Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saudi Arabia Is Packin'

Here comes a clown, I gotta hold my ground
Hear the slug comin, when it come you fall down

The region just got more interesting...
U.S. Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia

Published: July 28, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 27 — The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.

Saudis’ Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials (July 27, 2007) The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia, which includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels, has made Israel and some of its supporters in Congress nervous. Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed that the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years.

Is this a surprise, really? The West Bank is moving towards peace with Israel, and the offer of normalized relations with the region is on the negotiating table, so why wouldn't the US move to reward Saudi Arabia for its future efforts?

It's horrible, cynical and dangerous, but hey! Who else is going to counter Iran when the US leaves Iraq? Yes, this deal is four times the amount of Iranian defense spending in one year, and Saudi Arabia has some of the world's top air force fighters. This is post-Iraq withdrawal planning plus realpolitik thrown in for good measure.

Interesting side note here, regarding Jordan and Palestine, historically (pre-1967) part of the same region of the British Mandate and of the same ethnic group:
WASHINGTON - President Bush and Jordan's King Abdullah II held private talks Tuesday on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, with the king urging Bush to get more involved in the recently renewed process.

Which is all above board, of course, since Jordan is going to be at the table when a settlement is made...but then...
Bush aides did not want to discuss in detail a meeting they deemed a private dinner. Gordon Johndroe, Bush's foreign affairs spokesman, said Bush enjoyed the talks and "remains committed to two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.", which makes my hyper cynical self, well why would we assume the opposite? Because Abdullah has said in the past that a two-state solution is unworkable [meaning Palestine may join up with Jordan]? I'm not sure Jordan would want that headache, but perhaps some accomodation where Israel hands over security to the Jordanian forces may be in order, and Jordan begins some administrative takeover of the now more vulnerable West Bank.

We'll see.

Canada's MSTRKRFT shows its work ethic here:

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