Saturday, July 28, 2007

US Weapons and Dictatorships

If you don't pay attention to McClatchy Papers formerly Knight-Ridder you're missing out on a publication that actually does reporting and investigation. This is the outfit that got WMDs right while BushCo was busy getting it all wrong. Now while we're busy installing democracy in Iraq at the point of a gun we're going to sell some real advanced stuff to some dictatorships right in that neighborhood.

McClatchy reports that BushCo wants to sell billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt and to keep balance Israel. Saudi Arabia was home to most of the 9/11 hijackers, was home to a large percentage of the foreign fighters in Iraq, and of the recipients the only free state is Israel. At least one component of the Saudi sale is JDAMs, the conversion kit to make dumb gravity bombs into smart directed bombs. Israel naturally didn't like this stuff and asked for the F22 Raptor whose stealth technology is part of the package that makes it the Air Force's most advanced fighter. That means this is the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, no question about it at this point in history. All this arming is aimed at countering...you guessed it...Iran.

The White House shared details with members of Congress last week and is hoping to avoid a fight since Congress has to approve the sales. It is certainly true that Saudi Arabia has some rather dangerous neighbors but one has to wonder if this sort of sale would act as a deterrence or and incitement. I'm not in favor of small children handling loaded firearms and I have pretty much the same reaction to this. We worry about the mix of nukes and Pakistan's instability and even a glance at the Arab recipients shows a mix of a rich ruling elite and an unstable poverty stricken populace. Let's just throw some gasoline on the fire.

4 comments:

t.a. said...

hey Chuck

at least this time it appears enough Dems in Congers realize that the Saudis are not that great as friends. with the info that thousands of Saudis fighting against U.S. forces in Iraq, not to mention the way bin Laden was protected by his family after 9/11, i don't think Bush is going to get his way on this one. if nothing else, it'll be a way for Dems to hold the line without facing political repurcussions from the public. and there are plenty of Rs what don't trust the Saudis either.

Chuck Butcher said...

I don't have a lot of faith that the Rs will face up to BushCo and there are good paying jobs dependent on arms sales in Congressional Districts. My best be is that there'll be some rhetoric from Districts w/o defense industry plants and the sale will go ahead. But I'll object to it anyhow.

Steve Culley said...

It's almost August, the month when the U.S. and Iraqi congress's go home on vacation. A citizen or two could show up at their spin fests and ask a question or two about arming opposing sides.

KISS said...

The big smoke screen has been Bush saying he no longer trusts the Saudi's intentions