News Release

Mideast Arms Deals

CNN reports: “The United States is cutting new arms and military assistance deals with Middle Eastern countries in an effort to counter terrorism and improve stability in the region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday.”

AS’AD ABUKHALIL
AbuKhalil is author of several books on the Mideast including The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power. He said today: “The significance of the deal flies against the rhetoric of the Bush administration that it wants real Arab-Israeli peace and that it is keen on spreading liberty and freedoms in the region.

“The real, undeclared Bush doctrine is to embrace regimes that support U.S. economic, military and political dominance at the expense of the welfare of the people of the region. Israel has a longstanding brutal military occupation and Saudi Arabia probably has the worst human rights record worldwide. It has aggravated Sunni-Shia tensions to the delight of the Bush administration — which seeks to mobilize Sunni public opinion against Iran and Hizbullah. The Saudis have also turned much of the Arab media into a platform for raw U.S. propaganda.

“These exorbitant arms sales should be read as a last-ditch effort by the Bush administration to keep matters stable for the tyrannies of the region, and to reward those who stood with him in his unending wars.” AbuKhalil is a professor in the department of politics at California State University, Stanislaus.
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FRIDA BERRIGAN
Senior program associate at the Arms and Security Project of the New America Foundation, Berrigan said today: “You can’t get there from here. Stability in Iraq, a nuclear-free Iran, peace in the Middle East: These critical and worthy goals cannot be achieved through the barrel of a gun, the point of a precision missile or the belly of a fighter plane. The Bush administration’s recent announcement of tens of billions in new high-tech weapons and military aid for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gulf States shows a grim determination to ignore the lessons of history.

“Colombia, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Iraq in the 1980s, the mujahedeen … in each of these instances U.S. weapons, military aid and training have undermined security, been used against civilian populations, absorbed resources better devoted to human development and sowed the seeds of future conflicts.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan at (541) 484-9167.