Holding hands

Holding hands

: Bush is going to regret this photo.

: UPDATE: Great layout of the picture in a Texas paper.

  • Gunther

    I regret the photo. Or at least the fact that I had to see it.

  • Nellie

    Why should this photo suprise anyone? The Bush family has been in bed with the Saudis since the beginning of time. Check your history on the Bush family.

  • tonynoboloney

    Jeff, Will Bush regret this photo because it shows him cozying up to a Saudi Prince? Or is it because you believe people will make hay over Bush holding another mans hand? I assure you Bush is man enough to be seen in this genuinely warm pose, which shows to me friendship and understanding. TONY

  • Dan

    Tony, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  • JEH

    Jeff My reaction exactly…
    and reminds me of the old song “Tiptoe Thru The Tulips”

  • franky

    I see no problem with him holding hands with an Arab given that’s their form of expressing friendship (man, imagine being so sexually insecure as to get upset about this – Sean Hannity where are you?).
    I just wish he wouldn’t coddle this corrupt treacherous Saudi royal family.

  • tb

    yeah I didn’t even notice the hand holding at first. I see the body language, and Bush likes body language. Bush is comfortable with this man. It would be interesting to compare to prewar pictures. We are now in control of large oil fields. Does Bush feel he is now a Saud equal? It pretty obvious there is no human rights friction here. From looking at this picture do we think Bush will chastise this man for human rights abuses or chuckle politely with him over oil futures while tossing back a few crumpets.

  • Eric

    tb, exactly. And it speaks volumes to how hopeless the Democrats are that they haven’t succeeded in making hay of Bush’s coddling of the House of Saud, and the threat it poses to this nation’s security, never mind the moral dimension.

  • Jay Leno already did a piece where he put the video of them to music. That was last night. Tonight he has Laura Bush on.

  • wow…nine comments, and no one has mentioned Bush’s “mandate” yet?

  • Yeah, right, like no other administration ever coddled the Saudis. Sure.
    Did any of you notice the caption that went with the photo?
    “World oil prices fell following comments from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia that it could increase output in the face of higher global demand.”
    I call that effective diplomacy.

  • Eric

    Plenty of administrations have coddled the Saudis. But only Bush’s administration saw 9/11 – mostly the product of Saudi ideology, Saudi money, and Saudi terrorists – happen on its time. I don’t blame Bush in particular for 9/11 (Republicans and Democrats alike were asleep at the switch), but he does have a responsibility to face up to the root causes that made it happen. And the primary root cause is a totalitarian ideology born in, and being propogated from (through oil dollars), the sands of Arabia.

  • Gregg

    I yearn for the day when a President meets with a Saudi leader to talk about “issues” they actually talk about human rights instead of oil.

  • Yeah, right, like no other administration ever coddled the Saudis. Sure.
    That ain’t the point. Bush has staked his foreign policy legacy on “spreading freedom” and “ending tyranny.” Making nice and holding hands with the Saudis, who have one of the most oppressive and brutal regimes in the world, undermines his credibility.

  • It ran on the front page (@ bottom) of today’s L.A. Times. Double-take-worthy, and I wondered at the contrast between that and, say, the Cuban American in the national guard who said “USA trusted me in Iraq, but won’t trust me to let me go to Cuba to visit my children.” Not that there’s a direct connection between the two, but both were part of today’s paper and they make quite the juxtoposition.

  • You’re absolutely right, Jeff. He has no chance in 2008 now.

  • Michael Zimmer

    Bush is going to regret this photo.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but hand-holding is an Arab expression of friendship, respect and trust.
    Do you mean Bush is going to regret showing this much “respect and trust” in Prince Abdullah, or that he will regret holding another man’s hand?

