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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 05-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Anytime you want to actually rebut any of my previous dismantlings of your arguments in this thread, be my guest.
Your "dismantling" of my argument consisted of saying that you intend to hold your nose while voting for the guy selling arms to the oppressive regime in the OP. Forgive me for not being moved by the power of your convictions.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #107
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
Your "dismantling" of my argument consisted of saying that you intend to hold your nose while voting for the guy selling arms to the oppressive regime in the OP. Forgive me for not being moved by the power of your convictions.
The following are replies to you that have gone unanswered:

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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Nope.

We're selling a shotgun to a known murder, knowing exactly how he's going to use it.

We actually do have a choice not to do that. Hard to believe, I know.



Too bad. We don't have a choice -- we're actively involved one way or the other. That's what happens when you open up your pocketbooks to antidemocratic dictators overseas, you invariably end up here.

We knew exactly who we were doing business with, just like we did with the Taliban, just like we did with Saddam Hussein. Now all of us a sudden we're supposed to feign ignorance in order to save face -- yet again.

If you gotta pick a side, pick the one that's not murdering people in the streets.
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Well put -- you are exactly right.

I can vote Democratic or Republican, or abstain and allow the military industrial complex to grind them down without weighing in with my voice. They're going to hate the results no matter what.

But yeah, I'm sure the people in the Middle East hate us for our freedoms, right? Or because we're infidels...

Has nothing to do with the constant, seemingly politically unstoppable capitalization on their oppression.

If there's something I can do with my vote to slow that down, let me know. As of now, I just see different shades of black.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:01 AM   #108
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Huh? You've tacitly acknowledged that you are still going to vote for Obama again, despite this arms sales which pains you so, but you won't say, "Yeah, I'm going to organize a protest!"?

I hope you realize how that makes you appear.
Once you've established that your actions can be rationalised away, who cares?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #109
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The following are replies to you that have gone unanswered:
So you're saying that we should side with the devil we don't know over the devil we do know when it comes to Bahrain while you, yourself choose to side with the devil you know come election time?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:10 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
So you're saying that we should side with the devil we don't know over the devil we do know when it comes to Bahrain while you, yourself choose to side with the devil you know come election time?
We've already had that discussion like five times in this thread. We've been there. You're just saying the same thing over and over again.

Here, let me highlight in those posts the arguments you've chosen to ignore, to potentially take this thread is an interesting direction:

Quote:
We're selling a shotgun to a known murder, knowing exactly how he's going to use it.

We actually do have a choice not to do that. Hard to believe, I know.
Quote:
We don't have a choice -- we're actively involved one way or the other. That's what happens when you open up your pocketbooks to antidemocratic dictators overseas, you invariably end up here.

We knew exactly who we were doing business with, just like we did with the Taliban, just like we did with Saddam Hussein. Now all of us a sudden we're supposed to feign ignorance in order to save face -- yet again.
Quote:
But yeah, I'm sure the people in the Middle East hate us for our freedoms, right? Or because we're infidels...

Has nothing to do with the constant, seemingly politically unstoppable capitalization on their oppression.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:11 AM   #111
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When it comes to the election, why not side with the guy who isn't known to arm people who kill people in the streets?*


*Rhetorical question D>R
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
When it comes to the election, why not side with the guy who isn't known to arm people who kill people in the streets?*

*Rhetorical question D>R
You lost me.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #113
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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, 08:22 AM   #114
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You lost me.
Didn't you start a thread about your personal life sucking recently?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #115
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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.
All the same could have been said about Egypt. but Obama (after waffling until he could see who was going to win) decided to back a movement that will ultimately have removed a more or less friendly dictator and replaced him with an Islamist government that will be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Egypt was a foreign policy success I'd hate to see a failure.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:30 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
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, 08:31 AM   #117
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You lost me.
Really?

In terms of the Bahrain situation, you entcourage us not to sell arms to a known murderer. Instead, we should side with the devil we don't know (Bahrainian revolutionaries) over the devil we do ((the Bahrainian government).

Why, then, would you not side with the devil you don't know (Romney)over the arms-supplying devil you don't (Obama)?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #118
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All the same could have been said about Egypt. but Obama (after waffling until he could see who was going to win) decided to back a movement that will ultimately have removed a more or less friendly dictator and replaced him with an Islamist government that will be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Egypt was a foreign policy success I'd hate to see a failure.
We have a critical base in Egypt? Since when?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #119
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All the same could have been said about Egypt. but Obama (after waffling until he could see who was going to win) decided to back a movement that will ultimately have removed a more or less friendly dictator and replaced him with an Islamist government that will be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Egypt was a foreign policy success I'd hate to see a failure.
I've already discussed the messy nature of newborn democracies in post 8.

Even with that said, Egypt is sadly still a military dictatorship.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:33 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
Really?

In terms of the Bahrain situation, you entcourage us not to sell arms to a known murderer. Instead, we should side with the devil we don't know (Bahrainian revolutionaries) over the devil we do ((the Bahrainian government).

Why, then, would you not side with the devil you don't know (Romney)over the arms-supplying devil you don't (Obama)?
Ohhhhh, I see. Another brilliant Saul Good analogy.

To rehash a discussion we've already had.

Wake me up when you have something else to say.
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