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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, 08:36 AM   #121
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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, 08:37 AM   #122
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We have a critical base in Egypt? Since when?
We don't have a physical base, but since Sadat came to power in the early 70s the US had a history of military cooperation with Egypt.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #123
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If we help destabilize governments in Arab countries, that will make them love us.
Swing and a miss.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #124
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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 05-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #125
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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.
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 05-16-2012, 08:44 AM   #126
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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.
We have dozens of bases throughout the Middle East. We're fine without having one in Bahrain, should we ever feel so inclined.

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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
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.
Great questions.

I'd respond more comprehensively but basically my post would read exactly like post 8 in this thread.

Egypt, I should mention, has yet to attain a democracy. They are now ruled by a military dictatorship.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:44 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
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.
You are speaking to a gal who doesn't think it is important for any of these revolts to be good for us. Just an FYI.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:46 AM   #128
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You are speaking to a gal who doesn't think it is important for any of these revolts to be good for us.
Swing and a miss.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #129
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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.
Why bother plotting a course when all roads lead to Obama?

Seriously.

Why torture yourself agonizing over moral issues when you fully intend to do nothing but support the status quo? Spare me your bleeding heart bullshit and your condescending tone. I'm not the I've apologizing to people as I slit their throats.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #130
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Swing and a miss.
No, more like an Obama-approved artillery shell hitting the Bahrani bulls eye.

I do hope things have improved in your personal life, however.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #131
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Swing and a miss.
All your base are belong to us now take your burqa wearing ass into the hovel and chop me some goat gristle.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:54 AM   #132
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Why bother plotting a course when all roads lead to Obama?
Because all roads don't lead to Obama -- they lead to the military industrial complex, which have Obama's nuts in a vice. Just like they do with every other President in modern history. If you think President McCain would be acting any differently right now, you're naive.

I believe you think it is necessarily a bad thing for a dictator to be killing peaceful democratic protesters. Yet I'm pretty sure you'll be pulling levers for Republican Presidential candidates for the conceivable future despite the fact that they are going to be supporting a dictator doing exactly that.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:55 AM   #133
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No, more like an Obama-approved artillery shell hitting the Bahrani bulls eye.
You misrepresented my position, so that's what they call in baseball a swing and a miss.

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I do hope things have improved in your personal life, however.
I appreciate that, thank you.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #134
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You are speaking to a gal who doesn't think it is important for any of these revolts to be good for us. Just an FYI.
Perhaps she is unaware of the geographic location of this little island?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:01 AM   #135
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You misrepresented my position, so that's what they call in baseball a swing and a miss.
No I didn't. You clearly stated that these revolts (specifically Libya) don't have to be a good thing for us.

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I appreciate that, thank you.
You're welcome.
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