When some corners of the right-wing make noises that Obama is an Eeeevil Seekrit Mooslim!!, I don’t imagine they have shit like this in mind as their proof:
Barack Obama is to go ahead with plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft and other weapons worth up to $60bn (£39bn), the biggest arms deal in US history, in a strategy of shoring up Gulf Arab allies to face any military threat from Iran. According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration is also in talks with the Saudis about possible naval and missile-defence upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more over five to 10 years. (emphasis mine)
“But…but…I thought we were valiant defenders of Freedom Democracy and Apple Pie against the forces of fundamentalism?!?” I bet you still believe in the Tooth Fairy too, huh?
Notice the so-familiar-it’s-pitiful strategic reasoning for this deal: looks like somebody is taking the “Black Reagan*” nickname seriously. This time we’ve even thrown in the twist of both parties to this global chess match in our names being theocracies!
Plans to go ahead with the package, which has been under secret negotiation since 2007
But the Dem base is just being unrealistic and shrill. Go on…
have been known for some time and have raised angry objections from Iran and to a lesser extent from Israel, an even closer US ally which is anxious to maintain its strategic edge over any potential adversary in the Middle East.
No duh it was going to raise objections with Iran. The entire point of the deal is to object to Iran. That couldn’t be made any plainer if each jet had “suck it, Iran!” hand-painted on it. As for Israel, they already have a strategic edge, it’s called nuclear weapons. If that plus the the backing of the U.S. government isn’t enough, what is?
The US is the world’s largest arms supplier and the Saudi deal alone is said to support up to 75,000 jobs, according to firms such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and General Electric. Last year, despite a recession that hit global arms sales, the US increased its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a congressional study. (emphasis mine)
There’s always that angle. For the U.S. congress, war is just another Keynesian stimulus. Sure, everyone can’t just pick up and go make weapons, but whatever.
US-Saudi ties suffered a serious dip after the 9/11 terrorist attacks exposed al-Qaida’s Saudi background to ordinary Americans, but the military relationship is in good order. Analysts say the deal will significantly boost Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend its airspace against aircraft and missiles, to undertake “very painful” deterrent strikes and to police coastal areas.
It will also lock Riyadh into a close military relationship with Washington for at least another 20 years. Questions about democracy, freedoms and human rights in the kingdom clearly have a lower priority than security issues money.
Fixed that for you.
(* – For reading this far, your reward is a huge, completely unrelated tangent: If you had been wondering, the reason I adopted the “Black Reagan” nickname for Obama wasn’t just a hat-tip to IOZ‘ ability to get a rise out of certain of his audience when he’s the topic of discussion, but because in a specific way I thought it made sense. My reference at the time was to the frequent overblown references to their respective communication “skills”. In reality, Reagan just rehashed acting tricks, on top of being graded on a curve anyway. Obama, meanwhile, sounds about how you’d expect virtually anybody with his academic background to speak, but gets the double-whammy of subtly prejudiced “he speaks so well!” and having followed Dubya, whose Spanish is actually better than his English. In the process of elevating so highly how political figures talk, the substance of what they’re actually saying tends to get dropped somewhere near Timbuktu.)