Because of the difference in time zones between the US and East Asia, I can read tomorrow's news today, and even comment on it before it happens! It's kind of like time travel....
On July 29, just a few days before the US Congress went on its August recess, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns held a press briefing in Washington outlining how the George W Bush administration plans to arm Sunni states in the Middle East to contain Iranian expansion.
So Bush is going to arm the Sunni states in the Middle East.
This just keeps getting better and better.
Taken in conjunction with the escalating charges from the White House that Iran is aiding the insurgency in Iraq, and the threat to brand the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization (a step up from listing Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism), this new round of arms sales indicates a regional strategy that is looking beyond the fighting in Iraq to consider the entire region to be an interlinked theater of war.
We've had problems with Iran ever since Dhimmi Carter helped oust the Shah, and now Iranian President Adminijihad's calls to destroy Israel are of concern.
But, given that the Kingdom of Hatred across the gulf from Iran has as one focus of its hatred the Shiites, and given that the Kingdom of Hatred is so involved in fomenting Holy Terror in Iraq against US and Allied forces, and given that the Kingdom of Hatred has control of nuclear weapons, I can't help but wonder if all the saber-rattling against Iran isn't foolish (as are so many other policies of the present administration).
A US President with a clue might try speaking softly and carrying a big stick; such a President might even consider a charm offensive. The US can always get nasty if need be, and, if nothing else, would at least then be able to say that we had given peace a chance.
But such thinking flies in the face of the desires of the Wahhabi overlords who are obviously calling the shots here.
The US$20 billion in planned military aid to Saudi Arabia and the other five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) will run in parallel with increased military aid to Israel ($30 billion) and to Egypt ($13 billion) over the next decade. According to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the arms sale to Cairo will "strengthen Egypt's ability to address shared strategic goals" with Israel and the other Sunni Arab states - the best way to build new diplomatic and security alliances is to pull otherwise diverse states together against a common enemy.
Why are we giving money to the oil sheikhdoms? It's bad enough that Saudi Arabia funds terror and supplies jihadis with petrodollars, but do we have to give them our tax dollars to do it with as well?
President George W. Bush, Thursday, September 20, 2001:
"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
If it is not yet obvious to you whose side President Bush is on....
The arms deal with Israel was signed in Jerusalem on August 16. At the signing, Burns put the aid to Israel in the context of the Iran-Syria axis and its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, all enemies of the Jewish state. But he then went on to say, "We have said to the congressional leadership that we intend to seek their support for increased military assistance to our friends in the Gulf: to Saudi Arabia and to Kuwait and to Bahrain and to Qatar, [to] the United Arab Emirates and to Oman. All of this together represents a signal from the United States that our country is strong in this region, that we intend to be a good friend to our allies and our partners in this region." This was an explicit setting of Israel and the Sunni Arabs together in a US-backed security alignment.
It should be remembered that last summer, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan openly criticized Iran's Hezbollah proxy for raiding into Israel, triggering more than four weeks of heavy fighting. The Arab states gave Israel the diplomatic space it needed to mount military operations aimed at crippling Hezbollah in Lebanon.
It should also be remembered that Saudi Arabia funds a great deal of terror worldwide, and supplies the textbooks that teach Palestinian Arab children to hate Israel.
In his March 29 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Burns outlined the pivotal role Lebanon plays in regional dynamics: "We are also working with France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others to signal our strong support for Prime Minister [Fouad] Siniora's democratically elected government in Lebanon, to enforce the arms embargo imposed by Security Council Resolution 1701, and to prevent Iran and Syria from rearming Hezbollah.
Isn't Hezbollah bragging that they have already rearmed, and are ready for a new round? Or, am I getting my terrorists confused?
"We have stationed two [aircraft] carrier battle groups in the Gulf, not to provoke Iran, but to reassure our friends in the region that it remains an area of vital importance to us. And at the regional level, Secretary Rice last autumn launched a series of ongoing discussions with our Gulf Cooperation Council partners, as well as Egypt and Jordan, regarding issues of shared concern, including most especially the threat posed by Iran." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel will not lobby against the new arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as it has against previous sales.
He should lobby against it....
Admittedly, the expensive, high-tech stuff that we sell likely won't be used against Israel. But, US funding of it will free up petrodollars for suicide bombers, who will be used not only against Israel, but against US forces in Iraq.
All paid for by the US taxpayer!
Iran, with its support for militias in foreign lands, its supposed nuclear ambitions, and its aggressive Shi'ite faith, poses a much greater threat to the Sunni Arab world than does Israel, which has no intention of toppling Arab regimes and converting their people to its religious doctrines. Iran does have these ambitions, directed at both Jews and Sunni Muslims. As a nation-state with vast oil reserves and substantial diplomatic support from Russia and China, Iran is much stronger than the ad hoc al-Qaeda terrorist group. Al-Qaeda can kill people with suicide bombers in marketplaces, but it cannot seize state power. The terrorism groups sponsored by Tehran are far more capable and dangerous as projections of Iranian power.
Who are we saying took out the World Trade Center, hit the Pentagon, and was trying to hit some other target on 9/11? Was it Al-Qaeda, or was it Iran?
We started out going after Al-Qaeda for 9/11, then we went after Iraq (none of the 9/11 terrorists were Iraqis), now we're after Iran.
Meanwhile, now nearly six years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still at large, with nuclear weapons, and threatening something that will make us forget all about 9/11!
Less than four years after Pearl Harbor, the tyrants who were responsible for that had done bin Kil'd!
On August 9, the Tehran Times, the self-proclaimed "loud voice of the Islamic Revolution", highlighted a speech given in Lebanon by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that attacked the proposed US arms sales as an attempt to "drown the Mideast in wars". The speech was given at an event marking the group's alleged "victory" in last summer's Lebanon war, and follows Nasrallah's claim that his fighters have been fully rearmed and trained for a new round of conflict.
Look who's talking! But, Saudi Arabia isn't innocent here, either.
Ever since the pro-Western, secularizing shah of Iran was overthrown by the radical ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, the Middle East has been ripped by the Shi'ite-Persian/Sunni-Arab divide. Far more have died in this sectarian struggle than have ever fallen in combat with Israel or Western "imperialists".
Keep that paragraph in mind, too, when viewing Iraq. Iran knows the Saudi Wahhabis want to radicalize the Sunni world and destroy the Shia world. Iran also knows the Saudis are arming militias and terrorists in Iraq, and supplying jihadi fighters. Iran's interference in Iraq goes beyond trying to help fellow Shiites; Tehran is trying to place Saudi Arabia's belligerent King George in check.