  • Vincent

    What it comes down to, as I mentioned over at Oliver Willis’ site, where it’s being suggested that Bush simply tell the Saudis to “screw themselves” is that, like it or no, the United States has an energy problem that will not be solved by demanding instantaneous, magical “alternatives” be invented overnight.
    Like it or no, the price of gas in the United States has been skyrocketing, of late.
    Like it or no, the House of Saud happens to sit right on top of a vast amount of oil.
    So, like it or no, all of this puffery about telling the Saudis off is short-sighted and foolish.
    We need energy alternatives, but they can’t be conjured out of thin air. So in the meantime, we simply cannot afford to destroy our relations with Saudi Arabia. Maybe in a decade or two. But not now.
    It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

  • Linda Edwards

    I don’t care that Bush holds another man’s hand. I frankly don’t even care if he dresses up in a pink tutu and dances to “Swan Lake” on the south lawn.
    But I do care about what he does in regard to his job. I do care about his multitude of failed policies. I do care about his failed “War on Terrorism”. This afternoon, it’s been reported that the number of significant terrors attacks in 2004 have increased from 165 in 2003, to 650 in 2004. Even if you removed 300 of the 650, which was concentrated in Kashmir, the rate has still more than doubled.
    So much for invading Iraq to combat wordwide terrorism. Every year since the invasion, the number of terrorist attacks has increased.
    And while we’re at it, what went virtually unnoticed in the press last week, the results of much-touted local Saudi elections (in which women were not allowed to participate) were announced. Virtually all the races were won by hard-line Islamic fundamentalists. Just the folks that we want to wield more influence in S.A., right?
    I believe I’d been hearing from the neo-cons who had been pushing for “Democracy by Hook or by Crook” in the middle east reasoning that more democracy would foster more moderation. It sure ain’t working out that way.

  • A picture worth a thousand words. And here are four of them: Bush is a girlyman.

  • Vincent

    It seems that you’ve missed the most important part of the story of the supposedly tripled number of terror attacks: the greater resources being used to track numbers.
    It is not “the number of terror attacks” that has necessarily increased (although I’d guess that it probably has), but rather the number of terror attacks that have been counted and documented in the last year.
    It’s completely disingenuous to claim that the number of actual attacks has tripled when, in fact, it’s clear that we have very little reliable data from previous years upon which to base that claim.
    Sure, it’s politically helpful to pull the actual story out of context and ignore what’s actually being reported, but it’s entirely dishonest.

  • John

    I really don’t see why President Bush should regret this photo at all.
    After all, his task in this instance was to make the case to the world’s largest oil producer that the world economy requires greater oil production.
    It would seem that establishing a proper level of civility is appropriate to the circumstances.
    Shoot, I’m paying $50 a week just to get back and forth to my job. I’ll hold the freakin’ guys hand if he can do something about that.
    Oh, before all you whiners kick in, I’m 100% in favor of an Apollo type program to move us rapidly toward energy autonomy.

  • Jon H

    “And the primary root cause is a totalitarian ideology born in, and being propogated from (through oil dollars), the sands of Arabia.”
    Indeed, the extreme fundamentalist Wahhabi sect partnered with the Saud dynasty in order for them both to attain power, a couple hundred years ago.
    I mean, hell, the Wahhabis even pissed off other Arabs. They went around destroying monuments at Muslim holy sites, knocking down buildings and mosques, leaving nothing but a minimal marker. They also interfered with the Hajj to Mecca at some points.
    So the Saud dynasty is largely responsible for protecting and endorsing and supporting and encouraging, over centuries, the kind of religious extremism that is now such a problem for us.

  • Jon H

    “Oh, before all you whiners kick in, I’m 100% in favor of an Apollo type program to move us rapidly toward energy autonomy.”
    Unfortunately, Bush has shown support only for programs that would not help. Hydrogen wouldn’t help, because the hydrogen would likely come from oil, anyway. And even if it did, it’s years away.
    One thing that’d help would be if Congress dictated that all cars sold in the US, by 2010, should be available with a hybrid option, with ‘hybrid’ being defined in such a way as to make it meaningful. (Otherwise, on many models, car makers would just stick on a solar-powered battery to run the A/C fans and the radio.)
    That’d help bring down the price for hybrid technology. And if we ever do switch to hydgrogen, it’d make sense for all those cars to be hybrids, to decrease the need for hydrogen, and thus the use of fossil fuels. (And if hydrogen-equipped stations are few and far between, it would be useful to have technology that lets you get more miles between fill-ups.)

