What It's All About
War profiteering around the imperium
by Christopher Deliso
As bombs somehow continue to kill and maim ordinary Lebanese and Israeli civilians, an extraordinary article from Reuters has revealed the bottom line about what forces are really at work behind America's laissez-faire attitude toward the Israeli war on Lebanon:
"The Bush administration spelled out plans yesterday to sell $4.6bn of arms to moderate Arab states, including battle tanks worth as much as $2.9bn to protect critical Saudi infrastructure.
"The announcement came two weeks after the administration said it would sell Israel its latest supply of JP-8 aviation fuel valued at up to $210m to help Israeli warplanes 'keep peace and security in the region.
'"Indeed, there's nothing like "peace and security." After all, that's what the whole ideological ferment now brewing among neoconservatives is all about, right? To create nothing other than a new and "democratic" Middle East through sustained warfare by proxy – a plan now adopted by President Bush and Tony Blair, his evil little helper elf from across the pond.
Fueling the Fire: Aid to Israel and the Arabs
Behind the democratic façade, of course, is sheer and simple greed: the desire to maximize profit for the American weapons industry, by fueling a regional arms race. America is now using the specter of Israeli might to scare the hell out of its neighbors. Racketeering on an epic scale, disguised by the occasional recourse to diplomacy, is the ugly reality behind America's Middle East policy.
The full facts recounted in the above article point to a specific cause-and-effect relationship. Coming after its decision to rush bunker-busting precision-guided bombs to Israel, the U.S. announcement came as some mixture of a gesture of friendship, a consolation prize, and a threat.
The upcoming sales are heavy on air power. According to Reuters, $808 million of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter gunships would go to the United Arab Emirates. Another $400 million of AH-64 Apache helicopters are promised to the Saudis, while Bahrain would get a $252 million consignment of Black Hawks.
Don't worry that Arab ground forces might feel left out. They will also have something to cheer about, thanks to the U.S. beneficence. Steadfast ally Jordan, for example, is in line for up to $156 million in upgrades for 1,000 of its M113A1 APCs. Saudi Arabia is to get 58 "older-generation" M1A1 Abrams tanks, which would then be modernized; plus, the 315 Abrams tanks the kingdom already possesses "would be improved with such things as air-conditioning and infrared sights for the commanders as well as the gunners." Finally, little Oman is set to pick up $48 million of Javelin anti-tank missiles.
The tactic used with all these Arab lackey administrations is something like this: go ahead, keep (some of) your oil billions, just keep buying your security from us. Because we have Israel on a long, long leash indeed…
Rest of the article here..