Tag Archives: Arms Sales

Trump’s Price Tag for Saving Mohammed bin Salman: $450,000,000,000, by Middle East Eye

Trump’s not going to let the Jamal Khashoggi murder get in the way of the mutually advantageous US-Saudi Arabia relationship. From Middle East Eye at theantimedia.org:

US President Donald Trump’s latest statement on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is an extraordinary example of political sincerity – although backed by a completely wrong analysis.

Trump departed from the usual empty and generic rhetoric made by former American presidents about Saudi Arabia. He made it very clear that the US will condone what Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did, i.e ordering the killing of Khashoggi, because the kingdom is containing Iran, purchasing American weapons and is helping to control oil prices in line with American interests.

In other words, when American values, such as defending human rights and the rule of law, collide with American interests, Trump will opt for the latter. In fact, Trump statement confirms indirectly Middle East Eye’s report on the US intention to offer a way out to the Saudi crown prince from the Khashoggi quagmire.

Continue reading

Advertisements

With Reaffirmed US Support, Saudis Continue Assault on Yemen, Killing Civilians, by Randi Nord

Trump has given the green light for Saudi Arabia to continue its war in Yemen. From Randi Nord at theantimedia.org:

Washington has chosen to diverge from its European allies and continue support for the Saudi led-coalition against Yemen. Following a White House statement that reaffirms US commitment, the Saudi coalition has continued with its assault on Hodeidah port and civilians in Yemen.

  • Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European nations have recently put forth effort to stop the war against Yemen.
  • The White House has issued a statement doubling down on its seemingly unconditional support for Saudi Arabia — particularly its assault on Yemen.
  • Saudi Arabia has since continued its attacks on Yemen’s Hodeidah port and civilian areas.
  • Yemenis hold out hope for the European effort and UN envoy’s recent visit to Hodediah port.
Washington Diverges from European Allies, Doubles Down on Support for Gulf Monarchies

On November 20th, the White House issued (yet anotherstatement blaming Iran for the ongoing bloodshed in Yemen. It’s worth noting that Iran has no troops in Yemen. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia and the UN inspect all aid shipments entering Yemen for weapons and missile parts. There is absolutely no concrete evidence of Iran providing support to Ansarullah (aka. Houthis) in Yemen.

Continue reading

Doug Casey on the Khashoggi Scandal

Doug Casey doesn’t see anything unusual about Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has taken the world by storm.

Khashoggi, as I’m sure you’ve heard, was a Saudi journalist. He lived in the United States, worked for The Washington Post, and was highly critical of the Saudi regime.

Last month, Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey… and never walked out. The story is that he was tortured and murdered by 15 Saudis before his body was dissolved in acid.

You can see why this is such a big scandal. But maybe it shouldn’t be…

I say this because of a recent conversation I had with Doug Casey. Below, you’ll find a transcript. We hope you enjoy.


Justin: Doug, what do you make of the Khashoggi story? Is this as big of a deal as the media is making it out to be?

Doug: Okay, let’s consider what’s supposed to have happened. There’s a journalist who was apparently quite wired with the Saudi Royal Family. He’s been saying some things that they don’t like while living in the United States. He goes into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and never walks out.

Now, the story is that a hit team was flown in from Saudi Arabia. They tortured him, chopped him up, and disappeared his body in suitcases.

Of course, this is grizzly stuff; gentlemen aren’t supposed to dismember other gentlemen. But governments do this type of thing all the time. Hearing about it makes me feel like Inspector Renault in Casablanca: “Gambling at Rick’s? I’m shocked! Shocked!”

Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Financed the Killers of American Troops I Commanded, by Maj. Danny Sjursen

For decades, the Saudis have been financing Islamic extremists who kill Americans. From Maj. Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

It’s time to ask an uncomfortable question: What exactly is the U.S. getting out of its partnership with Saudi Arabia? The answer is: nothing but headaches, human rights abuses and national embarrassment. In the cynical past, the US could at least argue that it needed Saudi oil, but that’s no longer the case, due to the shale-oil boom (though that fact is not necessarily good for an ever-warming planet).

Recently, the crimes of the Saudi government managed to pierce the Trump-all-the-time-Kanye-West-sometimes media-entertainment complex due to Riyadh’s likely murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That the U.S.-Saudi relationship is, however briefly, coming under the proverbial microscope is a good thing. Still, it is astonishing that this incident—rather than dozens of other crimes—finally garnered attention. Even so, President Trump appears reluctant to cancel his negotiated $110 billion record arms deal with the kingdom.

