Thursday, December 27, 2007

$$$'s vs. Political "Alliances" . . . .

Via Reuters today:

Saudi arms sale may spark Bush-Congress battle
Thu Dec 27, 2007 - By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A plan to sell Saudi Arabia highly accurate Boeing Co bomb-guidance kits is roiling Israel's backers in the Congress, setting up a potential clash with President George W. Bush.

The administration could formally notify lawmakers as soon as January 15 of the possible sale to Riyadh of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAM, technology.

As many as 253 members of the 435-seat House of Representatives have signed bipartisan warnings to Bush about such a sale to Saudi Arabia, still in a formal state of war with Israel.


The JDAM sale would be part of a combined $20 billion or so in fresh U.S. arms sales to Gulf Arab states described by Washington as a strategic drive to counter Iran's growing might.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, said he and 35 other House members plan to introduce a measure aimed at blocking a JDAM sale "the minute Congress is officially notified."

In the Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden of Delaware, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, also has voiced qualms.

"My committee's looking very closely into this," he told reporters in a December 4 conference call. "Thus far, the justification for the sale has not been made to me."


Oh, and guess what? Our old buddy Israel is not happy, either. Apparently, what's good for the goose is not good for another religion's gander:


Israel became the first foreign buyer of JDAMs in 2000. Since then, 18 countries have followed, according to Boeing's Web site. The weapon has been used widely in the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia remains the top regional buyer of U.S. weapons, including Boeing F-15 fighter aircraft, United Technologies Corp Black Hawk helicopters, and General Dynamics Corp light armored vehicles, night-vision goggles, thermal weapons sights, and long-range radios.

Riyadh also has bought advanced weapons from Britain's BAE Systems, France's Dassault Aviation and Europe's EADS among other European suppliers.

How much 'ya wanna bet that military equipment sales $$$ trumps political alliances?

Nobody wants a piece of that action?

I thought not . . . .

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