Two other arguments one hears most for maintaining the arms sales to Arab states are: (1) If we don't sell them arms, other countries will; and (2) Such sales bring money back into this country. A nation that prides itself on doing the right thing should abide by a higher standard than that of other arms providers. For the high ideals we profess, but don't always attain, consider the lyrics from "America the Beautiful," which includes, "Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine!"
Foreign aid that produces results in America's interest is a good thing. Helping to fight AIDS in Africa, for example, meets both American humanitarian and policy goals. Sending aid to Arab nations that teach in their schools, broadcast in their media and preach from their minbars that America and Israel are evil and must be destroyed serves neither of these objectives. At the very least, U.S. aid to Arab states should be tied to a change in ideological and theological behavior in those countries.
Lack of aid isn't the problem. The oil resources of many Arab states give them more than enough to care for their own people. Lack of modernity is the problem. So long as many Arab states continue in their feudalistic mentality and suppression of half their population (women), prosperity and the "blessings of liberty" will not wish to pay them a visit.
No matter how these numerous uprisings turn out -- and some could turn out very badly for the people of those nations and for U.S. policy -- America's policy of arms sales to Arab states definitely needs to change.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.