March 6, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
China has announced that they will be increasing their funding for the military by 11.2 percent in 2012 on top of the 12.7 percent increase in 2011.
This move seems to be quite obviously intended to act as a counterweight to the American military’s shift to focus on the Asia-Pacific region announced by President of the United States Barack Obama last year.
As I have repeatedly pointed out, this policy shift does not involve just the United States, but indeed is actually a global expansion of the U.S.-NATO military machine involving complex multilateral ties.
This would bring the total official spending on the People’s Liberation Army to 670.3 billion yuan, or around $110 billion, for this year, according to Reuters.
This announcement is China’s first military budget since Obama announced the new policy and when tensions are quite high in the South China Sea dispute. I have noted the antagonistic approach taken by the United States in this dispute multiple times now, and it only makes sense that China would seek to arm themselves more heavily.
I have posited that America might actually be trying to goad China in the dispute as they have ignored all of China’s reasonable requests. China has asked countries without a direct interest in the dispute to stop meddling, which is exactly what the United States is doing, but of course that has been ignored.
Numerous countries have maritime disputes with China and the United States has clearly chosen sides in the dispute, even arming some of the nations involved along with carrying out joint military exercises.
January 13, 2012
The New Republic
By David Keyes
“Why in the world would we be selling jets to Saudi Arabia. Weren’t all of the 9/11 hijackers from that country?” –KTRN
On December 29, the White House announced that it was sending nearly $30 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, part of a $60 billion package—the largest arms deal in history. President Obama has come a long way since his 2008 declaration that “nothing is more important than us no longer borrowing $700 billion or more from China and sending it to Saudi Arabia.” Apparently it was the borrowing part that really irked him—not the arming of a gender-apartheid, theocratic dictatorship.
The justification for the arms sale is simple. The deal will provide at least 50,000 jobs to Americans—good PR at a time of great economic distress. More importantly, it is intended to counter the very real threat of Iran, a regional menace that has brutally repressed its own people and sponsored terrorism worldwide. But arming one theocratic dictator to stop another is not only bad policy, it is profoundly immoral.
To see why, just consider the reaction of one Saudi dissident to the news. “America has never supported human rights in Saudi Arabia,” a leading female democracy activist told me on condition of anonymity. “America wants stability no matter what the price. But Saudi Arabia has become a police-state. My friends and I are being arrested, especially writers, activists, and reformers. It’s becoming North Korea with less military power. Someone may be reading what I’m writing to you now.”
Indeed, after signing a recent reformist petition, prominent liberal Mohammed Saeed Taib was banned from traveling, even to his daughter’s upcoming wedding. Shortly thereafter, Saudi poet Ali Al Domaini was called in for questioning. One by one, reformers are being intimidated, arrested, and silenced—and these are the lucky ones. Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar and Abdul Hamid Al Fakki were beheaded in recent months for “witchcraft.”
Yet the United States is sending the $60 million dollars without demanding any human rights reforms in return. The late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson once said, “We Americans are fortunate to have at our service the greatest economy the world has ever known. It can do more than enrich our lives. It can be pressed into service as an instrument of our commitment to individual liberty.” Both Democratic and Republican administrations have missed crucial opportunities to condition U.S. aid and arms on the rights of Saudi women to drive, Christians to pray, and gays to live. The White House could have demanded an end to the industry of Saudi textbooks calling Jews and Christians “apes and pigs.” Instead, it compromised its most cherished ideals and sacrificed liberty in the name of stability. As a result, it will get neither.
December 29, 2011
By David Jackson
“Why are we selling weapons to any other country? Didn’t we sell weapons to Iraq too – how did that turn out?” –KTRN
The United States has completed a $29.4 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration announced today, saying the deal “will support more than 50,000 American jobs.”
The sale may also be seen as a message to Iran.
Under the agreement signed by the governments of each country, the United States will provide advanced F-15SA combat aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
The sale comes amid U.S. and Saudi concerns about the military intentions of Iran.
The Saudis are concerned about Iranian efforts to influence events in Iraq, which is on the Saudi border; the U.S., meanwhile, has cautioned Iran against any effort to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil transport traffic, saying “any disruption will not be tolerated.”
Iran’s government warned this week it might restrict the Strait of Hormuz if Washington levies new sanctions targeting Iran’s crude exports over concerns about its nuclear program.