Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ronald B. Saunders Picks His All-Time Brooklyn/ Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Team

Special Report
Long Branch, New Jersey
June 30, 2011

Jackie Robinson

 I have followed the game of baseball since the great Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The vast majority of Afro-Americans became Dodger fans as a result of Jackie breaking the color barrier.
Jackie Robinson was the most versatile of all the starters on my All Time Team. When Jackie made Rookie of the Year in 1947, he played first base for the Dodgers but the next year he was moved to second base to make room for another member of my All Time Team, the great Gil Hodges.
Jackie could also play third base and left field.
Because of the tireless efforts of the great Jackie Robinson, major league baseball is highly integrated with players of color coming from countries all over the world.
Although the players coming from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama call themselves Latino/Hispanic, the vast majority of those players have Black African roots due to the institution of slavery which was so pervasive throughout all the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America.

   My All Time Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Team
Roy Campanella

CATCHER: Roy Campanella ( Campy ): Next to Johnnie Bench, Campy was the greatest backstop to play the game. Campy won three Most Valuable Player Awards in 1951, 1953 and 1955.

FIRST BASEMAN: Gil Hodges: Gil was the greatest Dodger first baseman in Dodger history. How would you like to face Robinson, Snider, Hodges, Campanella and Furillo in that order?

SECOND BASE: Man could Jackie play that game---the greatest Dodger ever. I remember when Jackie stole home against the Pirates in 1947. My family and I sat in the stands at Forbes Field and rooted for the Dodgers and we also heard the racist Pittsburgh fans call Jackie very kind of racial slur possible. But Jackie made a fool out of the Pirates with his excellent play on the field and he had his highest lifetime batting average against the hapless Pirates of Ralph Kiner, and Wally Westlake.
When was the last time a Dodger stole home? Jackie Robinson deserves to have a holiday in his honor. Jackie was more than a great pioneer in baseball, he was a true American hero who showed how the game of life should be played as he gave back to his country in such a positive manner.

SHORTSTOP: Pee Wee Reese, the man from Kentucky who was a friend of Jackie's. Pee Wee was the captain of the "Boys of Summer" who played as a Dodger for 18 long years. Pee Wee stood by Jackie throughout his trials and tribulations in that historic year in 1947. They became very close friends both on and off the field of play.

THIRD BASEMAN:Ron Cey, the only Los Angeles Dodger on this all time infield. He beat out the great Billy Cox by a "Nat's Eyelash." Ron was the all time home run leader of the Dodgers for a time. Ron held down the hot corner in the 1970's and 1980's and was a fierce competitor.

LEFT FIELDER: Tommy Davis, the last Dodger to lead the National League in RBIs. He was the best hitter on the Koufax and Big Don Drysdale-led teams at a time when runs were hard to come by. Tommy who had a strong throwing arm, was very underrated as an outfielder.

CENTER FIELDER: The great Duke Snider, "The Duke of Flat bush." Duke was the key ingredient why the Bums won six pennants in ten years, plus the World Series in 1955.  Duke hit 407 homers in a 17 year career, and is the Dodger all time leader in home runs. Duke was the fourth greatest center fielder of all time to play in New York City behind Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and the  greatest of the greats, Willie Mays. Duke Snider was born to play center field and no one played it like Duke except for Willie and Joe D.

RIGHT FIELDER: Carl Furillo had a rifle for an arm and was a consistent  clutch hitter which is the reason the fans at Ebbets field loved Carl.

STARTING PITCHER: The great Sandy Koufax: Sandy was the greatest pitcher in the history of the major leagues. Sandy had better stuff than any pitcher past or present. If I had to pick one pitcher to win a one game series, it would be Sandy Koufax. I have seen all the great lefties and right handed pitchers from Spahn, Carlton, Whitey Ford, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Lefty Grove, Dizzy Dean.  Sandy Koufax was in a class all by himself. Sandy had four no hitters, including a perfect game in 1965.  Mr. Koufax had a fastball, sinker, curve ball and slider that even Willie Mays and Hank Aaron said was very difficult to hit. They just don't make them like Sandy Koufax any more. Sandy also played on that 1955 Championship Dodger team as a young buck.

