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Old 05-15-2012, 08:29 PM   Topic Starter
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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US to Arab Spring: **** You



http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/38eb21ee-9...#axzz1uzn9UKsN

US arms sales to Bahrain to resume
By Geoff Dyer in Washington
May 12, 2012 12:09 am

The US is to resume selling arms to Bahrain a little more than a year after a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters and despite continued claims of human rights abuses in the Gulf kingdom, which is a key US ally.

The Obama administration said that the arms sales, which Congress has been notified about, would include upgrades for Bahrain’s defence force, but would not involve weapons that could be used against demonstrators.

The decision to restart arms sales was the result of “national security interests”, said Victoria Nuland, state department spokeswoman. It follows a visit to Washington this week by Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s crown prince, who met with Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, and Leon Panetta, defence secretary.

Home to the US 5th fleet, Bahrain has been a key partner of the US in the Gulf for more than 60 years and the military facilities in the country are a central plank in the Pentagon’s efforts to deter Iran.

Other US allies in the region, notably Saudi Arabia, have also put pressure on Washington to maintain its support for Bahrain’s ruling Sunni Muslim royal family, which has faced widespread unrest among the majority Shia Muslim population.

However, the administration came under heavy pressure to scale back its ties last March after Manama declared a state of emergency in response to protests following the entry of Saudi and Emirati troops. In October, $53m in planned arms sales were put on hold pending an investigation of alleged human rights abuses.

A senior state department official said that the new arms sales would help boost the country’s external defences and would include air-to-air missiles, components for F-16 fighter jets and potentially a naval frigate. However, they would not include Humvees, stun grenades or tear gas.

“We are mindful of the continued human rights issues,” said a senior official. “Right now they are at an impasse and the violence is a result of that.”

In a speech last November, Hillary Clinton reflected on the conflicts of interest thrown up by the Arab Spring, particularly in Bahrain. It was fair for people to ask “why does America promote democracy one way in some countries and another way in others?” But she said that each country in the region was different and the administration needed to weigh the risk to US forces, the potential threat from al-Qaeda and the need to keep oil supplies flowing. “It would be foolish to take a one-size-fits-all approach and barrel forward regardless of circumstances on the ground,” she said.

As tensions with Iran have escalated in recent years, the US has been keen to use arms sales to boost the military capabilities of its allies in the region, most notably the $60bn deal with Saudi Arabia which was announced in 2010.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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What is the Arab Spring? Radicals overthrowing radicals in an attempt to replace them with even radicalers?
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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What is the Arab Spring? Radicals overthrowing radicals in an attempt to replace them with even radicalers?
The people across the Middle East haven't been rising up against the ruling class because the ruling class isn't "radical" enough. They've been rising up against them because their lives are shit and the government isn't doing shit about it, and in many cases making it worse. With, of course, some Islamist elements trying to pounce on the opportunity, which one can't ignore.

That's the whole dynamic of the Spring, though. Look up social contract theory, the guiding principle of the Declaration of Independence. The purity at the heart and soul of that was driving the Spring. And in many places, still is.

With moves like this, the US is just further entrenching itself in the "we don't care as long as we get to make money" -- if we're willing to make money off antidemocratic dictators killing their people in the streets, then we're empty suits.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The people across the Middle East haven't been rising up against the ruling class because the ruling class isn't "radical" enough. They've been rising up against them because their lives are shit and the government isn't doing shit about it, and in many cases making it worse. With, of course, some Islamist elements trying to pounce on the opportunity, which one can't ignore.

That's the whole dynamic of the Spring, though. Look up social contract theory, the guiding principle of the Declaration of Independence. The purity at the heart and soul of that was driving the Spring. And in many places, still is.

With moves like this, the US is just further entrenching itself in the "we don't care as long as we get to make money" -- if we're willing to make money off antidemocratic dictators killing their people in the streets, then we're empty suits.
The average guy living in the Middle East is a primitive savage who is deluded by oppressive religion and lives in a sea of ignorance.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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The average guy living in the Middle East is a primitive savage who is deluded by oppressive religion and lives in a sea of ignorance.
This is very true.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:30 PM   #6
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The average guy living in the Middle of America is a primitive savage who is deluded by oppressive religion and lives in a sea of ignorance.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The people across the Middle East haven't been rising up against the ruling class because the ruling class isn't "radical" enough. They've been rising up against them because their lives are shit and the government isn't doing shit about it, and in many cases making it worse. With, of course, some Islamist elements trying to pounce on the opportunity, which one can't ignore.

