SEPT. 2001, THE SAUDIS INVADED AND MURDERED THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS. BUSH, LONG IN BED WITH THE SAUDIS, THINK BIG BUSH SAUDI OIL – CARLYLE GROUP, $ FOR PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY… INVADED THE SAUDIS ENEMY SADDAM. IT WAS THE SECOND TIME THE BUSH FAMILY HAD DEFENDED THE SAUDIS FROM THEIR ENEMIES, OL’ SADDAM.
HILLARY BILLARY HAVE TAKEN A STAGGERING FORTUNE FROM THE SAUDIS,AND VIRTUALLY ALL MUSLIM DICTATORS. HILLARY HAS VOTED FOR ANY AND ALL WARS THAT WOULD BENEFIT SAUDIS – HALLIBURTION – CARLYLE GROUP INTERESTS.
WE ALL CRINGED AT THE SIGHT OF OBAMA BENDING OVER TO KISS THE HEM OF THE ROYAL SAUDIS LARDBUCKET, WHO IS LISTED BY PARADE.com AS No. 5 OF THE PLANETS WORST DICTATORS. DOES OBAMA SMELL SAUDIS LOOT FOR HIS PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY?
Obama’s Reset: Arab Spring or Same Old Thing?
How the President and the Pentagon Prop Up Both Middle Eastern Despots and American Arms Dealers
By Nick Turse
If you follow the words, one Middle East comes into view; if you follow the weapons, quite another.
This week, the words will take center stage. On Thursday, according to administration officials, President Obama will “reset” American policy in the Middle East with a major address offering a comprehensive look at the Arab Spring, “a unified theory about the popular uprisings from Tunisia to Bahrain,” and possibly a new administration approach to the region.
In the meantime, all signs indicate that the Pentagon will quietly maintain antithetical policies, just as it has throughout the Obama years. Barring an unprecedented and almost inconceivable policy shift, it will continue to broker lucrative deals to send weapons systems and military equipment to Arab despots. Nothing indicates that it will be deterred from its course, whatever the president says, which means that Barack Obama’s reset rhetoric is unlikely to translate into meaningful policy change in the region.
For months now, the world has watched as protesters have taken to the streets across the Middle East to demand a greater say in their lives. In Tunisia and Egypt, they toppled decades-old dictatorships. In Bahrain and Yemen, they were shot down in the streets as they demanded democracy. In the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, they called for reforms, free speech, and basic rights, and ended up bloodied and often in jail cells. In Iraq, they protested a lack of food and jobs, and in response got bullets and beatings.
As the world watched, trained eyes couldn’t help noticing something startling about the tools of repression in those countries. The armored personnel carriers, tanks, and helicopters used to intimidate or even kill peaceful protesters were often American models.
For decades, the U.S. has provided military aid, facilitated the sale of weaponry, and transferred vast quantities of arms to a host of Middle Eastern despots. Arming Arab autocrats, however, isn’t only the work of presidents past. A TomDispatch analysis of Pentagon documents finds that the Obama administration has sought to send billions of dollars in weapons systems -- from advanced helicopters to fighter jets -- to the very regimes that have beaten, jailed, and killed pro-democracy demonstrators, journalists, and reform activists throughout the Arab Spring.
The administration’s abiding support for the militaries of repressive regimes calls into question the president’s rhetoric about change. The arms deals of recent years also shed light on the shadowy, mutually supportive relationships among the U.S. military, top arms dealers, and Arab states that are of increasing importance to the Pentagon.
Since the summer of 2009, President Obama, by way of the Pentagon and with State Department approval, has regularly notified Congress of his intent to sell advanced weaponry to governments across the Middle East, including Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under U.S. law, Congress then has 30 days to review the sale before the Pentagon and associated military contractors enter into more formal contract talks with individual nations.
In July 2009, according to an analysis of Pentagon documents by TomDispatch, notifications were sent to Congress regarding the sale to Kuwait of Browning machine guns, advanced targeting systems for armored vehicles, KC-130 aircraft, and technical support for F/A-18 attack aircraft. Later that summer, the White House announced plans to outfit both Bahrain’s and Jordan’s militaries with advanced air-to-air missiles to the tune of $74 million and $131 million, respectively, to equip the United Arab Emirates with $526 million worth of Hellfire missiles and other materiel, to send more than $2 billion worth of advanced surveillance and navigation equipment to aid Saudi Arabia’s air force, and to see to it that Egypt’s military received a shipment of new Chinook troop transport helicopters and other high-tech equipment valued at $308 million.