MANAGER: Walter Alston was the greatest manager in Dodger history. I grew up on Walter Alston who really knew how handle all of those super stars                                          

 Brooklyn/ Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Jackie Robinson
2. Tommy Davis
3.  Ron Cey
4. Duke Snider
5. Roy Campanella
6. Gil Hodges
7. Carl Furillo
8. Pee Wee Reese
9. Sandy Koufax

       Ronald B. Saunders, All Time New York Yankees
              BATTING ORDER

*1. Derek Jeter
2. Joe DiMaggio
3. Mickey Mantle
4. Babe Ruth
*5. Alex Rodriquez
6. Lou Gehrig
7. Yogi Berra
8. Tony Lazzeri
9. Whitey Ford

My Dodgers All  Time team beats my New York Yankees All Time team in a classic pitching duel between White Ford and the great Sandy Koufax in a one game series. Sandy could tame the bats of Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig, Berra, Jeter, A-Rod, and Lazzeri. The Dodgers could hit Whitey Ford as evidenced by finally capturing the crown in 1955.
Good pitching has always stopped good hitting but in the a seven game series how could my All Time Dodger Team beat the likes of Ruth, DiMaggio Gehrig and Mantle? I would start big Don Drysdale in my second game against ace Yankee hurler Allie Reynolds or Ed Lopat.
Drysdale would have been trying to hit all the Yankees in that "Murderers Row" line-up which would result in a benching clearing brawl between both teams.
Could the great Sandy Koufax stop consistently "Jolt in" Joe DiMaggio, the greatest switch hitter in the history of baseball Mickey Mantle, the "Great Bambi no", A-ROD, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Tony Lazzeri? I believe my All Time Dodgers led by Sandy Koufax would still win a one (1) game series but how about a seven game series?
The Dodgers could use big Don Newcombe against another Yankee ace Vic Raschi in the third game of a seven game series. The Dodgers could use Don Sutton, Orel Hershiser, or Johnny Podres in that crucial fourth game or come back with Koufax.
The Yankees on a whole have a far better All-Time pitching staff than the Dodgers who were basically "Bums" until the mid-forties.
I could start Yankee hall of famer the great Lefty Gomez or Ron Guildry in that fourth game of a seven game series against Don Sutton, Orel Hershiser or Johnny Podres. I can't even find room for Andy Pettitte or old Red Ruffing in the starting rotation who were very good pitchers.
The Bull Pen match up favors the Yankees with Mariano Duncan and the great Goose Gossage vs. the Dodgers great Erik Gagne
*Note everyone in the Yankees starting lineup is a hall of famer except for Derek Jeter and A-ROD. Jeter will make it into Cooperstown on the first ballot but A-ROD is a different story because of his alleged use of  steroids and HGH.

No Rodger Clemens? The jury is still out on "Rocket."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dunbar Community Center's Great Jim Robinson Instructs Butler PA, Kids On The Pommel Horse

Black Buzz News Service
The James S. Robinson Jr. Project
The Robinson+Saunders Archives
Special Report
Slippery Rock, PA
June 18, 2011


The below picture shows James S. Robinson Jr. instructing/teaching his young students at the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Community Center in Butler PA, on the Pommel Horse on July 19, 1954. I cannot verify who the young people in the picture are but they all lived in Butler PA.

Mr. Robinson, my father was an accomplished all around gymnast, who was a former member of the University of Pittsburgh Gymnastic and Track and Field Teams in the late 1920's and early 1930's.
 Further Mr. Robinson was also a Master in Judo and Akaido.

 I have a copy of his Martial Arts Identification card which states as follows:

   Martial Arts of America Inc. Identification Card

        This is to Certify That
         James S. Robinson, Jr.
         of R. D. 4                   
         Slippery Rock, PA     
         Is Duly Registered In The Art of
         JUDO- AKAIDO         
         Emmet Tai         
         Head Master M.A. of A. Inc.


Pommel Horse

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Top Black Jazz Guitarists Of All Time

Negrotown Knoll, Florida
June 10, 2011
Special Report

 The Black Buzz News Service Picks Its Top Black Guitarists of All Time

1. Charlie Jolly Christian- Jolly died at 25 and his recordings are scare so his  body of work is lacking, but he was obviously brilliant.  Jolly was the first to use the amplified guitar and he has influenced jazz guitarists for over a half century.
The Texas native Jolly began as a teenage  pianist in Oklahoma, but he switched to amplified guitar in 1937 after studying with Eddie Durham, the inventor of the instrument.  Record producer, John Hammond who had already discovered Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday and others, heard about the young guitarist and arranged for him to try out for Goodman's band. The audition led to two years with Benny Goodman Sextet, some solos with Goodman's big band and chances to jam at Minton's Playhouse, the cradle of Bebop, with such stars as Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk.  Sadly, he developed TB and died in 1942 at only 25 years old.  Jolly was the first important player of the electric guitar.  He changed the face of popular music, not just jazz but in other genres of music. 

