Debate and Discussion

Sellin' us some missles.
lefarce at 10:30AM, July 29, 2007
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http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/07/28/saudi.arms/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The United States is developing a proposed $20 billion, 10-year arms sales package for Saudi Arabia, a senior administration official confirmed on Saturday.
art.gates.rice.afp.gi.jpg

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, left, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet with Saudis next week.

The proposed sale, first reported in The New York Times, is intended to upgrade the Saudi military's ability to counter possible Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf region, the official said.

“This is all about Iran,” said the official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity because discussions with the Saudis are still going on and the arms sale deal has not been completed.

Israel is expected to raise objections to the arms package, and has expressed concerns about previous Saudi arms deals.

The official said the Bush administration is mindful that Israel must maintain its “qualitative edge” in the region.

Besides Saudi Arabia, other countries in discussion with the United States about arms sales include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

One of the more controversial proposals will probably be selling the Saudis, for the first time, satellite-guided bombs known as JDAMs. The sale may include a 500-pound and a 2,000-pound version of the aerial bomb.

The Israelis are said to be very concerned about the Saudis having that precision-strike capability, so the United States will discuss basing the weapons as far away from Israel as possible, the official said.

Other elements under discussion are new naval vessels, an advanced version of air-to-air missiles already used by the United States, and advanced Patriot missiles.

The proposed sale is expected to be a major topic of discussion next week when U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meet with Saudi officials.

The sale would have to be approved by Congress.

Yet again this administration ceases to amaze me. There's an interesting thought process; “lets sell 20 billion in weapons to the country that most of the 9/11 hijackers came from”.

Anyone else remember how that whole Mujahadeen/Russian thing went?

Yeah.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
Phantom Penguin at 11:57AM, July 29, 2007
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Lets sell missles to the country thats main export is Jihad fighters and oil.

Great idea.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ZeroVX at 1:52PM, July 29, 2007
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……habajawhat now?

It's amazing. I keep thinking that there's no way Bush can be any stupider, and he always proves me wrong.

I am SO glad I'm Canadian.
“If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost 100,000 people…..would you really wanna know?”

V for Vendetta, V.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:58PM
ozoneocean at 3:15PM, July 29, 2007
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Saudi Arabia is a pretty stable country. The same elements there that want to attack the US also want to destroy the ruling system in Saudi. By giving weapons to Saudi Arabia the US is actually simply supporting an ally that faces much the same threats and issues. Don't confuse terrorists and disaffected groups for the official government there! They want to get rid of the Saudi government even MORE than they want to attack the US lol!
That's part of the reason the US gives them arms and support…

As for Israel's concern: they just want to be the biggest dog in the region, and the largest beneficiary of US aid. Of course they worry if Saudi gets more weapons! They're basically scared, armed, European colonists surrounded on all sides by people who would rather they left, but that doesn't mean Saudi will ever attack them… Anything's possible but it's unlikely. Besides, the Israelis are a very clever bunch, they'd win.

What if terrorist elements seize control in Saudi though? Well that means 100% likelihood of a US invasion (maybe backed by Israel and certainly by the UK), to restore power to the ruling family. They'd never get a chance to organise and train themselves to use those complicated weapons systems.

Jeez, seems to me people are simply more concerned about the aesthetics and the principal of the thing more than the reality. That said, perception is EVERYTHING in politics and it's a smart move for politicians to criticise this deal and try to block it, as well as use it as more ammunition to attack Bush and Co. And so what if Saudi doesn't get these weapons? They'll only get ones just as good from other suppliers anyway…

-Heh, not that I support Bush and Co.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
subcultured at 4:26PM, July 29, 2007
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bush is a whore
all for money

no wonder people think he let 9/11 happen
if we get retaliated he'll just blame it on shoddy intellegence
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
Phantom Penguin at 6:19PM, July 29, 2007
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ozoneocean
Saudi Arabia is a pretty stable country. The same elements there that want to attack the US also want to destroy the ruling system in Saudi. By giving weapons to Saudi Arabia the US is actually simply supporting an ally that faces much the same threats and issues. Don't confuse terrorists and disaffected groups for the official government there! They want to get rid of the Saudi government even MORE than they want to attack the US lol!
That's part of the reason the US gives them arms and support…

As for Israel's concern: they just want to be the biggest dog in the region, and the largest beneficiary of US aid. Of course they worry if Saudi gets more weapons! They're basically scared, armed, European colonists surrounded on all sides by people who would rather they left, but that doesn't mean Saudi will ever attack them… Anything's possible but it's unlikely. Besides, the Israelis are a very clever bunch, they'd win.

