Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bush Keeps Israel Close, Saudi Arabia Closer

Robert Scheer, today's 'must read':

Go figure: From the White House comes the news that self-styled anti-terrorism crusader George Bush wants to sell $20 billion in high-tech military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the source of most of the financing, and 15 of the 19 hijackers, for the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. The justification can’t be that this is yet another boondoggle for the military-industrial complex—the big winner in the war on terror—so we are told instead that the Sunni-dominated Saudi kingdom needs this weaponry to withstand a future challenge from those dastardly Shiite fellows in Iran.

Yes, the very same extremists whose surrogates are now, as a consequence of the U.S. invasion, pretending to be the indigenous government of Iraq. Recall that the Shiite militants who rule Tehran, along with the Sunni nuts around Osama bin Laden, were both the sworn enemy of Saddam Hussein. Now both of those forces are the main players, according to the Bush administration, vying for power in “liberated” Iraq, and our president is in the inane position of playing one group of fanatics against the other in the name of securing Iraq as a democratic haven.

While the $20-billion weapons package will no doubt be supported vigorously by lobbyists for a defense industry that stands to make a financial killing from the deal, it is expected to meet opposition in Congress, particularly from those who fear the impact of this new weaponry on the security of Israel. No problem—“senior officials” in the White House assured The New York Times that the Saudi arms package would be balanced with a $30.4-billion military aid package for Israel. Then, of course, some large amount of military “aid,” to the tune of $13 billion, will also have to be extended to Egypt to keep the dictator in Cairo on board.

What a deal! The Saudis pony up billions in cash, American taxpayers come up with an amount more than twice as high to keep the Israelis and Egyptians happy, and U.S. war profiteers, Bush’s most reliable core constituency group, make out like bandits. Hey, it’s only money, and the only real cost might be to folks who get caught in the line of fire of those weapons in wars to come for generations. But not to worry, most of them don’t vote in U.S. elections anyway.

Mr. Scheer is just getting better and better.

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