2. Wes Montgomery- Wes didn't have any formal training in music theory and he taught himself to play. Wes mastered every phase of the guitar. Wes was one of the first guitar players who didn't use a pick.  My favorite Wes albums are "Movin Wes", "Here On The Ground " and Groove Yard, which he played with his brothers Buddy and Monk Montgomery. Wes died a young man at 43 in 1968 at the height of his career.
I thought Wes was at his best when he was playing with his brothers and the other great jazz legends. Wes started playing pop tunes and crossovers as "California Dreamin" and some Beatles tunes to make some real money during the close of his great career.  Kenny Burrell says he was greatly influenced by Wes. The Black Buzz News Service notes that "Wes Montgomery was a innovator and the best technically of the Black " Pickers". The White establishment used his last years to turn him into a pop icon with strings and vocalist." When Wes was at his best NO one could touch him."
  Some other great Wes albums were as follows:
a.Wes Montgomery's Finest Hour
b. Scarborough Fair
c. Smokin at the Half Note
d. Double Deal.
e. Loita
f. Body and Soul
g. Day in the Life
h. Four and Six
i. Full House
j. Besame Mucho
k. Stairway To Stars
l. Movin Wes
m. Down Here On The Ground

3. Grant Green- Probably the most versatile of all the guitarists who could also play the organ.  He had great range and played with smooth rhythmic lyrics with great feeling and soul. Grant died when he was 47 but his spirit lives on in Grant Jr. and Gregg, his sons who also play mean guitars with great rhythmic feeling and soul in the same vein as their father. Grant Sr. could make his guitar sing and talk back to you and leave you in a trance. Check out Green's "Up At Minton's" and all of those great Latin pieces he did at the end before his unfortunate death.

4. Kenny Burrell- Kenny is still playing, singing and recording and who was a great technician and second to Wes of all the great guitarists.  Kenny was classically trained and taught a Masters Course at UCLA.  Kenny has recorded with many of the great Jazz legends and his unique style is second to none. One of my favorite Kenny Burrell Albums is "Midnight Blue" with the great Stanley Turrentine.
We believe at the Black Buzz News Service that Kenny is as skilled as anybody past or present, but he has no fire in his playing. Kenny is more subdued, very smooth but he's never been a hard swinger.
Other great Burrell albums, Mp's and CD's are as follows:
a.Soul Call
b.Two Guitars
c. Togethering
d. Kenny Burrell and John C.
e. Introducing Kenny
f. God Bless the Child
g. Bluesy Burrell
h. Ellington Forever
i. Guitar Forms
k. John Jenkins with Kenny
j. Night at the Vanguard
l. The Cats
m. Jazzmen Detroit
n.  Weaver of Dreams
o. All Day All Night
p. Crash
q. At the Five Spot Cafe
r. Have Yourself a Souful

Kenny, Wes and Grant Sr. mastered the high octave and Kenny says Wes was the biggest influence on his playing.  Kenny played the classical guitar with the skill of a great master but he came home to his roots when he started playing jazz and the blues. Who was the best between Wes and Kenny?  I can't call it.  It's to close to call but both were great and unique like Grant in their own style of play.

