Saudi Arms Deal Is About Iran

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This
month the US Administration notified Congress that it intends to
complete one of the largest arms sales in US history to one of the
most repressive regimes on earth. Saudi Arabia has been given the
green light by the administration to spend $60 billion on some 84
new F-15 aircraft, dozens of the latest helicopters, and other missiles,
bombs, and high-tech military products from the US weapons industry.

Saudi Arabia,
from where 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers came, is a family-run
dictatorship, where there are no political parties, no independent
press, and where any form of political dissent is met with the most
severe punishment. We are told that we must occupy Afghanistan to
encourage more rights for women, an issue on which the Saudi regime
makes the Taliban look rather liberal by comparison. We are told
that our increasingly aggressive policies toward Iran are justified
by that country’s rigid Islamic laws and human-rights violations,
while the even more repressive Islamic rule in Saudi Arabia is never
mentioned.

So why would
the US government, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars
yearly and maintains hundreds of bases overseas to push global democracy,
approve a deal like this with such a regime? As Stockholm Institute
scholar Pieter Wezeman told the Washington Post, "Of
course it’s against Iran. Of course it’s against Yemen. You can
read between the lines … but there are not any official statements
about it." Although the deal must be approved by Congress,
there is little chance of any significant Congressional opposition
for the above reason.

Imagine if
China had armed an aggressive, anti-American Mexico to the teeth.
How would we feel? Threatened? That is likely how Iran feels with
this massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia. To underscore this message,
the US quietly announced early this month that it was selling 20
F-35 Stealth fighters to Israel. As Israeli military purchases are
paid for with US foreign aid, we must realize that the weapons pointed
at Iran in the Middle East are American made and largely paid for
with American tax dollars. Certainly Iran understands this. Will
such a provocative move, arming two anti-Iranian powers in the region
to the teeth, lead to a trigger event to bring about a full invasion
of Iran? The economic tsunami that would result from such a horrific
turn of events would only be eclipsed by the death and destruction
in the region — and likely beyond.

Some will
argue that these arms deals are international trade which we should
encourage and applaud. Sadly, the United States does not build much
that we can export these days. But the fact is that the US weapons
industry is underwritten by the American taxpayer. From research
and development to acquisition by the US military, the costs of
the US arms industry are borne by American citizens. But, as so-called
“private” companies, the enormous profits they make selling
weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia are of course privatized.
So the costs are socialized and the profits are privatized. There
is a word for this arrangement and it is not “capitalism.”

See
the Ron Paul File

November
2, 2010

Dr. Ron
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

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