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John Chuckman



“US closes in on $100bn deal to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia”

What a wonderful thing to do.

One of the world’s most backward places in everything from democracy and human rights to waging aggressive war – what a fine customer for a massive pile of arms equivalent to the entire GDP of some small lands.

But for the United States, Saudi Arabia represents a couple of things important to the global empire.

First, the Saudis are good buddies with Israel, virtually secret allies in many projects such as Syria and Yemen. And the Saudis share with Israel a repulsion for such things as truly democratic government, opposition to many of the demands of human rights, and a concern for protecting the position of privileged wealth in the region.

Second, they aren’t Iran. Indeed, they are viewed as a bulwark against Iran’s natural development as the region’s leading country, given its 70 million population and resources.

Israel, which wants for itself the unquestioned position of the region’s leading country, shares the Saudi view of Iran.

And note that Israel does not oppose such a vast weapons deal with an Arab state, something it most certainly would have done some years ago.

The Saudi position vis-a-vis Israel changed dramatically, although quietly (don’t want to upset their own population, now, do they?), after 9/11.

The Saudis were terrified of being accused and perhaps even invaded following 9/11. They went almost overnight from openly anti-Israel statements and acts of many years to something resembling groveling after American expectations for its Middle Eastern colony.

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