5. Georgie Benson- My homeboy who could play and do anything with the guitar and who was influenced by Wes, Charlie Christian, Aaron T- Bone Walker and the one and only the great of greats, Robert Johnson.  Georgie is still going strong recording and singing.  In 1968 George Benson played Pat Martino off the same stage.  Pat Martino also plays the guitar and is very accomplished.  My home boy Georgie Benson at the age of 15 taught the great James ( Blood) Ulmer how to play without using a pick.
My homie started out playing at the age of eight in the Hill District section of Pittsburgh, PA and made his first professional recordings at 11.  He took up the guitar in his teens when he formed an R and B group.  He played a guitar his stepfather had built for him.  Most teenagers who grew up in the Hill District section of Pittsburgh in the 1950's and 1960's were in an R and B singing group whether it was just singing on the block or in the restroom of Herron Hill Junior High School, Schenley, Fifth Avenue High or in the numerous recreational centers such as Hill City Youth,  etc.  The Hill District was also the mecca for jazz in Pittsburgh having produced such outstanding talents as Stanley and Tommy Turrentine and the greatest bassist in jazz history, Ray Brown, who is the brother-in law to my Aunt Lorraine Robinson Brown.  Another great Hill District jazz musician was the incomparable Art Blakley whose Jazz Messengers were known world-wide.  My late aunt, Esther Brooks Austin would tell the story of how Art would just beat on the desks with pencils with great rhythmic feeling at Herron Hill Junior High School.  My aunt maintained that once you heard the beat of those pencils on the desk, you knew Art was headed for fame.
Georgie listened to records by Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, and Wes Montgomery which got him into jazz.  He was playing for organist Jack McDuff while still a teenager.  Georgie formed his first jazz group in 1965, and was discovered by the legendary record producer John Hammond.  Gerogie did several albums of his own and he also recorded with Miles Davis and other cats.  In the late 1960's, Georgie was seen as a possible successor to Wes Montgomery after the latter's sudden death.
Jazz record producer, Creed Taylor recorded Georgie for A&M and CTI, but after Georgie went to Warner Brothers he concentrated on his singing and had a Top Ten crossover hit with" Masquerade."  After a number of pop-jazz albums, he showed  that he was capable of a more straight-ahead style with a standard album with the Count Basie Orchestra and as a guest on the Jon Hendricks album, "Freddie Freeloader."  My homie continues to record and perform in both pop and straight-ahead jazz styles.  George Benson has influenced all of the young jazz guitarist of today.
Georgie was light years ahead of most of the cats of his generation.

6. James Blood Ulmer-Blood was from South Carolina but later moved to Pittsburgh, PA and that's when he and Georgie Benson struck up a relationship in the Burg.  Blood played with Art Blakey in 1973 and also played with Joe Henderson and many other famous jazz musicians of his era.  Blood hooked up with the great Ornette Coleman and could make his guitar talk back in a very rhythmic stylistic fashion that complimented the tough improvisations of Ornette.  Later Blood put in a lot of work in the 1970's and 1980's in the post fusion era where his talents were known to all the greats of his day.

7. Kevin Eubanks- This young buck from Philly who is still on the rise and who has recorded with all the great pop, jazz and other genres of music. Kevin is a skilled technician whose mastery of the guitar reminds me more of Kenny Burrell than Wes Montgomery.  Check out Kevin's CD's: "Elektra", "Sundance", "Promise of Tomorrow", "Turning Point", "Like At Bradley's", "Zen Food", "Acoustic" and "Live Blues Jam".  Kevin also played with the great Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1980's.  Kevin has been the feature musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

8. Mark Whitfield- Another highly talented young buck.  Mark even looks a little bit like the great Kenny Burrell.  Mark is also a very accomplished classical guitarist, similar to Kenny Burrell.
Mark is a master who has played with many of the great jazz and pop artists of this era.  Check out Mark Whitfield's "Early Autumn", "Signed Sealed Delivered", "My One and Only Love", "That Girl", "Do I Do", "Isn't She Lovely", "Superstition", "Send On Your Love", "I Wish", "Ribbon in the Sky", "Harlem Nocturne" and "Blues For Alexander".

9. Aaron "T-Bone" Walker- This Texas native learned how to play guitar and other string instruments from his stepfather who was a professional bassist.  As a child, he helped legendary guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson get safely from one job to another. He recorded his first 78 at the age of 19, and worked with a young Charlie Christian who would soon change the sound of the jazz guitar. Much as Christian caused a revolution by using the electric guitar in jazz, Walker caused a sensation by bringing an electric sound to the blues in addition to being an excellent blues singer.  T- Bone's work was a huge influence on such younger cats as B.B. King, Albert King, Chuck Berry, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and many other blues and jazz guitarists.

10. Grant Green Jr.-This is the son of great legendary jazz artist Grant Green Sr.  He sounds a little like his dad but he has his own style which is a little more funky than his famous dad.  Grant Green Jr. style is very soulful and he shows true mastery of the guitar. Check out the following great melodic soulful tunes such as "Jungle Strut", "Love Bug", "Flavors", "Masters of Groove Meet Dr. No", "Godfathers of Groove", "Movin On", and "When It's Warm".

