Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the guns for sheikhs program.

Sometimes, the United States sells or gives weapons to people we don't particularly like, in the hope that they'll provide a regional deterrence against a country we like even less. History has taught us that such deals almost invariably end up arming the wrong folks because of unintended consequences, but it seems that we're slow learners.

When we armed the Shah with top-flight F-14s and other assorted goodies, all that stuff ended up in the hands of the fundamentalist Ayatollahs after the Iranian revolution. When we then armed Saddam's Iraq to be a local counterweight to the Ayatollahs, he promptly took all those shiny new weapons and started an eight-year war that destabilized the region. In addition, the same weapons were later turned on us directly during Gulf Wars I and II. (Saddam got to double-dip because the Russians also armed him, back when Iran was still the regional buddy of the US under the Shah. See what I mean about "unintended consequences"?)

Let's not even get into all the Central American and Asian tinpot dictators who got guns from Uncle Sugar jest because they promised to stand against communism, despite the fact that many of them were just as bad a bunch of oppressors as the Reds.

That leads me to wonder why we're once again providing the Saudis with weapons...the same Saudi Arabia that provided fourteen of the sixteen 9/11 hijackers. The same Saudi Arabia that supports the Sunni insurgency with men and money. The same Saudi Arabia that adheres to a particularly backwards version of Sunni Islam, where women can't vote or drive cars, or even go out without a veil and a male family escort. Oh, and the very same Saudi Arabia that has a bazillion dollars a day coming out of the ground underneath their feet in the form of oil.

Oh, no , let me guess...we're trying to maintain a regional counterweight to Iran. Again. Because it worked so well the last few times.

I say, let the Saudis buy their own damn guns with their own damn money...they have enough to finance the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, so why do they need American taxpayer subsidies? If there's one country on the face of the earth that doesn't need foreign aid in any form, it's the Saudis. The Saudi government swims in oil money...they're so rich that Saudi citizens don't have to pay any form of income tax, so why do we need to chip in for their weapons out of our paychecks?

Fuck the Saudis. We don't need friends like them. We have precisely one true ally in the dung heap that is the Middle East, and that's Israel...the only viable democracy in that huge, godforsaken pile of sand, and the only country in the region where women can drive cars, read books, and carry M-16s in public.

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