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Old 05-15-2012, 08:29 PM  
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, 08:35 PM   #3
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"It doesn't have to be good for us," right Direckshun?
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
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, 08:38 PM   #5
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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   #6
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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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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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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I should also mention that going from autocracy to democracy is insanely difficult to do, even if you've managed to overthrow your rulers.

The United States sucked at it, initially. We earned our democracy and then suppressed the majority of the population from voting because they either had vaginas or dark skin. We continued enslaving an entire race. And I'm not even including the Articles of Confederation disaster that almost tore the country apart from the inside.

It's very, very possible that, if any of these populations were hypothetically able to overthrow their rulers, the result would be messy, disasterous, and with an oppressive new ruling class. We shouldn't snuff out democracies or in this case, aid the suppression of democratic protesters, simply because we think we know best. What's best is going to unfold over decades, and it will be messy for a while. But the first step must be the homegrown overthrow of the current regimes.

We have a homegrown overthrow, a patriotic part of our history we regard as near-sacred. A couple centuries later, we're working against other people doing the same.

**** that.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #9
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I applaud and give a big **** You to the arab spring as well.

iran is supplying the shia protesters, kill them all, who gives a shit.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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I've grown a little tired of trying to figure out which group of animals is less blood-thirsty than the rest. Let's do what's best for us and let them sort it out.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:02 PM   #11
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Two things, also, about the Obama administration claiming to only sell Bahrain materials that cannot be used against the protesters:

1. So they say. Who the **** knows what they sold. Even if they did sell them tear gas and the like, they wouldn't say it publicly for fear of stirring up even more bad feelings. Far as we know, that's exactly what they did.

2. It doesn't matter one way or the other. If you continue to do dealings with these people, you (a.) legitimize them, and (b.) they suffer virtually no consequences from using terrible force against their own people. The only way to go against a country willing to shit all over us is to enforce an embargo. I know we have a lot of military dealings with them, but those don't necessarily have to change. Just stop enriching them more than you have to.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:03 PM   #12
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Two things, also, about the Obama administration claiming to only sell Bahrain materials that cannot be used against the protesters:

1. So they say. Who the **** knows what they sold. Even if they did sell them tear gas and the like, they wouldn't say it publicly for fear of stirring up even more bad feelings. Far as we know, that's exactly what they did.

2. It doesn't matter one way or the other. If you continue to do dealings with these people, you (a.) legitimize them, and (b.) they suffer virtually no consequences from using terrible force against their own people. The only way to go against a country willing to shit all over us is to enforce an embargo. I know we have a lot of military dealings with them, but those don't necessarily have to change. Just stop enriching them more than you have to.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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I've grown a little tired of trying to figure out which group of animals is less blood-thirsty than the rest. Let's do what's best for us and let them sort it out.
If we're selling weapons to an oppressive regime, we're not "letting them" do shit.

We're actively engaged, and we're taking the side of a ****ing King who doesn't give a shit about his people, authorizing the murder of citizens in the streets.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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Who gives a shit? My only concern was that the Bahrain GP went ahead. ANd it did.

Good for me.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #15
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If we're selling weapons to an oppressive regime, we're not "letting them" do shit.

We're actively engaged, and we're taking the side of a ****ing King who doesn't give a shit about his people, authorizing the murder of citizens in the streets.
We're not taking sides. They wanted to buy weapons, and we sold them weapons. If they wanted donuts, we'd sell them donuts. If the other side wants to buy weapons or donuts, sell them weapons or donuts...then let them sort it out.
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