* Kevin Eubanks, Mark Whitfield and Grant Green Jr. have already made tremendous contributions to the field of jazz which have kept alive the hard work of our  legendary Titans, Georgie Benson, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Jolly Christian, Grant Green Sr. and Wes Montgomery. 

Black Buzz News Service acknowledges some background information was obtained from WAER 88.3 an NPR station.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Which B-schools have the most satisfied alumni?

Black Buzz News Service
Charlottesville, VA
June 3, 2011

May 31, 2011: 1:02 PM ET

There is one telling number to judge the strength of a school's alumni network: the percentage of graduates who give money to a school every year. Here are the schools with the most alumni donors.

By John A. Byrne, contributor
( -- One of the most valuable assets of a top-ranked business school is its alumni network. It's a major consideration for applicants when choosing an MBA program, and it's a significant indicator of a school's brand strength in the marketplace.

But it's very hard to measure the strength of a school's alumni network. There is no available metric that will let you know how often alumni help current students land internships or jobs. There is no measurement to find out how often an alum returns a student's call for advice, mentorship, or networking.

There is, however, one very telling number to judge the strength of a school's alumni network: the percentage of alumni who give money to a school every year. As Paul Danos, dean of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, puts it, a school's annual alumni giving rate is "a long-term satisfaction index."

Alumni wouldn't likely hand over money to a school if they felt no affinity toward the institution or were unsatisfied with their MBA experience. So, high alumni giving rates might well be the best proxy to assess both the satisfaction of MBAs with an institution and the ultimate value of the network a graduate inherits at commencement.

Which business schools do exceptionally well on this index? Year in and year out, the Tuck School beats every other institution in the world when it comes to annual alumni giving. Last year, for example, some 67% of Tuck's 8,976 living MBAs wrote checks to the school. At a time when the average giving rate for a top-20 business school is roughly 20%, that is an extraordinary level of support.

"That is like the four-minute mile," boasts Danos. "The appreciation for Tuck grows as our graduates go out and speak to others about their experiences. I do think it's a long-term endorsement of the general way we educate."

This year, Tuck will reach a new milestone, eclipsing the highest participation rate in its history. Today is the deadline for the school's annual giving campaign, and more than 68% of its alumni have already sent in checks, beating the 67.5% peak the school achieved in 2008. Danos is hopeful that the school might very well hit 70% this year.

And after Tuck? It's Yale University's School of Management, which last year saw 46% of its MBA alums reach into their pockets to donate money to the school; the University of Virginia's Darden School, the beneficiary of a 43% alumni giving rate last year; and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which reported a 41% participation rate by MBA alums.

Among the top-ranked schools, which ones come out on the low end? The University of Minnesota's Carlson School has an annual giving rate of just 5%. Two well-known Texas' schools come next: Texas' McCombs School of Business at 8%, while Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business reports a participation rate of 10%.

Several schools, including Chicago Booth and Wharton, refuse to disclose these numbers, most likely because they are less than flattering to the institution. (In the table below we've estimated the annual alumni giving for schools that do not report this data).

What separates the generous from the not-so-generous alumni?

Joseph Thomas, dean of Cornell University's Johnson School, calls Tuck's 67% rate "mind boggling. That means they've been doing things right for quite a number of years," he says. "A higher percent must indicate a higher level of happiness."

"The annual participation rate is the best measure of the strength of the alumni network," insists Dave Celone, who heads up the annual giving effort at Tuck. "It's really the only true metric that can measure the strength of the network. This measurement looks at 100% of the alumni at a school on an annual basis and all the schools track it."

Alumni donations, of course, are little more than a proxy for the strength of the network. It's not the payoff that students and alums get. "Anecdotally, whenever students call a Tuck alum, they get a call back or an email within that day, if not within the hour," says Celone. "Alumni respond at close to a 100% rate whenever someone from Tuck calls. But you can't compare that to other schools because it's impossible to track."

There are other extraneous factors that affect annual giving. At the Johnson School, for example, the alumni giving rate generally hovers in the low-to-mid 20% range. "It's because the fundraising focus is on reunion years, which are every five years," adds Cornell's Thomas. "We try to talk people into a big gift then, and we're not thinking that's a mistake because we want to keep people engaged."

