Last month, the president announced his intention to sell Saudi Arabia some of our most sophisticated weapons. This is a bad idea, and you should let your representative know it right away.
The proposed $20 billion deal includes “satellite-guided weaponry” and “high-tech munitions,” including 900 JDAM bombs. The JDAM is arguably the smartest “smart bomb” in our arsenal. Its electronics can “guide the bomb to its target regardless of weather.” And, it is also resistant to the jamming of its GPS system.
According to Reuters, the deal appears to be part of an “effort to persuade Saudi Arabia . . . to help contain Iran.” I am concerned about Iran, of course, but the Saudis do not need this kind of “persuasion.” They already have a good reason: Their oil is controlled by a Shiite minority that Iran, also Shiite, could exploit.
Then there is the nature and actions of the Saudi regime. Defense expert Frank Gaffney, Jr. reminded Washington Times readers this week of what the deal’s proponents hope they will forget: The Saudis are not a “reliable ally” of the United States.
The Saudi government funds and operates “mosques, madrassas, and Islamic centers” in the United States and elsewhere. These institutions spread the Salafist, or Wahabi, version of Islam practiced in the kingdom—the same kind that prohibits the practice of Christianity, that lets girls burn to death rather than letting them exit a burning building in their pajamas.
What’s more, it is the version of Islam that inspires bin Laden and other extremists and seeks to dominate other, more moderate, versions of Islam and destroy non-Muslim nations like ours. Without Saudi petro-dollars, Salafism would be confined to the Arabian peninsula.
We ought to recall also that Saudi Arabia has never recognized Israel’s right to exist. While it is difficult to imagine what good JDAMs would do against al Qaeda or the kingdom’s restive Shiites, it is easy to imagine how they could be used against Israel.
Or us, for that matter. It is common knowledge that Saudi security and intelligence forces contain al Qaeda sympathizers. Saudi intelligence files were found on al Qaeda computers in Afghanistan. It is not a stretch to imagine some of these weapons finding their way into terrorists’ hands and not unreasonable to fear that these weapons might one day be used against us.
It is a tribute to “the Saudis’ considerable influence in U.S. corridors of power” that such a ridiculous deal would ever be proposed. It is also, as Gaffney and others have pointed out, a consequence of our dependence on Saudi oil. That is why Gaffney and others advocate a mixture of conservation and smarter development of domestic energy sources as an indispensable part of our security policy.
That is the medium- to long-term answer. The immediate response is to call your representatives in Congress today and tell them to oppose the sale. Congress has until this Thursday, February 14, to disapprove the sale.
The only thing that stands between the Saudis and those bombs are people like you. If Congress does not hear from you, the sale will go through, and the next time you read about these bombs, the news might be very grim.