What if terrorist elements seize control in Saudi though? Well that means 100% likelihood of a US invasion (maybe backed by Israel and certainly by the UK), to restore power to the ruling family. They'd never get a chance to organise and train themselves to use those complicated weapons systems.

Jeez, seems to me people are simply more concerned about the aesthetics and the principal of the thing more than the reality. That said, perception is EVERYTHING in politics and it's a smart move for politicians to criticise this deal and try to block it, as well as use it as more ammunition to attack Bush and Co. And so what if Saudi doesn't get these weapons? They'll only get ones just as good from other suppliers anyway…

-Heh, not that I support Bush and Co.

Yes many terrorist cells also want to take out the house of Saud.
But Saudi Arabia is also one of the largest terrorist sponsor states in the world! Many of their fighters are not only in Iraq, but Chechnya, Pakistan, and India!

We talk about planting and helping democracys but Saudi Arabia is one of those most oppresive regimes in the world. We help them while tons of small building countries keep struggling to defend themselfs.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 6:50PM, July 29, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
Yes many terrorist cells also want to take out the house of Saud.
But Saudi Arabia is also one of the largest terrorist sponsor states in the world! Many of their fighters are not only in Iraq, but Chechnya, Pakistan, and India!

We talk about planting and helping democracys but Saudi Arabia is one of those most oppresive regimes in the world. We help them while tons of small building countries keep struggling to defend themselfs.
The “state” doesn't actually sponsor terrorists… that's just the way “pundits” describe the situation. Yes, a lot of money does come out of Saudi for terrorists and a lot of people there do support “terrorist” causes, but again that's an aesthetic argument: the weapons sales from the US have nothing to do with it, you guys are just disagreeing with the sales on principal.

Aesthetic arguments are dangerous… I mean, the US really is a “state sponsor” of terrorism, both directly and indirectly (throughout Africa and South America mainly but all throughout South East Asia in the past), so the term is relative and mostly meaningless and rather silly in a lot of ways.

The real situation is this: governments (like the US) provide aid and supply help where they think it will give them the most beneficial influence to further their aims. By selling arms to those Arab countries they make a LOT of money, support the US arms industry against Russian, European and South African competitors, develop a closer relationship with those governments etc… This is what matters.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
lefarce at 7:33PM, July 29, 2007
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It's less of a concern of funding terrorism, directly or otherwise. It's more of learning from past mistakes, and the fact that we're just mixing our money into the middle of another conflict, thus making us part of something else that we don't really need to be a part of. The more we pump our cash and resources into the middle east, the more we'll have to deal with it in more ways than one.

So I'm not so much worried about them having weapons as I am other cells and groups going “fucking Americans are funding our enemies! Time to step things up!”.

History has repeated it's self TWICE with this kind of thing. We really don't need it to happen three times.

It's not about principle. It's about common fucking sense.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
Vindibudd at 12:15PM, July 30, 2007
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Dammit, Ozone, there you go making me agree with you again. What he said, people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
ccs1989 at 7:34PM, July 30, 2007
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What I find weird is that we're giving money to the country that is the oppressive dictatorship. Not only that but one filled with people who hate America. 79% of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Sure, if the Wahabists ever came to power we'd intervene to stop them, but by then they'd have control of the Saudi military and therefore the $20 Billion worth of weapons that we're giving the nation right now.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
muridiana at 9:26PM, July 30, 2007
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Well american goverments did push up saddam hussian to deal with the trouble back then with iran and we all know how that ended they messed with polpot and his lot they messed with vietnam and so on american goverments ahve always messed around in things they should have left alone. The only time they seem to have learned this is in africa after the black hawk down incident. They much like the old soviet union have always had their fingers in too much mess. Why there is si much anto American sentiments, you stick ya nose in someone elses bussiness they get worked up about it. Hell the lesson goes back to the roman empire lol. In the end it comes back and bites you on the ass. I know this sounds a extreme way of putting things sorry about that… but there is a point somehwere pretty much the stay out of it argument wins, they can't hate you if you don't do anything. As for the saudi thing its because they are weary about Iran probably but this as I think some here have said will only make iran more hostile.
I told you It was broken, but would you listen? Oh no, now look where we are…it's……so….pretty….hey! We are dead!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
StaceyMontgomery at 6:08AM, July 31, 2007
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OzoneOcean is right… but let's be clear about how this works. We give Saudi Arabia money every time we buy gas, essentially. They use the money to A) be dictators and B) fund Wahabism around the world. There was no widespread Jihadist movement once, and then the Saudis spent a fortune to create one.