Most public universities also suffer from the assumption that state educational funding is enough. "A lot of people presume that we are supported by the state, and as taxpayers, most of our alumni have already paid for us," says Judy Olian, dean of UCLA's Anderson School of Business. "Seventy-five percent to 80% of our alumni live here. They are taxpayers here, and they think that as taxpayers they are funding this institution already."

Last year, the Anderson School reported an annual alumni giving rate of 20%, the second highest of any public business school, but still 23 percentage points below Darden.

Tuck's alumni army

That's certainly not a problem for Tuck, which is a private school. But it still doesn't explain the extraordinarily giving rate at the school. Besides the obvious affinity MBA alums have for Tuck, there's an enormous amount of effort and organization behind the school's fundraising campaign. The school has a student advisory board for annual giving with 25 to 30 current MBA students. More importantly, Tuck enlists 600 alumni volunteers to actively encourage alumni to give back to the school.

"If you are in an office building in New York with 40 to 50 Tuck alums, they are all going to be talking about this right now," says Celone. "They are very motivated. They love the school, and they get lots of support."

Last year, for the first time, Tuck's international alums gave at a slightly higher percentage than those in the U.S. That is virtually unheard of because charitable giving has long been a uniquely American habit.

Tuck's youngest alumni, moreover, tend to participate at the highest rates, with annual giving north of 90% for classes graduating within the past four years and with participation percentages in the high 80s for classes who graduated between four and ten years ago.

"It's the exact opposite of what I see at other peer schools," says Celone. "They tend to struggle with their youngest alumni and those classes tend to be the largest. So they really impact the overall giving rates at other schools."

Most alums attribute their gifts to both the fond memories of earning an MBA in Hanover, N.H., in a relatively small and isolated environment. "The size of Tuck makes the numbers manageable," says Don M. Wilson III, a 1973 Tuck alumnus, who is chairman of the school's annual giving campaign. "The size of the class, the intimacy between faculty and students, and the fact that Hanover is a pretty tightly knit community increases the probability of cohesiveness."

Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says?

Black Buzz News Service
Washington, D.C.
June 3, 2011

The following article is reprinted from The Independent.

President Obama has shown himself to be weak in his dealings with the Middle East, says Robert Fisk, and the Arab world is turning its back with contempt. Its future will be shaped without American influence

Monday, 30 May 2011
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.

While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America's new role in the region. It was pathetic. "What is this 'role' thing?" an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. "Do they still believe we care about what they think?"

And it is true. Obama's failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime – which has killed more of its people than any other dynasty in this Arab "spring", save for the frightful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain's cruelty and remains absolutely, stunningly silent over Saudi Arabia. And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any wonder, then, that Arabs are turning their backs on America, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or violence, but with contempt? It is the Arabs and their fellow Muslims of the Middle East who are themselves now making the decisions.

Turkey is furious with Assad because he twice promised to speak of reform and democratic elections – and then failed to honour his word. The Turkish government has twice flown delegations to Damascus and, according to the Turks, Assad lied to the foreign minister on the second visit, baldly insisting that he would recall his brother Maher's legions from the streets of Syrian cities. He failed to do so. The torturers continue their work.

Watching the hundreds of refugees pouring from Syria across the northern border of Lebanon, the Turkish government is now so fearful of a repeat of the great mass Iraqi Kurdish refugee tide that overwhelmed their border in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war that it has drawn up its own secret plans to prevent the Kurds of Syria moving in their thousands into the Kurdish areas of south-eastern Turkey. Turkish generals have thus prepared an operation that would send several battalions of Turkish troops into Syria itself to carve out a "safe area" for Syrian refugees inside Assad's caliphate. The Turks are prepared to advance well beyond the Syrian border town of Al Qamishli – perhaps half way to Deir el-Zour (the old desert killing fields of the 1915 Armenian Holocaust, though speak it not) – to provide a "safe haven" for those fleeing the slaughter in Syria's cities.

The Qataris are meanwhile trying to prevent Algeria from resupplying Gaddafi with tanks and armoured vehicles – this was one of the reasons why the Emir of Qatar, the wisest bird in the Arabian Gulf, visited the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, last week. Qatar is committed to the Libyan rebels in Benghazi; its planes are flying over Libya from Crete and – undisclosed until now – it has Qatari officers advising the rebels inside the city of Misrata in western Libya; but if Algerian armour is indeed being handed over to Gaddafi to replace the material that has been destroyed in air strikes, it would account for the ridiculously slow progress which the Nato campaign is making against Gaddafi.

