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If it was European products that were being sold that would be ok. Maybe the Saudis should buy a few AirBus planes and everything will be cool with the MSM....

Next to the "B-word" Bush, the "B-word" Boeing is just as hated in Europe...

Of course B also stands for better!!

I don't expect much constructive input to this debate from our media or "elites". That said, I find it difficult to defend the policy of arming states like Egypt, Saudia Arabia, the UAE - or Libya for that matter. These ARE islamistic, unpredictable countries. Counter-balance the influence of Iran? That didn't work so well in the past, the history of Saddam's Iraq is only one example for that. I see these arms deals as one part of the appeasement strategy to buy goodwill from those regimes in order to secure oil supplies. It's probably the biggest mistake the West made after 9/11 not to focus much more on efforts to become independent from oil out of these countries.

Just to clarify: I supported the liberation of Iraq and I don't think oil was the main reason for it.

@Mir
That said, I find it difficult to defend the policy of arming states like Egypt, Saudia Arabia, the UAE - or Libya for that matter.

Difficult? I find it fucking impossible. Wherever Voigt and Steinmeier fall on the hypocrisy scale is irrelevent to me. This deal - and our State Dept's ok of 'the Arab peace plan', which calls for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders, is an out and out betrayal of American interests. It's worse than cynical - it is absolutely vile.

Want to contain Iran? Good. Bomb Tehran. For six months. Every day. I understand we have some military bases in the region we could use to launch the operation.

It's difficult because until now I've defended the Bush administration against a lot of unfair criticism here in Germany. Suddenly, I find myself in agreement with the mainstream that this idea is wrong. President Bush and his administration have changed over the last years, at least since the defeat in the elections. What are they thinking? :-(

PS: I have no doubt that a Democratic president would be worse. That doesn't say much, though.

---...was outraged by the proposed arms deal"---

"Outraged" huh? I guess "outraged" isn't what it used to be. I mean 20 years ago I was outraged once in a bar and they had to call the cops. Apparently now all one has to do to be "outraged" is merely make a press release claiming that one is "outraged". What happened to all the emotion? I recall there were a lot of emotions involved. It seems to me that Herrs Voigt and Steinmeier seem to be pretty much flat lining in the passions department. Maybe they hit peak emotion back in the 70's and are forced to rationing. Come on, you got to admit that there has been some pretty lame "outraging" going on lately. Well, okay... excepting for maybe Pakistan. Christ, think of what it's doing to Saphic poetry! This emotion shortage has got to end. If only the socialists didn't conusme them at unsustainable rates back in the 80's with their performance art.

@Mir
Suddenly, I find myself in agreement with the mainstream that this idea is wrong

Hey, Mir, look who just joined the club.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that his country was not intimidated by American aid being given to other countries in the region and that it was merely an act of weakness on behalf of the US,

Gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Posted by: Mir | August 03, 2007 at 04:02 PM

"It's difficult because until now I've defended the Bush administration against a lot of unfair criticism here in Germany. Suddenly, I find myself in agreement with the mainstream that this idea is wrong. President Bush and his administration have changed over the last years, at least since the defeat in the elections. What are they thinking? :-("

Well, actually, Saudi Arabia is not an Islamisist state. They just cut a deal with the Mullahs; they pay them to not have them preach to have them overthrown. They have a deal with the US also. We protect them from foreign invasion (such as from Iraq and Iran) and they use their influence to try to keep oil prices down (re: within reason). This deal was worked out with FDR and it has been the US policy to assist them in their defense with every president, of both parties, since. So, that’s what they’re thinking…

I must be missing something.

Why is anyone outraged?

Why is the German government outraged?

These Muslim countries cannot attack Israel (only Egypt borders Israel and they are finished fighting). The Saudis and UAR want protection against Iran. Its Shia versus Sunni.
These arms are not useful for terrorism.
These countries are allied with us against Iran.

Finally, if you are worried about Israel, I am willing to bet that the deal keeps Israel with a technological edge (which they can probably supply themselves, anyway)

If the US doesn't supply arms to them, they will get them from Germany, France or Russia and the US will lose influence.