For me, it’s personal. Saudi Arabia’s fingerprints—both of its government and private-citizen donors—have been all over America’s various opponents these past 17 years of war. I patrolled the streets and suburbs of Baghdad from 2006 to 2007. Sunni Islamist insurgents, which were funded by the Saudis, shot a few of my soldiers and paralyzed one permanently. We regularly found Saudi Wahhabi Islamist literature in the homes and caches of our insurgent enemies.

Years later, from 2011 to 2012, I led a cavalry reconnaissance company in Kandahar, Afghanistan. We chased the Taliban—really a collection of disgruntled farm boys—around the fields and valleys of the Zhari district. Guess where those Taliban fighters—who killed three of my men and wounded 30 others—went to school? In Saudi-financed madrassas across the border in Pakistan.

Continue reading

Leaked Memo Shows US Overlooked Mass Civilian Deaths In Yemen To Preserve Arms Sales, by Tyler Durden

Mike Pompeo is overlooking Saudi Arabian atrocities in Yemen to preserve $2 billion in arms sales for Raytheon. Let’s hope he at least gets a seat on the company’s board of directors when he leaves “public service.” From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

On rare occasion a story is unearthed in the mainstream media which demonstrates in stunning clarity how major foreign policy decisions are really made in Washington, especially when it comes to waging perpetual war in the Middle East often under the official rhetorical guise of “protecting civilians”.

A bombshell Wall Street Journal report details a leaked classified memo which shows Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decided to continue US military involvement in the Saudi war on Yemen in order to preserve a massive $2 billion weapons deal with Riyadh.

Human Rights Watch 2016 report: Saudi Arabia Uses US-Made Cluster Bombs and Guided Missiles in Yemen.

Continue reading

Bombing Yemeni School Children for Profit, by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies

Here’s what’s behind the “phenomenal” run in US defense stocks. From Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies at antiwar.com:

Unfortunately, killing and maiming civilians with US weapons is a regular occurrence

As if the horrific Saudi bombing of a Yemeni school bus that killed 44 children on August 9, 2018 wasn’t bad enough, CNN reported that the bomb used in the attack was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, one of the major U.S. defense contractors. Nima Elbagir, reporting for CNN’s Situation Room, showed a map of Yemen pinpointing several other attacks where large numbers of civilians have been killed by bombs from not only Lockheed Martin, but also General Dynamics and Raytheon. It was a rare moment when a mainstream US media outlet made the connection between US weapons and the devastation they wreak.

The footage of the Yemen attack is heartbreaking, showing bloodied and screaming children (the ‘fortunate’ survivors) still wearing their blue backpacks. A global outcry for the Saudis to stop bombing civilians and for the US to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia arose immediately. Continue reading

The ‘Merchants of Death’ Survive and Prosper, by Lawrence Wittner

There’s never been a better time to be in the arms business. From Lawrence Wittner at antiwar.com:

During the mid-1930s, a best-selling exposé of the international arms trade, combined with a U.S. Congressional investigation of munitions-makers led by Senator Gerald Nye, had a major impact on American public opinion. Convinced that military contractors were stirring up weapons sales and war for their own profit, many people grew critical of these “merchants of death.”

Today, some eight decades later, their successors, now more politely called “defense contractors,” are alive and well. According to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, sales of weapons and military services by the world’s largest 100 corporate military purveyors in 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available) rose to $375 billion. US corporations increased their share of that total to almost 58 percent, supplying weapons to at least 100 nations around the world.

The dominant role played by US corporations in the international arms trade owes a great deal to the efforts of US government officials. “Significant parts of the government,” notes military analyst William Hartung, “are intent on ensuring that American arms will flood the global market and companies like Lockheed and Boeing will live the good life. From the president on his trips abroad to visit allied world leaders to the secretaries of state and defense to the staffs of US embassies, American officials regularly act as salespeople for the arms firms.” Furthermore, he notes, “the Pentagon is their enabler. From brokering, facilitating, and literally banking the money from arms deals to transferring weapons to favored allies on the taxpayers’ dime, it is in essence the world’s largest arms dealer.”

In 2013, when Tom Kelly, the deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Political Affairs was asked during a Congressional hearing about whether the Obama administration was doing enough to promote American weapons exports, he replied: “[We are] advocating on behalf of our companies and doing everything we can to make sure that these sales go through. . . and that is something we are doing every day, basically [on] every continent in the world . . . and we’re constantly thinking of how we can do better.” This proved a fair enough assessment, for during the first six years of the Obama administration, US government officials secured agreements for US weapons sales of more than $190 billion around the world, especially to the volatile Middle East. Determined to outshine his predecessor, President Donald Trump, on his first overseas trip, bragged about a $110 billion arms deal (totaling $350 billion over the next decade) with Saudi Arabia.

To continue reading: The ‘Merchants of Death’ Survive and Prosper