The very questionable past of American weapons deals to the Middle East
September 29, 2007 1 Comment
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The USA has again raised the ire of its European allies with plans for Massive arms deals with several governments of the Middle East.
How can the USA be encouraging democratic exchange by selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in weapons? It is well know that this is a repressive regime which is a fertile breeding ground for Islamic terrorists. If we had never installed permanent military installations in Saudi Arabia the name of Osama Bin Laden would have never became a household word and the World Trade Center would still be part of the New York skyline.
Also at a summit meeting at the end of July, top US officials announced a deal to send major new weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and other governments in the Middle East to counterbalance Iran’s growing influence there.
Such arms deals have a pattern in Washington as the USA has often sanctioned selling weapons to questionable regimes in the past regardless of the consequences. Often the selling of these weapons is a disastrous mistake yet still the USA does not learn from its past mistakes and our soldiers have to stare down weapons sold to these countries by the US government.
After the Shah of Iran was placed in power with CIA help in 1953 in what is known as Operation Ajax. The Iranian government became the USA’s most important ally in the Middle East after Israel. In return for giving the USA access to Iran’s oil fields, the US sold the Shah an arsenal of modern weapons. The Shah was given state-of-the-art fighter jets, new rockets and powerful tanks to strengthen his despotic hand in the region. Because of these arms sales, Iran became a leading military power in the Persian Gulf. Some 40,000 US military advisors taught Iranians how to use the weapons.
After the Islamic fundamentalist regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini toppled the Shah in 1979 and the 52 American hostages were taken Washington realized that its weapons had been placed in the wrong hands. Then Washington turned around and armed the Iranian neighbor Iraq’s Dictator Saddam Hussein.
Then from 1980 until 1988 Iraq waged a tumultuous and disastrous war against Iran, this was of course supported by US weapons and know how from the US government. Washington also offered and Saddam Hussein accepted classified aerial reconnaissance photographs that in turn allowed Iraq to attack Iran with more precision than would have otherwise been possible. The USA would regret this later as well when the US went to war with Iraq in the first gulf conflict.
How could anyone forget that the USA also supplied Afghan freedom fighters in the 1980s with money and arms against the occupying Soviet troops? Of course one of the USA’s best customers was Osama Bin Laden via the CIA. In Afghanistan our fighter planes must still be very careful because of the Stinger missiles that are fired at them which the USA sold to them to battle the Russians.
Condoleezza Rice attempted to defend the latest weapons deals during her recent tour of the Middle East. She stated, “We are determined to maintain the balances the military and strategic balances within the region,” she said.
As the world has seen in the past and present the USA does not really understand the Middle East, case in point the war in Iraq which has become our latest Vietnam. When will the USA ever learn its lessons and stop arming the world’s petty dictators as the US is the largest arms supplier in the world.
Our soldiers are being killed with weapons supplied by the US government in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. Many innocent civilians are being maimed and killed as well, all for the sake of the oil the almighty dollar and US corporate profits. When will Washington ever learn or will they continue down the path to destruction as they have in the past, only time will tell and the future looks bleak for the citizens of the world and the USA.