In the fall of 2009, Pentagon documents show a $220 million bid by the administration to outfit the Jordanian military with advanced rocket systems and tactical vehicles, a proposed sale of advanced fighter aircraft, parts, weapons, and equipment to Egypt worth as much as $3.2 billion, and another to equip Kuwait’s military with $410 million in Patriot missile technology. Then, in November and December of that year, Congress was notified of plans to sell helicopters to Iraq, Javelin guided missiles to Jordan, Hellfire missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, jet engines, and other military materiel to Egypt, and helicopters and thousands of advanced bombs, among other high-tech equipment, to the UAE.
Last year, notifications also went out concerning the sale of F-16 fighters, armored personnel carriers, tank ammunition, and advanced computer systems to Iraq, C-17 military transport aircraft for Kuwait, mobile missile systems for Bahrain, and Apache attack helicopters and tactical missile systems for the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia, however, was the big winner by far with a blockbuster $60 billion agreement for helicopters, fighter jets, radar equipment, and advanced smart bombs that will represent, if all purchases are made, the largest foreign arms deal in American history.
Deficits, Ducats, and Dictators
The agreement to broker the sale of tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia sheds light on the Pentagon’s efforts to shield itself -- and its favored arms dealers -- from the shakiness of the American economy, as well as President Obama’s stated goal of trimming $400 billion from projected national security spending of $10 trillion over the next 12 years. Last October, the Pentagon started secretly lobbying financial analysts and large institutional investors on behalf of weapons makers and other military contractors. The idea was to bolster their long-term financial viability in the face of a possible future slowdown in Defense Department spending.
Since then, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and other Pentagon powerbrokers have made regular trips to New York City to shore up Wall Street’s support for weapons manufacturers. “We are in this for the long term. We need industrial partners and financial backers who think and act likewise,” Lynn told investors at a recent defense and aerospace conference in that city.
Along with Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, and Brett Lambert, the deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, Lynn is creating a comprehensive plan to sustain and enrich weapons makers and other military contractors in the coming years. “We’re going sector by sector, tier by tier, and our goal is to develop a long-term policy to protect that base as we slow defense spending,” Lynn said. America’s Middle Eastern allies are seen as a significant partner in this effort.
It’s often said that the Pentagon is a “monopsony” -- that is, the only buyer in town for its many giant contractors. As has been amply demonstrated since Barack Obama took office, however, it's not true. When it comes to the Middle East, the Pentagon acts not as a buyer, but as a broker and shill, clearing the way for its Middle Eastern partners to buy some of the world's most advanced weaponry.
And Arab allies have distinctly done their part for the Pentagon. From 2006 to 2009, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service issued late last year, the United States accounted for 52.4% of all arms agreements inked with Middle Eastern nations -- to the tune of $47.3 billion. (By comparison, the United Kingdom, in second place in arms sales in the region, accounted for only 15.7% and third-place Russia just 12.8%.)
The purchases of the chief buyer in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, have been climbing steadily. From 2002 to 2005, Saudi Arabia inked $15.3 billion in arms-transfer agreements with the United States. From 2006 to 2009, that figure jumped to $29.5 billion. The multi-year $60 billion deal in 2010 signaled far more of the same and will help ensure the continuing health and profitability of Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and other mega-defense contractors even if Pentagon spending goes slack or begins to shrink in the years to come.
The Pentagon’s reliance on the deep pockets of Arab partners across the Middle East, however, has a price, which may help to explain the Obama administration’s willingness to support dictators like Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak until their ousters were givens, and to essentially look the other way as security forces in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and elsewhere, sometimes using American-supplied equipment, suppressed pro-democracy activists. After all, the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, along with regional partner Jordan -- are set to spend $70 billion on American weaponry and equipment this year, and as much as $80 billion per year by 2015.
“The Middle East Military Air Market: Revenue Opportunities and Stakeholder Mapping,” a recent analysis of just one sector of defense spending in the region by U.S.-based defense consultants Frost and Sullivan, projects yet more growth in the future. “[The] regional military air market is… set to generate revenues of $62.9 billion between 2010 and 2020,” it reports. Frost and Sullivan analysts add that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are likely to be the biggest spenders and will continue to buy most of their arms through the United States for the sake of “political influence.”