It seems like a bad plan.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
TnTComic at 8:30AM, July 31, 2007
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ozoneocean
The “state” doesn't actually sponsor terrorists… that's just the way “pundits” describe the situation. Yes, a lot of money does come out of Saudi for terrorists and a lot of people there do support “terrorist” causes, but again that's an aesthetic argument: the weapons sales from the US have nothing to do with it, you guys are just disagreeing with the sales on principal.

There's far more evidence of Saudi ties to terrorism than Iraqi ties to terrorism, and that was one of the reasons given for the invasion of Iraq. Honestly, its baffling to me that you would try to minimize the involvement of Saudi Arabia in terrorism, when Saudi Arabia is the reason that America was targeted by the terrorists in the first place.

But I digress.

You say we're “just disagreeing with the sales on principal”, to which I ask, what would you prefer we disagree with it on? Yes, I am opposed to the United States sending weapons to a Middle East nation to fight other nations that i'm supposed to fear. That is my principal. It is a principal that is based on historical precedent. Based on what's already happened, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect one of the Bush daughters to lead us to war in Saudi Arabia in 20 years to find the WMD's that we just sold them.

Not to mention, it is simply more of the same policy that breeds terrorists. Terrorists don't hate us for our freedom, they hate us for poking our nose into their business, for throwing our weight around like this deal is doing. This is simply more of the same scatterbrained policy that got us into this mess in the first place.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
lefarce at 9:52AM, July 31, 2007
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We aren't giving them money. We're giving them advanced weaponry that they DON'T HAVE. Their military capability will be more powerful than before, and this is only going to antagonise cells/groups/countries who already have an anti-America agenda. Sure they'll find something to get angry about eventually, but I doubt it will be anything as big as 20 billion in weapons.

And then, Israel is upset (and rightly so, since the Saudis don't quite play nice with the Israelis), so to shut them up we're giving them more troop reinforcement and trying to keep the missiles far far away from Israel. You know what that sounds like to me?

A lack of confidence that the Saudis can't have missiles and not aim them at another vital US ally. And if that happens, and Israel is hit with American made missiles on a botched plan to fight a proxy war against Iran…

Holy Christ, how anyone can not see the massive potential for disaster is beyond my comprehension. Yes it's about principle, yes it's about past mistakes… but what it is above all else is about common sense. If we really want to help over there, I'm sure there are better, safer, ways to spend 20 billion. The more we arm an unstable region the worse it's going to get not just for America, but for everyone else who is over there as well. You don't stop a fire by dousing it will gasoline.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
Vindibudd at 10:37AM, July 31, 2007
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ccs1989
What I find weird is that we're giving money to the country that is the oppressive dictatorship.

The sooner you recognize that the game is about a nation's security, the better you will understand how the world works. The United States cares about one thing and one thing only, the security of the United States. If the rest of the world are dictatorships and they are friendly with the U.S. then the U.S. will be happy with dictatorships. And the same goes for “democracies.” Furthermore, every other nation on Earth is concerned about one thing and one thing only, their own security as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Vindibudd at 10:43AM, July 31, 2007
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lefarce
We aren't giving them money. We're giving them advanced weaponry that they DON'T HAVE. Their military capability will be more powerful than before, and this is only going to antagonise cells/groups/countries who already have an anti-America agenda….

Because you know, if we don't arm our allies, those groups will not be mad at us anymore. I mean, God-forbid that the most powerful military the world has ever known make a few terrorists unhappy. We might have to pack in our carrier groups and go home.

lefarce
… The more we arm an unstable region the worse it's going to get not just for America, but for everyone else who is over there as well. You don't stop a fire by dousing it will gasoline.

A better analogy is the one where we are preventing the fire by arming the allies that we have. If we don't arm anyone, then they are going to arm themselves, and the Iranians could easily arm themselves better than everyone else. The right move is to give your neighbor the shotgun to deal with the potential home invaders rather than just watching things happen and hope the home invaders don't get too mad with us.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
lefarce at 11:28AM, July 31, 2007
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EDIT: I'm going to re-write this…

Basically we're stuck with two evils.

Evil One: We sell 20 billion in American made missiles in a risky deal that upsets our allies in order to indirectly combat Iran.

Pros: Iran may be taken care off, Saudis gain more trust in America.

Cons: The deal has a huge potential to fail. It upsets our (at the moment) solid ally Israel, since Saudi Arabia doesn't get along with them, they could use the missiles to attack or threaten Israel, damaging their view of America. There is also the fact that the region is very unstable. What is once theirs could be someone else's in a matter of days. This type of plan has also failed historically several times for America, only proving to destabilize the middle east more and antagonise others into developing anti-American agendas.

