can’t see the forest

US to “Renew Commitment” to Israel, Saudi Arabia

Posted in foreign policy, hegemony, Iran, Israel, middle east, News, News & Politics, Politics, USA by Curtis on 7/29/07

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According to the BBC, the Bush administration is expressing its commitment to peace in the Middle East by moving forward with large-scale arms deals with Israel and Saudi Arabia. From July 28:

The United States is reported to be preparing a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states worth $20bn (£9.8bn) over the next decade.

Defence officials quoted by US media said the sales would include advanced weaponry, missile guidance systems, upgraded fighter jets and naval ships.

It is said to be an attempt to counter the regional threat posed by Iran.

The officials said the secretaries of state and defence would discuss the deal on a visit to the Gulf next week.

However, discussions with Congress on the arms package have just begun, and no announcements are expected during the visit, the officials added. . .

. . .To counter objections by Israel and its supporters in Congress, the officials said the Jewish state would be offered significantly increased military aid.

Now, fast forward twenty-four hours:

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has confirmed that the United States is planning a significant increase in military and defence aid to Israel.

The package would reportedly amount to more than $30bn (£14.8bn) over the next 10 years.

Mr Olmert described it as an important element for the security of Israel.

Washington is reportedly preparing a package of major arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states because of concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme.

US defence aid to Israel currently stands at $2.4bn a year – the new package would amount to a 25% increase.

Mr Olmert said the aid had been agreed at a meeting with US President George W Bush in Washington last month. . .

. . .Mr Olmert said the increased support was a sign of US commitment to maintain Israel’s military “advantage over the Arab states”.

“We understand the need of the US to assist the moderate Arab states which are in one front with the US and us in the fight against Iran, and on the other hand we appreciate the renewed and re-emphasised support for Israel’s military and security advantage,” he said.

Right away, you might notice Olmert’s specious reference to Saudi Arabia and its satellites as “moderate Arab states.” Since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the least progressive of all the Islamic states in terms of human rights and equanimity of law—it is a place where torture, executions without due process, blatant plutocracy, and the harrowing oppression of women’s rights are rampant even today—it can hardly be objectively considered as a “moderate” Arab state in the traditional sense.

What Olmert means is that Saudi Arabia is a state which follows U.S.-Israeli orders more or less unconditionally. That is the definition of “moderate” you’ll find in the legend of the U.S. “roadmap” to peace in the Middle East. The current government in Tehran has been less than tactful in pursuing its own agenda, but it has not significantly violated the sovereignty of any neighboring state. In Washington’s eyes, the crime of Iran is one of simple indignation—the refusal to cow down in the face of pomp and bluster.

These are tactics straight from the cosa nostra playbook—you back the goons that overlook your sinister motives and play along for whatever it might be worth to them, and you crush the ones that squeal in protest.

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6 Responses

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  1. Ann El Khoury said, on 7/30/07 at 4:04 am

    Well said. Olmert’s sign-off has more to do with the steep 25% “sweetener” increase in military “aid” and the despotic regime being in cahoots with Bushmert than Saudi Arabia being remotely “moderate” as you’ve pointed out.

    All those billions — what a lot of quality education, infrastructure and health-care that would buy.

  2. Curtis said, on 7/30/07 at 4:45 am

    Right on. And that’s a good point as well, that this is only about a quarter increase to what Bushmert has come to expect.

  3. homeyra said, on 7/30/07 at 6:04 am

    Mr. Olmert’s understanding:
    “We understand the need of the US to assist the moderate Arab states”
    is a load off!
    :)

  4. Phil Ruskin said, on 7/30/07 at 7:55 am

    This is all a misguided attempt to fight Iran using the same old tools of the last great American conflict. Check out this article from the LA Times.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-coldwar5jul05,1,1724969.story?coll=la-headlines-world

  5. QB said, on 8/2/07 at 4:46 pm

    US is trying to sell their arms by creating false Iran fear. Saudis two other options China and Russia to buy arms at much lower prices. Israel will get 30 billion aid in arms and military deals completely ignoring the that this money could be used for failing infrastructure of US. Minneapolis bridge collapse is one example and there are thousands of bridges road railroads which need immediate attention. This serious problem is ignored because lack of money. This can only happen in USA.

  6. raincoaster said, on 8/20/07 at 9:35 pm

    When/if you get back to the blog, you’ve got an issue waiting for you. You’ve been banned in Turkey, along with all WP.com blogs, and indirectly in Albania, since they get most of their access via Turkey.
    Details and suggested plan of action for bloggers here:
    http://raincoaster.com/2007/08/19/wordpress-is-blocked-by-turkeys/


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