Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Main exporters of political Islam to receive huge arms' shipment from Bush administration

Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive and regressive societies in the world. Anyone daring enough to publicly advocate reform is thrown in jail indefinitely and without charge in Guantanamo-in-the-desert. Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of radical strand of Islam championed by al-Qaeda. The Saudi regime is actively trying to poison sub-Saharan Africa by spreading its regressive interpretation of Islam into a region which has always been home to a very moderate form of the faith.

So one would think that those in Washington supposedly worried about the spread of radical Islam would deal with the Kingdom very carefully. Instead, the Bush administration, always in hoc to the military-industrial complex, is planning a massive, multibillion dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

The deal would send advanced weaponry, missile guidance systems, upgraded fighter jets and naval ships to the Kingdom.

Bear in mind that the Saudi army had negligible involvement in the first Gulf War. Its only other external military action involved the 1948 and 1973 wars against Israel. This is a regime the Bush people want to send tons of arms to.

The apparent purpose of the deal is to counter increasing Iranian influence in the region. The neo-cons and other militarists, not the least chastened by the disaster in Iraq they got us into, is now hell bent on provoking war with Iran.

But perhaps the real objective of the arms' deal is to prop up the corrupt, creaking Saudi royal family. Given the Kingdom's role in exporting political Islam, it's hard to say that Iran is clearly a greater threat. It's harder to call the Saudi regime an ally, let alone one that should be showered with billions of dollars of advanced weaponry.

That the US government holds a human rights' double standard vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia and other countries as compared to Iran is self-evident. But it's not exactly new.

During the Cold War, the War on Terror's spiritual ancestor, the leader of the Shining City on a Hill regularly propped up repressive, thieiving, torturous, murderous and even genocidal regimes so long as they called themselves anti-communist.

All you needed to be was anti-communist and voilà: you were a 'beacon of freedom and liberty' (said breathlessly). Genocides? Mass repression? Torture? Death squads slaughtering innocent civilians? No big deal. Just say you were acting on behalf of 'freedom and liberty' (said breathlessly) and you got a free pass for mass carnage.

The 'logic' of the day dictated that thousands of people slaughtered by communists was morally reprehensible but an identical number slaughtered by anti-communists was a great blow struck on behalf of the Free World.

Today, nothing has changed. Just the devil of the month. Instead of supporting despots who call themselves anti-communist, the US government now supports despots who call themselves anti-Islamist. But it makes you wonder to what degree the Saudi regime is really anti-Islamist.

The Saudi regime exports radical Islam. It's accused of funding Islamist organizations like Hamas and the Taliban.

The Bush administration is going to reward them with a huge weapons shipment.

This begs two questions:

1) What genius thought this up this mind-numbing idea?

2) How much do you want to bet that said genius will given the responsibility of planning the miltiary action against Iran?

1 comment:

Mark said...

Like father, like son