For his part, Deputy Secretary of Defense Lynn wants to make it ever easier to put sophisticated military technology in the hands of such deep-pocketed allies. On his recent trip to New York, he spoke of streamlining the process by which tanks, jets, and other advanced weapons systems are sold around the world. “To keep our base healthy, it is in our interest for defense companies to compete globally,” he explained, while deriding the current system for selling arms abroad as “archaic” and in need of an overhaul. “The barriers that we place at this point in the export control system look something like a marriage of the complexity of the Internal Revenue Service with the efficiency of the Department of Motor Vehicles,” he said. “It’s something we have to change.”
Sending a Message
In February, in Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, and Tikrit, Iraqi protesters took to the streets, focused on ending corruption and chronic shortages of food, water, electricity, and jobs. In response, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has in recent years consolidated power with U.S. military backing, unleashed government security forces. They arrested, beat, and shot protesters, leaving hundreds dead or wounded. In the weeks since, the Obama administration has not only failed to forcefully rebuke the Maliki regime, but has announced its intent to bolster those same security forces with another $360 million in military materiel ranging from radios to radar systems.
In March, the United Arab Emirates sent security forces into neighboring Bahrain to help put down pro-democracy protests. Early the next month, UAE security forces disappeared leading human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and, in the days thereafter, detained at least four other prominent democracy activists. Before the month was out, however, the Obama administration announced its intention to arm the UAE with advanced Sidewinder tactical missiles.
Saudi Arabia also sent troops into Bahrain and has been cracking down on nonviolent activists at home with increasing vigor. At the beginning of this month, for example, Human Rights Watch reported the arrest of “at least 20 peaceful protesters, including two bloggers.” Within days, the Obama administration notified Congress of its intent to see the Saudi security forces receive $330 million worth of advanced night vision and thermal-imaging equipment.
This year, U.S.-coordinated arms sales have resulted in the delivery of helicopter gunships to Yemen, navy patrol boats to Iraq, and the first of six cargo aircraft to the UAE. At the moment, used armored personnel carriers are being refurbished for shipment to Iraq later this year.
Whatever “reset” may be in the works for Obama administration policies in the Middle East, the president and the Pentagon are already on the record. Since 2009, they have sought to arm some of the most anti-democratic regimes on the planet, while repeatedly highlighting the need for democratic reform and now for a fresh start in the region. Even as the “reset” begins, the Pentagon is leaning ever more heavily on rich rulers in the Arab world to prop up the military-corporate complex at home. If the Pentagon and the weapons makers have their way, the provisional successes of the demonstrators in Egypt and Tunisia will turn out to be outliers as an Arab Spring turns distinctly wintry.
In June 2009, President Obama traveled to Cairo University to give a heavily hyped and much-lauded speech (“On a New Beginning”) to "the Muslim world.” In his remarks, the president spoke of an American Cold-War-era attitude “in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.” Then came his first call for a reset of sorts in the region. “I've come here to Cairo,” he said, “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” Before that summer was out, however, Obama notified Congress of his intent to send Cold War-era autocrat Hosni Mubarak a shipment of new helicopters to beef up his security forces.
During that speech, Obama talked of his “unyielding belief” that all people yearned for free speech, a say in their governance, the rule of law, freedom from corruption, and other basic civil liberties. These weren’t, the president insisted, just American ideals, they were human rights. “And that is why we will support them everywhere," he said to waves of applause.
In its actions, however, the Obama administration almost immediately left its reset rhetoric in the dust. Whether the president does any better in the Arab Summer of 2011 will depend mightily on whether he can stand up to the Pentagon and its weapons-makers.
Nick Turse is a historian, essayist, investigative journalist, the associate editor of TomDispatch.com, and currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. His latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso Books). You can follow him on Twitter @NickTurse, on Tumblr, and on Facebook. This piece is part of Turse’s ongoing coverage on U.S. military impacts on the Arab Spring and the third in his TomDispatch series on the subject.
US Supreme Court declines to hear case of 9/11 families
By Joe Kishore
30 June 2009
The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case brought by families of 9/11 victims against Saudi Arabia, four members of the Saudi royal family, a Saudi bank and a charity. The action lets stand a lower court ruling that the Saudi members cannot be held liable in US courts.
The Obama administration supported the Saudi monarchs, who were accused of financially supporting several of the individuals involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The administration last month intervened to ask the high court to reject the appeal.
The family members claim that Saudi princes contributed to charities that funded Al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers.