Of course, it all depends on whether Bouteflika really controls his army – or whether the Algerian "pouvoir", which includes plenty of secretive and corrupt generals, are doing the deals. Algerian equipment is superior to Gaddafi's and thus for every tank he loses, Ghaddafi might be getting an improved model to replace it. Below Tunisia, Algeria and Libya share a 750-mile desert frontier, an easy access route for weapons to pass across the border.

But the Qataris are also attracting Assad's venom. Al Jazeera's concentration on the Syrian uprising – its graphic images of the dead and wounded far more devastating than anything our soft western television news shows would dare broadcast – has Syrian state television nightly spitting at the Emir and at the state of Qatar. The Syrian government has now suspended up to £4 billion of Qatari investment projects, including one belonging to the Qatar Electricity and Water Company.

Amid all these vast and epic events – Yemen itself may yet prove to be the biggest bloodbath of all, while the number of Syria's "martyrs" have now exceeded the victims of Mubarak's death squads five months ago – is it any surprise that the frolics of Messrs Netanyahu and Obama appear so irrelevant? Indeed, Obama's policy towards the Middle East – whatever it is – sometimes appears so muddled that it is scarcely worthy of study. He supports, of course, democracy – then admits that this may conflict with America's interests. In that wonderful democracy called Saudi Arabia, the US is now pushing ahead with a £40 billion arms deal and helping the Saudis to develop a new "elite" force to protect the kingdom's oil and future nuclear sites. Hence Obama's fear of upsetting Saudi Arabia, two of whose three leading brothers are now so incapacitated that they can no longer make sane decisions – unfortunately, one of these two happens to be King Abdullah – and his willingness to allow the Assad family's atrocity-prone regime to survive. Of course, the Israelis would far prefer the "stability" of the Syrian dictatorship to continue; better the dark caliphate you know than the hateful Islamists who might emerge from the ruins. But is this argument really good enough for Obama to support when the people of Syria are dying in the streets for the kind of democracy that the US president says he wants to see in the region?

One of the vainest elements of American foreign policy towards the Middle East is the foundational idea that the Arabs are somehow more stupid than the rest of us, certainly than the Israelis, more out of touch with reality than the West, that they don't understand their own history. Thus they have to be preached at, lectured, and cajoled by La Clinton and her ilk – much as their dictators did and do, father figures guiding their children through life. But Arabs are far more literate than they were a generation ago; millions speak perfect English and can understand all too well the political weakness and irrelevance in the president's words. Listening to Obama's 45-minute speech this month – the "kick off' to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

There was an interesting linguistic collapse in the president's language over those critical four days. On Thursday 19 May, he referred to the continuation of Israeli "settlements". A day later, Netanyahu was lecturing him on "certain demographic changes that have taken place on the ground". Then when Obama addressed the American Aipac lobby group (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on the Sunday, he had cravenly adopted Netanyahu's own preposterous expression. Now he, too, spoke of "new demographic realities on the ground." Who would believe that he was talking about internationally illegal Jewish colonies built on land stolen from Arabs in one of the biggest property heists in the history of "Palestine"? Delay in peace-making will undermine Israeli security, Obama announced – apparently unaware that Netanyahu's project is to go on delaying and delaying and delaying until there is no land left for the "viable" Palestinian state which the United States and the European Union supposedly wish to see.

Then we had the endless waffle about the 1967 borders. Netanyahu called them "defenceless" (though they seemed to have been pretty defendable for the 18 years prior to the Six Day War) and Obama – oblivious to the fact that Israel must be the only country in the world to have an eastern land frontier but doesn't know where it is – then says he was misunderstood when he talked about 1967. It doesn't matter what he says. George W Bush caved in years ago when he gave Ariel Sharon a letter which stated America's acceptance of "already existing major Israeli population centres" beyond the 1967 lines. To those Arabs prepared to listen to Obama's spineless oration, this was a grovel too far. They simply could not understand the reaction of Netanyahu's address to Congress. How could American politicians rise and applaud Netanyahu 55 times – 55 times – with more enthusiasm than one of the rubber parliaments of Assad, Saleh and the rest?

