Friday, October 22, 2010

Selling Weapons To The Saudis Is Based On A Lie

Profeesor Mitchell Bard warns against Selling Saudis Arms and Our Souls
The Obama administration has announced plans to sell $60 billion worth of military equipment and services, the largest weapons sale in U.S. history, to Saudi Arabia, a country that supports terrorists who seek our destruction, violates the human rights of its citizens, believes Jews are apes and Christians are pigs and obstructs American efforts to facilitate a Middle East peace agreement. Though the sale may be couched in terms of national security, no one should be fooled that this is anything but a political gambit to allow Obama to claim credit for saving or creating thousands of jobs in the defense industry.

The administration claims this sale is needed to prove the U.S. is committed to Saudi security and to bolster their ability to defend themselves against unspecified threats. This has been the mantra of administrations for decades, but has always been a lie.
But does the sale of weapons help Saudi Arabia defend itself? Among the points that Bard makes:

The sale of weapons did not help Saudi Arabia in 1990-1991, when despite billions of dollars in weapons, the Saudis were still helpless against Saddam Hussein and the US had to send 500,000 American soldiers to risk their lives to save the Saudi kingdom.

o According to a former U.S. diplomat in Riyadh, during the 1990s the U.S. Military and Training Mission had difficulty getting the Saudi 30,000-man National Guard to carry out maneuvers effectively. The Saudi naval war vessels "could not be pried from their port berths." During exercises with the US Navy, the commanders not only would not take their ships out of sight of land, they also required their crews to be able to return before dark.

o The main threat to Saudi Arabia is Iran--and no one really believes the tiny Saudi army can defend itself against the large Iranian force, or that the conventional weapons the US is selling to the Saudis will help them if Iran builds nuclear weapons.

o According to a consultant,
All defense companies have powerful lobbyists to keep arms sales on track. It's just an exchange of money. Oil for equipment which sits in the desert, which they don't fly and can't maintain.
Read the whole thing.

The bottom line, according to Bard:
It is true that many Americans will be employed to build the weapons for the Saudis, but the question is whether it is worth the cost of strengthening an intolerant regime that does not share our values, undermines our interests, and funds terrorists that threaten our security.
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