Let it not be said that turning it into the bogeyman of the Middle East doesn’t have its benefits to the U.S. In a world economy desperate for export opportunities, this country turned 2011 into a banner year for arms dealing. We tripled our exports ($66-billion). The primary customers were Gulf States flush with cash due to elevated oil prices. They were spooked by the “Iranian menace” into purchasing everything from new warplanes to complex missile defense systems . The oil revenues used for these purchases were boosted by the fear of global markets that a disruption in Middle East oil flows would impede supply. Nicely done.
That $66-billion constituted three-quarters of the world trade in this commodity. Half of that total went to one customer, Saudi Arabia. The weapons may be used not only in a confrontation with Iran, they could also be turned on Saudis themselves should they revolt against the regime as Syrians have done. Nice to know that U.S. weapons may, once again, be used to suppress the urge toward freedom represented by the Arab Spring movement.
So we’ve nicely exploited the Iran card to our maximum advantage. We’ve helped our struggling economy and boosted Obama’s re-election chances. The fact that we’ve armed the Middle East to the teeth and made it that much more dangerous a place and liable to go up in flames at the slightest provocation–that seems lost on us.
I suppose it’s a form of repatriation of wealth. We send our dollars to the Saudis for oil. They send them back to us for armaments. Nasty business, but a form of recycling I suppose.
Is there anything about Israel you do like???
I’m not sure you how your question follows from a post about record American sales of armaments, but my hunch is that there are many things and people he likes in Israel, but that they might not include Rabbi Ovadia, a religious leader for a party of importance, who also has a role to play in the aforesaid arms sales: http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=282661
Richard Silverstein says
Read my blog more carefully than you have done & you’ll find that question answered for you.
What goes around comes around.
I hope the Nobel Peace Prize Committee learned a lesson about giving the prize to somebody before they have any idea about what he is actually going to do “for peace”, referring of course to the Prize they gave to Obama.
Richard Silverstein says
Holy Smokes, we actually agree on something!
Hope Dignity Peace says
So does this fall under the category of “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”?
RE: “Half of that [$66-billion] total went to one customer, Saudi Arabia. The weapons may be used not only in a confrontation with Iran, they could also be turned on Saudis themselves should they revolt against the regime as Syrians have done. Nice to know that U.S. weapons may, once again, be used to suppress the urge toward freedom represented by the Arab Spring movement.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: And it’s not just U.S. weapons that might be used to suppress the urge toward freedom represented by the Arab Spring movement. “Membership has its privileges!”
SEE: “German tank deal with Saudi Arabia in spotlight after ‘riot control’ demonstration video emerges”, By Matthew Day, The Telegraph, 7/08/11
A contentious German arms deal to sell hundreds of battle tanks to Saudi Arabia has sparked fresh controversy after a demonstration video emerged showing one of the formidable armoured vehicles being used to suppress rioting civilians.
SOURCE – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/8625733/German-tank-deal-with-Saudi-Arabia-in-spotlight-after-riot-control-demonstration-video-emerges.html
ALSO SEE: “Israel Okayed German tank sales to KSA”, By Press TV, 10/22/11
SOURCE – http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206006.html
* DER SPIEGEL ARTICLE: “Tank Exports to Saudi Arabian Signal German Policy Shift”, By By Holger Stark, Der Spiegel, 10/14/11
LINK – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-merkel-doctrine-tank-exports-to-saudi-arabian-signal-german-policy-shift-a-791380-2.html
Smart Saudi's says
Not that they spend a motza on weapons, no, but they are proving to be very canny about what they buy e.g. those new super-dooper F-15s, when everyone else is hanging out for the Real Soon Now Only A Few Minor Bugs To Iron Out F-35.
After all, what if Lockheed can’t make the F-35 work as advertised?
Or what if that program is delayed by five (or more) years?
Answer: The Saudi’s will have a fleet of state-of-the-art F-15s, while the Israelis will be stuck with last-generation F-15s.
What happens to the IDF’s “qualitative edge” then?
Does Netanyahu ring up the Congress and tell them to slap an embargo on delivery?
Does he ring up Boeing demanding the same planes, only he wants ’em for free?
The F-35 program doesn’t have to slip much more than it already has and Israel will be faced with the prospect of having only the second-best airforce in the region.
“We’ve helped our struggling economy…”
If you don’t mind my asking, what does the ‘average Joe’ get out of this?
It’s time for the House of Saud to meet Hosni Mubarak’s fate.