Evil Two: We leave it be, and tell the Saudis to duke it out themselves. We take a neutral standpoint.

Pros: We spend less money and we don't “pick the scab” by provoking Iran via proxy, and Israel by handing weapons to their enemy. Many terrorist cells could look at this with a favorable eye as we aren't helping their enemy.

Con: Saudi Arabia is a valued ally, one we really really need. By not selling them weapons we can damage our image towards them. We could also provoke some other pro-saudi cells into taking up arms against America.



Conclusion? We're dealing with a “lesser two evils” here, and I think thats not selling the weapons. We need Saudi Arabia, but the other plan just has a huge margin for failure. The goal of the first plan is an admirable one, one which we need, but the consequences of failure in that plan are catastrophically bad, and at the moment it's not something I think America should risk.

I'm not saying it's going to go wrong, but the likelyhood of this deal resulting in what we're hoping it will result in is very very slim. I say we just don't risk it.

However, either way, saying that they'll “just get them on their own” is a weak argument. The idea isn't that they'll get them, it's that our names will be on them, and that we'll be directly backing them.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
TnTComic at 12:00PM, July 31, 2007
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Vindibudd
ccs1989
What I find weird is that we're giving money to the country that is the oppressive dictatorship.

The sooner you recognize that the game is about a nation's security, the better you will understand how the world works. The United States cares about one thing and one thing only, the security of the United States. If the rest of the world are dictatorships and they are friendly with the U.S. then the U.S. will be happy with dictatorships. And the same goes for “democracies.” Furthermore, every other nation on Earth is concerned about one thing and one thing only, their own security as well.

How quickly you forget the repeated foreign policy failures dealing with the Middle East. Iran itself is a perfect example. Iraq is another. How many times do we have to arm a country in the Middle East, and then find them as our enemy years later, before you will admit that this is a poor way to go about securing peace? The end result of our nation's Middle Eastern policy for the past 50 years is less security, not more. And we haven't learned a damn thing from the repeated failures, apparently.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
ozoneocean at 6:26PM, July 31, 2007
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TnTComic
Honestly, its baffling to me that you would try to minimize the involvement of Saudi Arabia in terrorism, when Saudi Arabia is the reason that America was targeted by the terrorists in the first place.
I don't minimise anything, simply separate “state support” for terrorism from what is actually the case; support by various pressure groups in the community. By the previous logic we could say that the USA was a state supporter for the violent terrorist group the IRA against Britain, when in fact the IRA only ever had support from various civilian elements within the US.

“Reasons” given for the invasion of Iraq were all public spin anyway, we can forget them.

If the argument against the US selling weapons to Saudi Arabia is based on the fact that sometimes a few terrorists come from there, then it's fatuous -I'm talking about “principals” in THAT instance and no other so I don't care how anyone redefines it. As we know, the threat of terrorism is vastly exaggerated, and as has been discussed- the real problem is interference and actually encouraging unrest through problematic foreign policy: the sort of thing that gives rise to terrorism in the first place. Well I agree with that. :)

If the argument against the US selling weapons to Saudi Arabia concerns the problems of tricky foreign relations, stirring up trouble in a troubled region etc, then I'm in agreement with that was well; indeed it's probably better to simply refrain from giving any "military" aid whatsoever.

All those countries will acquire advanced weapons systems regardless, that's a %100 certainty. They'll also make billions from their oil no matter who they sell it to. But having it be seen that the US is the one with a special relationship with them is the thing, especially concerning defence! Is that entirely good, bad, neutral, or whatever? It depends…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
lefarce at 7:11PM, July 31, 2007
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Someone
all those countries will acquire advanced weapons systems regardless, that's a %100 certainty. They'll also make billions from their oil no matter who they sell it to. But having it be seen that the US is the one with a special relationship with them is the thing, especially concerning defence! Is that entirely good, bad, neutral, or whatever? It depends…

Basiclly my point as well. It's not about them getting them, or the battle that they need to fight. It's that we'll be tied closer to it, and in many ways that can have disasterous results. However, if it's a successful move (although the odds are slim) the results can be amazingly good. There is a potential to gain massive support from the Saudis (something we could really use) and to have someone else take care of Iran for us.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:31PM
TnTComic at 4:11AM, Aug. 1, 2007
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Any of you catch this?

http://www.imagepup.com/up/UE08_1185966516_ShahNuclearPlants.jpg

Puts our foreign policy in perspective.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
mapaghimagsik at 9:14PM, Aug. 1, 2007
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Part of the conservative line is happily repeating foreign policy failures. Kissenger's hand is in Iraq, and tries to get into Iran.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM

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