That's the whole dynamic of the Spring, though. Look up social contract theory, the guiding principle of the Declaration of Independence. The purity at the heart and soul of that was driving the Spring. And in many places, still is.

With moves like this, the US is just further entrenching itself in the "we don't care as long as we get to make money" -- if we're willing to make money off antidemocratic dictators killing their people in the streets, then we're empty suits.
You mean we are selling weapons to a country in which we have a critical naval base in? Interesting. If we are selling to anti democratic dictators for money's sake alone, then are we selling to Syria? How about Iran? How about almost any other dictator on earth? While you might not agree with what Bahrain is doing, they are a strategic ally in the region and one we can't afford to lose. It is in our best interest in the region to maintain the status quo. You might not like that, but it is what it is and that has been US ploicy since at least the end of WWII.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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You mean we are selling weapons to a country in which we have a critical naval base in? Interesting. If we are selling to anti democratic dictators for money's sake alone, then are we selling to Syria? How about Iran? How about almost any other dictator on earth? While you might not agree with what Bahrain is doing, they are a strategic ally in the region and one we can't afford to lose. It is in our best interest in the region to maintain the status quo. You might not like that, but it is what it is and that has been US ploicy since at least the end of WWII.
I'm pretty sure we can lose Bahrain as an ally and be just fine.

But the world's not our playground, and we shouldn't treat it that way. We should not fund people who are fighting democracy by shooting and killing peaceful protesters from helicopters. Just because we can make a quick buck doing it.

I don't know that it is our best interest to entrench dictators in the Middle East. I actually think we'd get more out of it by actually being an appealing nation to do business with, not incite hatred by manufacturing the tear gas canisters used on peaceful protesters.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I'm pretty sure we can lose Bahrain as an ally and be just fine.

But the world's not our playground, and we shouldn't treat it that way. We should not fund people who are fighting democracy by shooting and killing peaceful protesters from helicopters. Just because we can make a quick buck doing it.

I don't know that it is our best interest to entrench dictators in the Middle East. I actually think we'd get more out of it by actually being an appealing nation to do business with, not incite hatred by manufacturing the tear gas canisters used on peaceful protesters.
If we help destabilize governments in Arab countries, that will make them love us.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I'm pretty sure we can lose Bahrain as an ally and be just fine.

But the world's not our playground, and we shouldn't treat it that way. We should not fund people who are fighting democracy by shooting and killing peaceful protesters from helicopters. Just because we can make a quick buck doing it.

I don't know that it is our best interest to entrench dictators in the Middle East. I actually think we'd get more out of it by actually being an appealing nation to do business with, not incite hatred by manufacturing the tear gas canisters used on peaceful protesters.
I do not work for the Department of State so I can't really say we can or can't afford to lose Bahrain as an ally, so I will take your word on that one.

The world is not our playground, I agree. We should not involve ourselves in it, but that is not US foreign policy. Do these protesters truly want democracy or do they want a change at the highest levels of government? Replacing a dictator with a leader you prefer more who might not be better is not always the answer. These people and culture have NEVER known democracy what makes you think they want that and not just a regime change? Egypt might be the litmus test for what is to come. A dictator was replaced, now will he be replaced with a better and more tolerant government? Time will tell.

Whether it is in our best interest or not to entrench dictators in the ME remains to be seen.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
if we're willing to make money off antidemocratic dictators killing their people in the streets, then we're empty suits.

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #12
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"It doesn't have to be good for us," right Direckshun?
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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"It doesn't have to be good for us," right Direckshun?
It doesn't.

If I had to choose to sell arms to an antidemocratic regime murdering its protesters by shooting at them from helicopters, and not doing that, then I'm making the decision that doesn't benefit me. But it does what it can to apply pressure to a murderous regime.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #14
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It doesn't.

If I had to choose to sell arms to an antidemocratic regime murdering its protesters by shooting at them from helicopters, and not doing that, then I'm making the decision that doesn't benefit me. But it does what it can to apply pressure to a murderous regime.
You're adorable.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #15
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The Obama administration said that the arms sales, which Congress has been notified about, would include upgrades for Bahrain’s defence force, but would not involve weapons that could be used against demonstrators.
LOL... yes... remember kids, these are only for self defense. Now who wants to shoot some shit?

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