independence should instead focus on acknowledging energy interdependence. Like it or not, the fates of the United States and Saudi Arabia are connected and will remain so for decades to come.

Who does he think we are -- Yale?

You get the idea. Of course, this is the same Turki who recently made a triumphal tour of Dar al Islam, Ivy League sector, with recent appearances at Princeton and Cornell. Muckety-mucks from both campuses are founding trustees of the about-to-open King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. KAUST recently bought up a $25 million slice of the venerable Cornell campus, now known as KAUST-CU.

It's full name is the KAUST-Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability, and I have this funny feeling that none of its research will have anything to do with American oil independence. Turki, who is Abdullah's nephew, wouldn't like it.

Do visit the KAUST-CU site where you will notice a link on the lefthand side to Turki's public lecture that takes you to what is basically Turki's Cornell homepage. It includes audio of his April 2009 speech -- "What We Expect from America: A Saudi Perspective," along with other choices "you might also like," including pro-Palestinian agitprop from Hanan Ashwari and the like.

Back to Turki's Foreign Policy piece:

U.S. politicians must muster the courage to scrap the fable of energy independence once and for all. If they continue to lead their people toward the mirage of independence and forsake the oasis of interdependence and cooperation, only disaster will result.

Disaster for whom?

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