The chatter is skittering on the sheen of the Obama and Israel-approved Saudi purchase of 84 old and technically degraded F-15s. As this sale promotes the MIC and is agreeable to AIPAC, Congressional approval of this proposed sale is moot. In terms of military capability shifts, as Jeff Huber at Antiwar.com explains, is it much ado about not much. The sale simply enhances Saudi Arabia’s capability to do what we ourselves do with our F-15s, primarily argue amongst ourselves about which old man is going to take a joy ride. Expensive fun counts for plenty, if you are a servant of the state.
This time of year, elections and depressions lead a young girl’s thoughts to money laundering and petrodollars, white-collar welfare and defense industry lobbying, our own, as well as that of the experimental military state that is modern Israel. Saudi Arabian arms buys (as with those of the UAE, Kuwait, heavily subsidized Egypt, Pakistan, Israel, and conquered Iraq) reflect less defensive concerns or preparations for war with Iran than it does the more base and mundane motives of keeping outdated production lines open in St Louis and elsewhere, trying to get Midwestern Democrats re-elected, and moving money.
More interesting and along these same lines, is the concomitant proposed sale of 20 F-35 (the F-15 follow-on) to Israel with the option for 75 more. This deal is not only paid for by the US taxpayer through Israel defense subsidies, but was negotiated to require the additional US taxpayer purchase of $4 billion in Israeli manufactured equipment, weapons and upgrades.
Arms and defense equipment and services stands alone as the only viable US export industry. From natural resources, productive industry and agriculture, we are left at the end of the first decade of the 21st century with one industry — killing people and destroying structures, cities, and the environment.
By the way, this situation evolved and is maintained with the active blessing of both parties and the majority of regular attendees of American churches and synagogues. Even the gays are in on it, now with their guaranteed right to kill people for Washington, destroy livelihoods all over the world, and torture the ones that are too slow, too stupid, or too proud to escape our military machine.
It’s time, as we rest on our laurels and celebrate these "sales," to think about questions of limits. Certainly, the idea that there are limits — to available credit, to mortgages offered, to what you can sell your house for, to how much driving you can do this week, to household earnings — are part of the "consumer" mood these days. The money tree is still growing at the Fed, but most Americans are thinking about cheap meals, cheap cars, and cheap thrills. That mood should lead us to wonder how much air superiority a man needs?
This article gives an idea of primary countries that launder our money buy our military equipment. Well, certainly selling arms is not illegal per se, but if you look at the list of primary purchasers of our weaponry, and consider how much of our own money is being used to buy these weapons, it does bring to mind a restaurant that never goes out of business, even though no one ever eats there.
The US Comptroller defines money laundering as "any financial transaction which generates an asset or a value as the result of an illegal act." I’m no lawyer, but where is the money coming from to subsidize these arms sales? In a day and age when people who take out a million bucks from a half a million dollar home that was already mortgaged to the hilt, and new concepts of debtors’ prisons are bandied about, I think we need to ask this question of Washington. And not the way self-serving, short-sighted defense hermit Admiral Mullen asks it.
Certainly, the question is cui bono, and increasingly it seems no one does. Let’s look at the air superiority ratio in some of the countries that buy the F-15, and its follow-on, the F-35. We have 630 operational F-15s, one for every 476,000 people, about one and a half per congress-weasel. Is that enough?
Japan has an F-15 for every 628 thousand people. Is that enough?
Saudi Arabia, after this pending purchase of 84 older model F-15s, will have 245 F-15s, or one for every 100,000 people. The 24.6 million Saudis will soon own $7.35 billion worth of older model F-15 air superiority, which as Huber points out, doesn’t do squat against offensive threats from either Iran or Israel. Again we must ask, is this enough?
Israel, after the planned US funded purchase of 20 F-35s, will have (just in US made air superiority fighters) one advanced F-15 or F-35 for every 58,000 Israelis. If they exercise the full option for 75 more F-35s, the ratio will become one for every 34,000 Israelis. Given that there is no non-Israeli air superiority existent in the region, is this enough?
We know from history and literature that the state not only brings out the worst in human beings, it carefully cultivates and promotes it. Accordingly, we have a representative government in a so-called peaceful republic that churns ever-increasing destruction around the global chessboard with the compulsion of a level five hoarder — and there’s not a thing any American can do about it. Leo Tolstoy wrote a little story once, called "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" It looks at the phenomena of the race for power and security, which appears to lead not to the top of the pile, but after much anxiety and spilled blood, ends up buried in a lonely place, to the sound of clicking tongues.
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here or join her Facebook page.