And what on earth did the Great Speechifier mean when he said that "every country has the right to self-defence" but that Palestine would be "demilitarised"? What he meant was that Israel could go on attacking the Palestinians (as in 2009, for example, when Obama was treacherously silent) while the Palestinians would have to take what was coming to them if they did not behave according to the rules – because they would have no weapons to defend themselves. As for Netanyahu, the Palestinians must choose between unity with Hamas or peace with Israel. All of which was very odd. When there was no unity, Netanyahu told us all that he had no Palestinian interlocutor because the Palestinians were disunited. Yet when they unite, they are disqualified from peace talks.

Of course, cynicism grows the longer you live in the Middle East. I recall, for example, travelling to Gaza in the early 1980s when Yasser Arafat was running his PLO statelet in Beirut. Anxious to destroy Arafat's prestige in the occupied territories, the Israeli government decided to give its support to an Islamist group in Gaza called Hamas. In fact, I actually saw with my own eyes the head of the Israeli army's Southern Command negotiating with bearded Hamas officials, giving them permission to build more mosques. It's only fair to say, of course, that we were also busy at the time, encouraging a certain Osama bin Laden to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan. But the Israelis did not give up on Hamas. They later held another meeting with the organisation in the West Bank; the story was on the front page of the Jerusalem Post the next day. But there wasn't a whimper from the Americans.

Then another moment that I can recall over the long years. Hamas and Islamic Jihad members – all Palestinians – were, in the early 1990s, thrown across the Israeli border into southern Lebanon where they spent more than a year camping on a freezing mountainside. I would visit them from time to time and on one occasion mentioned that I would be travelling to Israel next day. Immediately, one of the Hamas men ran to his tent and returned with a notebook. He then proceeded to give me the home telephone numbers of three senior Israeli politicians – two of whom are still prominent today – and, when I reached Jerusalem and called the numbers, they all turned out to be correct. In other words, the Israeli government had been in personal and direct contact with Hamas.

But now the narrative has been twisted out of all recognition. Hamas are the super-terrorists, the "al-Qa'ida" representatives in the unified Palestinian leadership, the men of evil who will ensure that no peace ever takes place between Palestinians and Israeli. If only this were true, the real al-Qa'ida would be more than happy to take responsibility. But it is not true. In the same context, Obama stated that the Palestinians would have to answer questions about Hamas. But why should they? What Obama and Netanyahu think about Hamas is now irrelevant to them. Obama warns the Palestinians not to ask for statehood at the United Nations in September. But why on earth not? If the people of Egypt and Tunisia and Yemen and Libya and Syria – we are all waiting for the next revolution (Jordan? Bahrain again? Morocco?) – can fight for freedom and dignity, why shouldn't the Palestinians? Lectured for decades on the need for non-violent protest, the Palestinians elect to go to the UN with their cry for legitimacy – only to be slapped down by Obama.

Having read all of the "Palestine Papers" which Al-Jazeera revealed, there is no doubt that "Palestine's" official negotiators will go to any lengths to produce some kind of statelet. Mahmoud Abbas, who managed to write a 600-page book on the "peace process" without once mentioning the word "occupation", could even cave in over the UN project, fearful of Obama's warning that it would be an attempt to "isolate" Israel and thus de-legitimise the Israeli state – or "the Jewish state" as the US president now calls it. But Netanyahu is doing more than anyone to delegitimise his own state; indeed, he is looking more and more like the Arab buffoons who have hitherto littered the Middle East. Mubarak saw a "foreign hand" in the Egyptian revolution (Iran, of course). So did the Crown Prince of Bahrain (Iran again). So did Gaddafi (al-Qa'ida, western imperialism, you name it), So did Saleh of Yemen (al-Qa'ida, Mossad and America). So did Assad of Syria (Islamism, probably Mossad, etc). And so does Netanyahu (Iran, naturally enough, Syria, Lebanon, just about anyone you can think of except for Israel itself).

But as this nonsense continues, so the tectonic plates shudder. I doubt very much if the Palestinians will remain silent. If there's an "intifada" in Syria, why not a Third Intifada in "Palestine"? Not a struggle of suicide bombers but of mass, million-strong protests. If the Israelis have to shoot down a mere few hundred demonstrators who tried – and in some cases succeeded – in crossing the Israeli border almost two weeks ago, what will they do if confronted by thousands or a million. Obama says no Palestinian state must be declared at the UN. But why not? Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says? Not even, it seems, the Israelis. The Arab spring will soon become a hot summer and there will be an Arab autumn, too. By then, the Middle East may have changed forever. What America says will matter nothing.