  • Linda Edwards

    Vincent – yeah, they used to have 7 analysts, now they have 10. That is supposed to have made all the difference in the world. Phony!!
    Funny, but that wasn’t the main point of the article. That was only the spin that some White House Administrators were putting on it

  • Jon

    Not as much as Arnold and Rudy will regret these photos…

  • Jeff – I’m hoping you’ll join this conversation because I’m curious as to why you think this photo is regrettable.

  • David R. Block

    Only as a liberal can you get away with this, Jeff. Were you a conservative, they would call it “closet homophobia.”

  • Kat

    Looks downright fruity to me. Yeccccch Bush holding hands with a mustached woman.

  • The photo is just that. So he gives comfort to a old man. Those who are biased need to helped. The unbiased, make a differnece. Freedom is leaving AMERICA. Just like NTIA is taking .us domains away from you. So why pick on a picture? Let us have a real discussion about why we allow such usurption of govenment towards the common and take a picture of that and see how many of you hold hands with another.

  • Vincent

    No, Linda. They used to have three. Now they have ten. Please try to keep up.
    You can find this information here.
    In fact, since you seem singularly unable to cull the necessary information on your own, I will do you the favor of quoting the pertinent passage:
    Congressional aides said about 10 full-time employees worked on the 2004 count, up from about three in past years, and that this produced a more complete count.
    See how easy getting the facts is, when you’re not spending your time trying to push a political agenda?
    And please, I’d like to see some actual proof that terror attacks have trebled in the past year, since the article does not support that assertion, claiming merely that the count has increased by that amount over the past year, a phenomenon easily explained by the fact that the number of people whose full time job it is to track these numbers has increased by more than three times.
    So since you’re absolutely certain that, in fact, the raw number of terrorist attacks has increased by three times over past years for which we have only incomplete data, please share it with the rest of us. I’m sure there are some people in the government who would be most interested in your data gathering techniques as well.

  • tim wg

    Why will Bush regret it?
    Will there be political fallout? From whom?
    If gays and Democrats make a big deal out of this, it shows complete double standards of conduct. They can do it, but Republicans can’t.
    If Republicans and Christians make a big deal out of it, it will be consistent with their stereotype of being reactionaries.
    Who will they take the bait? It appears that you did and it didn’t work.

  • Linda Edwards

    Yes Vincent, you are right, I misread, it’s up from 3, not by 3. However, from the same article:
    Debate about what the numbers mean
    ìWhat it effectively means is that the Bush administration and the CIA havenít been putting the staff resources necessary and have missed 80 percent of the worldís terrorist incidentsî in past years, said a Democratic congressional aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. ìHow can you have an effective counterterrorism policy from that?î
    Keep in mind Vincent, these figures came from the Bush State Dept, not from me. So if you question their authenticity, check in with them.

  • Vincent

    So, if 80% of all terrorist incidents were missed in “past years,” how can we possibly gauge how much terrorism has increased in 2004?
    And, on a side note, do you think that this institutional ignorance of terrorism worldwide started in 2000 with the election of the Bush Administration?
    If anything, it seems as if the Bush Administration is taking the steps necessary to properly track these statistics, steps which were not taken during his first Administration and, likely, not taken during the Clinton years either. Shouldn’t we be praising these efforts, however late in coming, rather than reflexively attacking him over these findings?

  • Name Withheld

    It’s a great photo. It says a lot about what Bush really thinks about democracy.

  • Vincent and Linda E:
    Please see WaPo this a.m. about terrorist incidents increasing 3-fold. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content//article/2005/04/26/AR2005042601623.html
    As to holding hands, I understand they were walking on uneven ground and the prince is over 80. Maybe a fall would have not been a good sign. But we didn’t get any energy concessions out of any degree of hand-holding, so today we’re going to hear from the administration about its new energy suggestions including instituting refineries on out of service military installations – federally run.

  • Great layout of the picture in a Texas paper.
    So you’re linking this hand-holding to homosexuality? Is this your perception, Jeff, or are you saying he’ll regret it only becuase some people will see it this way?