In August 2008, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a 2006 district court ruling that the Saudi officials and entities were protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The families argued that lower courts had made conflicting rulings on the scope of sovereign immunity, and that the Supreme Court should therefore intervene.
The Justice Department has sought furiously to prevent the release of documents assembled by lawyers for the families, which, according to a New York Times report, “provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family.” The government has had copies of the documents destroyed and has sought to prevent judges from even looking at them.
The US government has worked systematically to conceal from the American people evidence of Saudi support for at least two of the hijackers, part of a broader cover-up of the many unanswered questions that still surround the 9/11 attacks.
The documents gathered by the 9/11 families—including a classified section of the 2003 joint congressional inquiry into the attacks—likely include material on Nawaf al-Hamzi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two Saudi nationals who were aboard the planes that crashed on 9/11. They were known by US intelligence to be members of Al Qaeda at least since 1999.
Despite their previous association, the two men were allowed into the US, where they found accommodations with the help of a Saudi intelligence agent (Omar al-Bayoumi) and, later, an FBI asset (Abdussattar Shaikh). Al-Bayoumi received financing from Princess Haifa, the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar.
The suit filed by the families focuses solely on the role of Saudi Arabia. However, the more fundamental question is the role of sections of the American state. The Saudi royal family has had long and intimate ties with American intelligence, and the broader exposure of Saudi links to the attacks threatens to unravel the entire official story of the September 11 attacks.
Obama administration seeks to quash suit by 9/11 families
By Barry Grey
26 June 2009
The Obama administration has intervened to quash a civil suit filed against Saudi Arabia by survivors and family members of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The suit seeks to hold the Saudi royal family liable, charging that it provided financial and other support to Al Qaeda and was thereby complicit in the hijack bombings that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington DC.
According to an article by Eric Lichtblau in the June 24 New York Times, documents assembled by lawyers for the 9/11 families “provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family.” However, the article states, the documents may never find their way into court because of legal challenges by Saudi Arabia, which are being supported by the US Justice Department.
The administration is taking extraordinary measures to kill the suit and suppress the evidence of Saudi support for Al Qaeda and complicity in the 9/11 attacks. Last month, the Justice Department sided in court with the Saudi monarchy in seeking to halt further legal action. Moreover, it had copies of American intelligence documents on Saudi finances that had been leaked to lawyers for the families destroyed, and is now seeking to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.
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UNDERSTANDING WAHHABIST INFILTRATION OF AMERICA
November 05, 2007
Understanding the Wahhabist Infiltration of America
Part of the reason many Americans don’t appreciate the significance of Osama bin Laden’s declarations of war against the United States and the West is because they are completely oblivious to the in roads radical Islam has made within the United States. Radical Islamists (i.e., Islamofascists, Wahhabis) understand that the conflict must take place on multiple fronts: militarily, economically, diplomatically and ideologically. Because they understand the complexity of the confrontation and the ability of the West to adapt to challenges – albeit lethargically – they employ multiple tactics in their aggressive pursuit of victory. The West’s addiction to sensationalism, epitomized by our limited attention to detail, unless it plays in the superficial 24 hour news cycle, facilitates the successful infiltration of radical ideology into Western society.
Much to the chagrin of the multicultural and the proponents of diversity, those who promote radical Islamist ideology thrive on the fact that the politically correct culture of the West – and the United States in particular – deems it inappropriate to question religious practices or teachings. With this politically correct “wall of separation” in place little if any scrutiny is given to the information disseminated within any given religious institution. This directly facilitates the ideological advancement of Wahhabism, the most radical and puritanical form of Islam, within the mosques of the United States.
To accurately understand the depth of infiltration of the Wahhabist ideology on American soil we need to examine the ideology and how it is advanced within the United States.
Wahhabism is a fiercely fundamentalist form of orthodox Sunni Islam. After a brief examination of its tenets it is clear that it is one of division, domination and hate.
Wahhabism originated circa 1703 and is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabists believe that any and all evolution of the Islamic faith after the 3rd century of the Muslim era – after 950 A.D. – was specious and must be expunged. Consequently, Wahhabism is the form of Islam that Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri practice.
This radically fundamentalist dogma is fanatically bigoted, xenophobic and lends itself to serve as the catalyst for much of the Islamofascist aggression being perpetrated around the world. It is a wrathful doctrine that rejects the legitimacy of all religious philosophy but its own. Wahhabism condemns Christians, Jews and all other non Muslims, as well as non Wahhabi Muslims. Wahhabists believe it is a religious obligation for Muslims to hate Christians and Jews.
