Saturday, June 25, 2005

With Friends Like US

According to the Jerusalem Newswire article, US brings Israel to its knees over arms sales, you have to wonder why Israel even continues to speak to us. Don't get me wrong -- I wasn't thrilled that Israel wanted to sell Harpy Killer unmanned drones to China, but I'm not impressed by arms we sell to Egypt or Jordan either. But we imposed sanctions?! Guess what else we apparently did.

The Pentagon had originally demanded Israel fire several senior defense officials involved in the sale, a condition Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuval Steinitz called “illegitimate” and “humiliating.”

I'll say. It's like we're punishing our 'of age' step-kids for having a beer -- after they've seen us do it.

According to Yediot Ahronot, under the deal Israel was pressured to accept, Defense Ministry director-general Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yaron and the head of the ministry's security, Yehiel Horev, would be forced into retirement. In addition, America would oversee all of Israel's future arms sales to foreign militaries.

“This is an unprecedented demand,” a senior security source told the newspaper. “This way, the caliber of Israel's weapons industry cannot function.”


Sounds like someone is asking for a double standard again. At this rate, why don't we just make it official -- Israel is our 51st state -- making it yet another one whose borders we don't care to secure. Never mind we're going to seriously affect their economy by this action.

“No country will want a third nation to know every detail about its weapons, especially not formally,” the source said.

No kidding! So what in the world could be the US's reason for this? One speculation...

Steinitz suggested last week that the crisis over the arms sale was more about promoting the US military industry by stemming competition than heading off any real threat to American security interests.

Great. So it's possibly just a giant game of hypocrisy? And monopoly-inducing? Charming, guy.

The United States continues to sell advanced weaponry to Arab nations still officially at war with Israel, as well as hostile neighbors such as Egypt, which pose an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Of course we do. Lovely.

15 Comments:

At 8:48 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I would rather that Israel not sell these weapons either. The Arab states will get theirs from Europe if we do not sell.

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous gravelrash said...

The more you look at Americas involvement in the Middle East, the more questions are raised about intent. It's getting to the stage where having America as an ally is not only a liability but a threat.
Couldn't agree more with the analogy Esther. What price sovereignty? Is this how Bush Admin respect it?Appalling!
From any perspective, I'd rather be seeing more rigorous demands being made on the PA.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

I like to believe ... that there are always two sides to a coin and one edge.

What is released to the public isn't always what is said in private? Don't "sell" the United States short ... many have died defending Israel and perhaps are just stars on a wall ...

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Mark said...

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger JayM said...

I think if it is in Israel's interests to sell the weapons they should be able to do so. There will be differences but thats why our leaders are there to make the right decisions. Israel is not on its knees. The leaders of Israel will do the right thing and Bush dont have to always agree with it. Israel is an independent country and USA is too, we are allies, and we not always going to agree on everything. One just have to convice the right people that what his doing is the right thing to do. Thats what i think.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Hello, Jason. Glad to see you are a supporter of Israel.

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

"I like to believe ... that there are always two sides to a coin and one edge."

It's very true.
I wouldn't break any alliances at all.
Just talk and negotiate - these things happen among allies.

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Esther,
A personal note of thanks here...I appreciate the information you provided on some ways to handle the insurance nightmare which has resulted from my car accident and will be following up on the leads you provided. I have spoken with two lawyers--one said that my case is "too small" and the other that "it's too soon to get a lawyer." However, when I consulted those two attorneys, I didn't yet know that my own health insurance was going to baulk.

As to Israel and the arms sales...I'm not happy with the selling of drones to China, but I find that the United States' selling of arms to any Arab country to be insane.

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Rachel Ann said...

Israel is its own country; not a lackey of Israel. You said it well Esther; what I would rather is Israel didn't sell weapons to China. But should the USA control what Israel does? I'm tired of the USA dictating what is and is not permissable for Israel to do.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"...but I'm not impressed by arms we sell to Egypt or Jordan either. "

I agree with that statement. Although, I was admittedly uncomfortable with Israel selling the technology to China. It should be noted the US threatened Europe with the same thing. But, Europe caved in and didn't sell. I am torn on this one.

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

"But should the USA control what Israel does?"
No, not at all but at the same time there is this very fine line called "common sense".
Allies should co-ordinate their actions.

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Esther said...

I totally agree felis. And wouldn't it be nice if the US had done that for Israel with regards to some of our more smarmy choices of arms deal recipiants.

 
At 3:36 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Unfortunately, Israel is in a position where arms sales are an important component of their economy. Unlike the Europeans, who have the whole Middle East open to their exports, Israel is very limited in the markets that are available to it. And beyond the economic impact, the fact that this country tried to pressure Israel into removing people from the government is pretty appalling. I can't think of another country we feel we can do that to and get away with it. With all the money we give Egypt, look how we can't even get them to clean up their rabidly anti-American government-controlled media.

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Warren said...

I don't give too much credence to these type of reports.

Its impossible to tell what really happened.

As beak said "The Arab states will get theirs from Europe if we do not sell."

But there is another dimension to this that isn't readily apparent.

We sell Arabs hi-tech weapons with strings attached.

1. Israel has better arms.

2. Arabs cannot copy them or their parts. They do not have the tech base to do so.

3. They are extremely high maintenance weapons which require skilled technicians.

4. They must buy these parts from the US and the technicians to repair them also come from the US.

You can see how this works if you look at Iran after the Mullahs took over. They were unable to keep their meager airforce flying. It consisted of American F4s, we wouldn't sell them the parts.

When you sell something to China, they will buy a few and immediately start to copy them and sell them for less than we or Israel can manufacture them.

China seems to be preparing to invade Taiwan within the next couple of years and these type of missiles are a threat to American warships. They believe that if they make the Straights of Formosa, a death trap, America will not respond.

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'Steinitz suggested last week that the crisis over the arms sale was more about promoting the US military industry by stemming competition than heading off any real threat to American security interests.'

I simply do not believe that. The only reason we do not want Israel to sell these to China is that we don't want China to have them.

In regards to our other weapons sales, it is an advantage to sell them our weapons as we know exactly what our weapons can do.

' I'm tired of the USA dictating what is and is not permissable for Israel to do.'

If you follow that logic, then America is under no obligation to sell her weapons to anyone.

 

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