@Sagredo
(only Egypt borders Israel

Not much for geography, I see.

Lebanon & Syria to the north, Jordan on the east, the Magic Kingdom to the southeast across Gulf of Aquba.

Politcal wisdom from somebody who can't read a map. Thanks.

@Pamela
Well, I misspoke. Shame on me. Are we giving aid to Syria? Are we aiding Lebanon to fight Hezbollah? So? Do you think Saudia will launch amphibious operations over the Gulf to hit Israel? Did you know that Israel has business and educational parks in conjunction with Jordan?

C'mon, be real.

Sagredo
Well, I misspoke

Bull. Unless you were in a coma last year during the Israeli/Lebanon 'conflict', you are speaking from ignorance. Or maybe you're still in the coma.

Thomass
Well, actually, Saudi Arabia is not an Islamisist state

Thomass, meet Sagredo, another citizen of the Planet of Imagination.

IT IS not easy being a religious policeman. The 5,000-odd agents of Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (commonly referred to as the Haya, or Commission) carry a heavy burden of responsibility. Not only must they do things such as make sure shops close for the five daily prayers, enforce modesty of attire and strict separation of the sexes in public, prevent sorcery, and round up bootleggers and drug dealers. They must also impose summary new bans, such as recent ones against trading in pet cats and dogs in the port city of Jeddah, and against barbers offering Western-style haircuts that “imitate unbelievers” in Medina, Islam's second holiest city.

Things have not looked so bad for it since 2002, when its agents were widely reported to have blocked exits to a blazing girls' school, on the ground that the fleeing pupils were improperly attired. Fourteen girls died as a result.

Back to Sagredo
C'mon, be real.

Bite me.

The proposed package for Saudi Arabia of advanced weaponry, which includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels, has made Israel and some of its supporters in Congress nervous. Senior officials say that they believe the administration has since overcome those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over the amount Israel has received in the past 10 years.

But administration officials remain concerned that the size of the package to Saudi Arabia and the advanced weaponry that it contains, as well as broader concerns about the role Saudi Arabia plays in Iraq, could prompt critics in Congress to oppose the package when it is formally notified about the deal this autumn.

In talks about the package, the administration did not seek specific assurances from Saudi Arabia that it would be more supportive of the U.S. effort in Iraq, the officials said.

According to the officials, the plan to bolster the military might of Gulf countries is part of a U.S. strategy to contain the growing power of Iran and to demonstrate that, no matter what happens in Iraq, Washington remains committed to its longtime Arab allies in the region.

In addition to promising an increase in U.S. military aid to Israel, the Pentagon is seeking to ease Israeli concerns over the proposed weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by asking the Saudis to accept restrictions on the range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs, including a commitment not to store the weapons at air bases close to Israeli territory, the officials said.


I can, once in awhile, make myself confortable with buying off sovereign nations - as long as there is a reasonable expectation that they stay bought.

There is no expectation here. Iran is just the short term concern - the long term - nay - the raison d'etre of Islam - is to destroy the Jews and Western Civilization, period.

After the debacle of the 20th Century, one could reasonably hope people would recognize totalitarianism when it kicked them in the teeth.

Guess not.


>> Well, actually, Saudi Arabia is not an Islamisist state.

Actually, Saudi Arabia is one of the most islamistic states on this planet. You might want to inform yourself. Even a look into the Wikipedia article would be enough for a start. Yeah, officially they are aligned with us, and things could be worse in regard the government of Saudi-Arabia. Trusting them however or letting oneself be fooled to think of them as allies would be crazy and stupid. But as I already said, the most stupid thing is not to do much! more to become independent from "islamic" oil as fast as possible.

>> These Muslim countries cannot attack Israel.

They sure as anything attack Israel via endless demonizing propaganda in their countries. Part of the breeding ground for terrorism is the islamic attitude (fueled by their leaders of course) to blame the US / Israel / the West for everything bad that happens to them instead of their own backwardly culture. Apart from that: Since when do you need borders with a country to attack it? Several islamistic countries now / soon have advanced missile systems and warheads, and they have the money, the will and the means to finance / support / supply terrorist groups. Which by the way do not "only" want to attack Israel.

