Daily Wisdom

July 21, 2006

Christians Pay For Arms Sales

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One day after the Bush administration announced that it would not impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia for religious persecution, the administration yesterday approved the sale of 24 UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters and other military equipment worth over $6 billion to the Saudis.

According to an article at CNSNews.com, "The U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wants the administration to bar entry into the U.S. of Saudi officials responsible for severe religious freedom violations or for propagating an intolerant ideology..."

The recommendations of the USCIRF were made at a June 30th subcommittee hearing of the House International Relations Committee, because the Saudis have made little progress in advocating religious freedom.

In 1998, the International Religious Freedom Act was enacted, which set up the USCIRF and provided for the government to designate "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) who could then be subject to sanctions for violating religious freedoms.

In September 2004, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designated Saudi Arabia a CPC. Others on the list are China, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Vietnam.

Since 2004, the USCIRF pressed for sanctions against Saudi Arabia. In September 2005, Rice authorized a 180-day waiver of action against the kingdom, "in order to allow additional time for the continuation of discussions leading to progress on important religious freedom issues."

Despite considerable evidence that only the Saudi brand of Sunni Muslim worship is tolerated there, the State Department said yesterday that, "the Secretary has decided to leave in place a waiver."

Despite incidents of Christians being arrested, shredding of Bibles by Customs officials, detention without trial, torture, and cruel treatment by the Muttawa "religious police", our State Department says that "the Saudi government has put in place (policies) to promote greater tolerance for members of the various religious groups".

Despite the fact that a recent report found that Saudi elementary and secondary school books "continue to promote an ideology of hatred against anyone, including Muslims, not subscribing to the strict Wahhabi sect of Islam", the State Department says they are "pleased that the government of Saudi Arabia has been willing to engage with us in a substantive manner on these critical issues".

Pardon my saying so, but this is all bull-dung. The Bush administration is turning a blind-eye towards Saudi bigotry because it doesn't want to offend a major customer of military equipment, who also happens to be a major supplier of oil, and a potential ally with basing capabilities in the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. in recent years has been the major arms supplier worldwide. Since the first Gulf War in 1991, Saudi Arabia has been the single largest customer of U.S. arms. As of 2003, Riyadh had made purchases in excess of $64.5 billion, and arms sales to the Middle East accounted for 76% of total U.S. business.

So, Christians get the short end of the stick because, after all, business is business. Christians don't sell oil, and they don't make major arms purchases. As a result, neither can they visit or work in Saudi Arabia without living in fear of arrest and torture.

For all his talk about spreading democracy and freedom around the Middle East, it appears that President Bush is more interested in spreading arms. Being a Bush supporter, I find this dichotomy very disappointing.

What may be worse, is that if the Saudi monarchy is overthrown, all those U.S. weapons will fall into the hands of the Islamo-fascists Riyadh has managed to spawn over the years.

8 Comments:

At 7/21/2006 5:10 AM , Blogger camojack said...

It's just business as usual...nothing personal.

They can run their country as they see fit, unfortunately; visit there at your own risk...

 
At 7/21/2006 5:20 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Camo,
They can run their country as they see fit, but we don't have to finance them.

 
At 7/21/2006 7:43 AM , Blogger MargeinMI said...

When I saw this on Fox yesterday, my first reaction was, "WHA???" They are supposedly our 'friends', a term used VERY loosely! Um, where did most of those 9/11 hijackers come from again? Yet, they're making the right noise right now regarding Israel, so maybe this is just a little 'reward.' Scary!

 
At 7/21/2006 8:21 AM , Blogger The trotting Possum said...

Our tyrants versus their tyrants. It's the Cold war all over again.

The "Arab umbrella" is mighty darn leaky these days.

 
At 7/21/2006 8:45 AM , Blogger Beerme said...

Hawkeye,

Excellent point and one which makes all our complaints about North Korean and Iranian/Syrian "destabilization" efforts completely illogical. It is just this sort of hypocrisy that makes the Left's criticism of America and it's support for Communists and other totalitarian regimes seem credible.

 
At 7/21/2006 9:54 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Marge,
Scary indeed.

Possum,
And sometimes its our tyrants supporting their tyrants.

Beerme,
It sure has me scratching my head.

 
At 7/21/2006 10:13 AM , Anonymous CalGirl said...

The only quibble I have with this post is that the correct term is NOT bull dung, it's el toro poo poo.

I thought everyone knew that! :)

 
At 7/21/2006 3:22 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

CalGirl,
Ooops! My bad... I guess it was a poo-poo boo-boo.

(:D) Regards...

 

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