Lost amid the national distractions of a Super Bowl and Super Tuesday, the clock is running down on an immense sale of precision-guided munitions and other advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and several of the smaller oil-rich Gulf States the Saudis dominate. Unless two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress adopt resolutions of disapproval by the 14th of February, these transactions will proceed. All other things being equal, it is a safe bet the Saudis will augment their already vast arsenal with these new American arms.
After all, many in official Washington recognize that the growing aggressiveness of Iran is a threat to U.S. interests in the region – from Iraq to Israel to the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf. Even before Bush administration efforts to prevent Tehran’s Islamofascist mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons were undone by a politicized National Intelligence Estimate, the step of up-arming rival nations was an obvious move. In the aftermath of that NIE, it became the only game in town.
Thanks moreover to the Saudis’ considerable influence in U.S. corridors of power – cultivated over many years and at a cost of untold millions of dollars spent on lavish retainers, trips and other inducements for politicians, former officials and lawyer-lobbyists – the latest weapon sale has been greased like one of the Gulfies’ petrodollar-powered “sovereign wealth” acquisitions. Apart from a hundred-or-so, mostly Democratic congressmen who have declared their opposition to such further arming of the Saudis, scarcely a discouraging word has been heard about the whole matter.
President Bush’s latest sop to the Saudis nonetheless provides something valuable – what educators call a “teaching moment.”
The notion that the United States’ vital interests will be served by providing the Saudis and their minions with billions of dollars in additional arms fundamentally rests on the proposition that Saudi Arabia is indeed a “reliable ally.” Would anybody in their right mind propose such sales if we had reason to believe they might be used against us – either by the original owners or by a successor government? Presumably not.
How about if the arms themselves are not turned against us but other actions taken or supported by the government in question are profoundly hostile?As with the Saudis’ selective fight with al Qaeda – working with us to repress that terrorist organization’s operations inside Saudi Arabia but helping enable its operations abroad, thanks to support from Saudi royals, government agencies, businesses, front groups and “charities” – playing double-games at America’s expense does not qualify one for “reliable ally” status.
The question is: If Americans were made fully aware of the nature and extent of the Saudis’ double game, would they support the pending arms deal? At the very least, it seems unlikely they would support policies, such as the decimation of Israel now being pursued by the Bush administration in part in the hope that Saudi Arabia will play a moderating role in the region, helping to birth a peaceable Palestinian state and a stable, pro-U.S. Middle East.
Before acquiescing to the pending Saudi arms sale, it therefore behooves legislators to establish the extent to which the Kingdom and its surrogates are contributing materially to the imperiling of the United States’ constitutional form of government, its society and its capitalist economic system.
For example, our representatives should determine and make public information about Saudi involvement in the following hostile activities:
* Promoting Shariah, what amounts to a theo-political-legal code that repressively governs Saudi society and that the Saudis (and other Islamofascists) seek to impose on all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. Such an agenda involves, among other horrors, the overthrow of representative governments like ours – violently if necessary – and is, therefore, patently seditious and illegal.
* Funding and operating thousands of mosques, madrassas and Islamic centers around the United States and elsewhere around the world in the service of the Saudi’s Shariah program. An as-yet-unpublished survey of 100 of these facilities in America has confirmed that the vast majority of them feature incitement through sermons and proselytizing by Saudi-trained imams and/or hateful Saudi-produced literature, videos and textbooks.
* Last but hardly least, seeking to co-opt and exploit America’s capital markets via investments said to be “Shariah-compliant.” The arbiters of such compliance are Saudi-trained “authorities” whose stated purpose is to promote Shariah. The more candid among them have declared such financial arrangements – also doing business as “Islamic banking,” “ethical finance” and “structured finance” – to be “financial jihad,” yet another instrument to be used to bring about the Islamists’ goal of a global caliphate by destroying the West from within.
We will have no one to blame but ourselves if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia persists in such behavior as we fail to hold them accountable for their actions. The first step towards doing the latter would be to take advantage of the present teaching moment before contemplating further rewarding the Saudis for their double-game.