  • Michael,
    I can’t speak for Jeff of course, but I can tell you why I think it’s a great layout: Because above the photo of the U.S. President coddling an anti-democratic despot, runs the headline “Bush, Saudi prince talk oil”.
    Personally, I don’t think it has anything to do with homosexuality, but whattaya say we ask James Dobson? I mean, if a fictional character like SpongeBob Squarepants is a homosexual for holding hands with another cartoon character, what does that make Bush?

  • Ummm …. Arab men hold hands in public quite regularly without any sexual overtones.
    Whatever else you want to say about the visit, this photo shows Bush acting in accordance with the culture of his guest.

  • Ummm …. Arab men hold hands in public quite regularly without any sexual overtones.
    Whatever else you want to say about the visit, this photo shows Bush acting in accordance with the culture of his guest.
    Wanna make a bet that Bush doesn’t hold hands with every Arab man he has to meet with?

  • Name Withheld

    Bush does seem to have some kind of fetish involving touching the heads of bald guys…

  • Jeff Jarvis (to Bush): People are becoming a bit confused by the way you and the Saudi prince are… well… constantly holding hands.
    George Bush: We are merely exchanging long protein strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I’d like to hear it.

  • On December 7, 1941, thousands of Americans were slaughtered in a surprise attack that was sponsored by a brutal totalitarian regime.
    In response, our president at the time said “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”
    The American people supported him. No one whined about oil prices or the economy.
    Things are different now. We’re dhimmis and wimps. And that fact has nothing to do with the silly hand-holding. Clinton, who accepted millions of dollars of donations from the Saudis, would have done the same thing.

  • Re: Clinton, who accepted millions of dollars of donations from the Saudis,
    A quote from an old issue of the Wall Street Underground..by Nick Guarino
    (Nick’s writing style was never boring.)
    “They thought they could use the oil weapon against us and, with a series of precisely timed terrorist strikes, bring American to her knees. Wrong!
    Under somebody like Bill Clinton, it might have worked. But the Arabs did not count on a six-shooting, long-tall Texan who says what he means, and means what he says – and who can’t be brow-beaten into doing what the U.N. Says. That is something brand-new for a politician, I admit.
    So you can understand how they miscalculated. They were used to dealing with people like Clinton, the best President money can buy. (And cheap, too.)
    But Bush is not like Clinton. He may not be an Oxford-educated law professor, like Clinton, but he has balls. In the brutal world we live in, made up of killers, charlatans and thieves, balls count.
    They pissed Bush off big time. He did not like the fact that the World Trade Center came down in a pile of rubble. He did not like the fact that the Arabs were funding terrorists with oil money while pretending to be our friends.
    So he decided to do something about it – …..”
    And, more than likely, Bush still does know what he is doing.

  • Name Withheld

    Mary and Lynn, I could use that old worn out phrase ‘9/11 changed everything’, but instead I say this, if Clinton had been president now and he still had sucked up to the Saudi I would have critized him. I don’t blindly follow the president just because I voted for him.

  • Name Withheld – Bush is sucking up to the Saudis for the same reason that Clinton does. That’s what most of the American people want him to do.
    90% of the Saudi population supports bin Laden, Saudi support and Saudi paramilitaries are responsible for 9/11, the Bali bombings, the tragedy at Beslan and just about every other Islamist-related terrorist attack in the world, including the genocide in Darfur and the insurgency in Iraq. Their government and their laws make Nazi germany look enlightened, they’re spreading hate speech in our schools, our universities and in American mosques.
    What do the American people demand that our president do in response? Guarantee a stable economy and lower gas prices.
    We praise the president’s Blixian elegant diplomacy when he begs the Saudis for favors. Can you imagine how the American people would have reacted if Roosevelt had invited Hitler to the US and begged him for favors? He would have been impeached.
    Bush is only doing what most Americans, Democrat and Republican, want him to do. I don’t agree with what he’s doing, I’m just pointing out that a Democrat would have done the same thing.
    We’re not the same nation, or the same people, that we were in 1941. What are we actively doing to discourage our government’s appeasement of the Saudis? The same thing we’ve always done, absolutely nothing.