It stresses a worldview in which there exist two opposing realms that can never be reconciled Dar al Islam, or House of Islam, and Dar al Har, or House of War, also referred to as Dar al Kufr, House of the Infidel. When Muslims are in the Dar al Har, they must behave as if they were operatives in a conflict who have been tasked with going behind enemy lines. The Wahhabist ideology permits Muslims to exist “behind enemy lines” for only a few reasons: to acquire knowledge, to make money to be later employed in the jihad against the infidels, or to proselytize the infidels in an effort to convert them to Islam.
Wahhabist doctrine specifically warns Muslims not to imitate, befriend or help “infidels” in any way. It instills hatred for United States because we are ruled by legislated constitutional law rather than by tyrannical Sharia law. Wahhabists are instructed by edict to, above all, work for the creation of an Islamic state where ever they may dwell.
It is because of the Wahhabist ideology’s cruel and unyielding fanaticism that we in the United States should be concerned with its prevalence within the mosques of our nation.
After the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 – an unprecedented action by the fundamentalists of the Shi’ite sect, the Saudi Arabian government responded by coming to terms with the fundamentalist Wahhabist movement of the Sunni sect. The Saudis, in return for a declaration of non aggression, began to finance the construction of mosques in countries around the world. An estimated $45 billion has been spent by the Saudis to finance the building and operational costs of mosques and Islamic schools in foreign countries, including in North America.
Through the funding of mosques, Islamic Centers and their operations, Saudi Arabia is exporting the Wahhabist ideology. It is not unusual to find that the presiding cleric in any given mosque within the United States is a Wahhabist and that his teachings have been sanctioned and financed by the Saudi government and vetted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Two of the more predominant mosques in the United States that have received funding from the Saudi government, and that adhere to the Wahhabist ideology, are the al Farooq mosque in Brooklyn, New York, and the King Fahd mosque in Los Angeles, California. Both mosques welcomed a number of the hijackers who piloted the planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001.
In 2005, Freedom House, a 501(c)(3) organization concerned with the mounting threats to peace and democracy, released a report titled, Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques. This examination of a comprehensive sampling of mosques and Islamic Centers across America shows that literature available in an overwhelming number of them indicates deference for the Wahhabist ideology.
Among some of the edicts – or fatwas – issued through this literature:
?? “[I]t is basic Islam to believe that everyone who does not embrace Islam is an unbeliever, and must be called an unbeliever, and that they are enemies to Allah, his Prophet and believers.”
?? “[O]ur doctrine states that if you accept any religion other than Islam, like Judaism or Christianity, which are not acceptable, you become an unbeliever. If you do not repent, you are an apostate and you should be killed because you have denied the Koran.”
?? “Be dissociated from the infidels, hate them for their religion, leave them, never rely on them for support, do not admire them, and always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law.”
?? “Never greet the Christian or Jew first. Never congratulate the infidel on his holiday. Never befriend an infidel unless it is to convert him. Never imitate the infidel. Never work for an infidel. Do not wear a graduation gown because this imitates the infidel.”
?? “Those who reside in the land of unbelief out of their own choice and desire to be with the people of that land, accepting the way they are regarding their faith, or giving compliments to them, or pleasing them by pointing out something wrong with the Muslims, they become unbelievers and enemies to Allah and his messenger.”
?? “To be true Muslims, we must prepare and be ready for jihad in Allah’s way. It is the duty of the citizen and the government. The military education is glued to faith and its meaning, and the duty to follow it.”
With this ideology being taught in mosques across America, there is little reason for speculating as to why hatred exists for American principles, culture and ideology not only within the Islamic community, but among the societally disenfranchised and ideologically vulnerable in the United States who are being indoctrinated into this radical form of Islam.
This brings to the forefront a bothersome question. Why aren’t those of the American Fifth Column, who are predisposed to seeking out the haters among us, calling out the Wahhabist bigots who preach their hate in American mosques?
We in the West – and especially in the United States – must immediately seek out a greater understanding of not only the basic elements of the threat of radical Islam, but the extent to which it has already infiltrated our society. If we continue to remain ignorant of the facts surrounding this very real war against our way of life, we will lose our nation with nary a shot being fired.
Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques
Basics Project: Terrorism – Ideology
Basics Project: Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam
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