Thankfully, if Barack Hussein Obama became your president, all these problems would miraculously disappear. He's going to have a chat with all the evil thugs and then they'll like us, you know. MSM said so, anyway.

Doing an internal temp check, I find I am royally pissed.

@Thomass
Well, actually, Saudi Arabia is not an Islamisist state. They just cut a deal with the Mullahs; they pay them to not have them preach to have them overthrown.

So the lives of 14 little girls, consigned by gov't authorities to be burned alive because they were 'improperly' attired is just another payoff to the mullahs. No sharia here, no siree.

Do you have ANY idea how utterly repugnant the views your post reflects are? Do you?

If I were queen of the world I would drag your sorry ass before every one of their mothers.

After I consigned all the relevant authorities to the same fate they forced on those children.

/utterly and completely pissed off.

Ok, still not done.

Saudi Arabia: Basic Law of Government


Article 1
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; God's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, God's prayers and peace be upon him, are its constitution, Arabic is its language and Riyadh is its capital.

...
Article 6
Citizens are to pay allegiance to the King in accordance with the holy Koran and the tradition of the Prophet, in submission and obedience, in times of ease and difficulty, fortune and adversity.

Article 7
Government in Saudi Arabia derives power from the Holy Koran and the Prophet's tradition.

Article 8 [Government Principles]
Government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on the premise of justice, consultation, and equality in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ah.

Fuck you Thomass.

@MIR
"They sure as anything attack Israel via endless demonizing propaganda in their countries."
But propaganda is not our subject. It is not swhat we are selling them.
@Pamela
"Bite Me"
Hmmmm.
Thinking.....(to the best of my limited abilities).....

Sagredo,

If you're still thinking, here's some food for thought from Brett Stepehns in today's Wall Street Journal.

It's hard to fault the logic of the sale, announced last week, of $20 billion in U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia, with trinkets going to the smaller Gulf states. The wisdom of the deal is another matter.

@Pamela
Thank you for the reference. Though I get the WSJ daily, I had missed Stephens article. He is an old favorite of mine from back in his J'salem Post days.

But I think this is not one of his better articles. He lists, of course reasons why should sell, such as the futility of not selling, alternative supply sources, alienation of whatever friends we do have in the country (such as most importantly, of the Pakistani military in the past due to a similar arms embargo).

His main 'wisdom' argument is the instability of the Saudi regime due to age of the princes. Yet he does not suggest these arms will be used against Israel even if there is an upheaval. Instead he brings in all sorts of arguments irrelevant to the issue at hand, For example, that Al Qaeda has tried to recruit Saudi pilots in the past, or their infiltration of Saudi National Guard.

Then he states that F15s will not be much protection against Iranian bombs!?

Then he says that we have neglected rearming the Iraqis! (note recent report of loss of 1/3 of our material set to Iraqi military, already stolen by our enemies).

Then he emphasizes how bad the Saudis are (we all know that, and giving them these arms hardly changes that).

No. This is a very poor article I am sorry to say. I hate giving anything to Israel's enemies, which they are, but, at very least, this is not catastrophe for Israel, as you and others seem to want to make it appear to be.

The sale is anti-Iran and that says a lot for it.

Sagredo

This is a very poor article I am sorry to say

I agree with everything you say. Probably surprises you.

Here is my point as expressed by Stephens
"The sale was approved: the plan disappeared".

This goes back to my comment above - if we are going to buy someone off, it should be with the reasonable expectation that they stay bought.

I'm not concerned about the Saudis and Israel. I'm concerned about Islam and the U.S. I've spent the last 8 years living next door to Saudi families and it is not pretty.

Does that make me a bigot? No, I don't think so. Not when their children think it's ok to try to kill my dog in the name of Islam.

I'm not kidding.

Islam is totalitarian. As is the 'EU'.

That is my line in the sand.

But thank you for your thoughtful response.

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