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Boeing, Raytheon and United Technologies in Bed with Saudi Arabia: Why?

I found it peculiar when, last month, Saudi Arabia purchased, under the aegis of the Obama administration, 84 Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets, attack helicopters and helicopters made by United Technologies Corp. (70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds), satellite-guided bombs and an advanced radar from Raytheon Co..

But one should not be too shocked: according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. sold, roughly, a combined $37 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait between 2005 and 2009.

Saudi Arabia MilitaryIsrael has historically been apprehensive about U.S. military sales in the Arab world, especially to Saudi Arabia who, while opposed to the current Ayatolla, Ahmadinejad regime, funds terror and does not recognize the Jewish State; ergo, Israel not showing any opposition, let alone a tantrum over the massive deal is a little strange; especially given that last August, the Obama administration cut funding for Israel’s Arrow 3 program missile defense system (more powerful than the Iron Dome), a project totaling just $108.8m out of the American wallet.

Last week, the Washington Post reported:

“According to the military, Boeing – maker of the F-15, the Apaches and the Little Birds – has estimated that the purchase would involve 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states. Some of those would be jobs that would be kept, but an unspecified number of new jobs would also be generated, officials said.”

And:

“Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, said the overseas weapons market has become more active in recent years. Last year, the U.S. exported $3.2 billion in combat aircraft overseas, up from $2.4 billion in 2008. Among the biggest buyers in 2009 were Singapore for $1 billion worth of F-15 aircraft; Greece and Poland, receiving $1.9 billion worth of F-16s; and Australia, receiving $200 million worth of F-18s.”

The word on the street was that America contacted Israel first, (about the recent Saudi sale) who gave the thumbs up. Spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Jonathan Peled said that while the Jewish Country is not “thrilled” by the proposal, it has not requested such actions as congressional hearings or assurances.

But if Israel does not have an EVEN WORSE taste in its mouth from the sale, some American politicians do. As far as domestic opposition to the deal, an article in Bloomberg News reported that a letter was put into circulation on the hill, for the signature of lawmakers. Composed by top Democrat and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the letter stresses the danger of the deal – though stops short at pleading the need to nullify the $60 billion transaction.

The letter was written by California Democrat Howard Berman and Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and is addressed to Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.

The lawmakers raise “the potential repercussions for our friends and for our own forces in the region in the event of political change in Saudi Arabia,” saying:

Howard Berman

“We have serious concerns about the nature of Saudi involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly since the Saudis have failed to take steps toward normalization of relations with Israel or to augment their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.”

The letter inquires how thoroughly the Pentagon and the State Department have considered the sale’s effect on U.S. policies in the Middle East, specifically the righteous goal of securing Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its neighbors; a winning goal for American security too.

The two lawmakers cite a report by the Government Accountability Office, concluding the Departments of State and Defense:

“Did not consistently document how arms transfers to gulf countries advanced U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.”

The Saudi F-15 package reportedly does not include arms that could pose a serious threat, like weapons which can be fired from long distances, threatening thereby little Israel. The arrival of F-15s to Saudi Arabia would not begin until 2015, the same year Israel is slated to commence the reception of F-35s.

At the time the deal was announced, Andrew Shapiro of the U.S. State Department said the sale would:

“Protect (Saudi) security in a dangerous neighborhood against legitimate security threats.”

Ros-Lehtinen and Berman, in the letter, ask what Saudi Arabia has done to quell Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The lawmakers cite potential Saudi “leverage in the international oil market to diminish Iran’s oil revenue” as well as actions to stem financing for terrorism or reduce the spread of nuclear-weapons technology.

Congress has until November 20th to prevent the sale before the Defense Department and companies proceed with more detailed talks on contracts.

Other Notes of Interest:

And last month, number two in the House Republican leadership, Eric Cantor of Virginia proposed that when the GOP wins control of the House – and now they have – they should move Israel’s financial aid package and add it to the Pentagon’s budget.

Writes C. Hart of American Thinker:

“House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a staunch supporter of Israel, will become House Majority Leader in the next Congress. He will be holding the highest ranking post a Jew has ever held in Congress. His actions will, most likely, focus on giving less U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia. The United States recently approved $60 billion in weapons sales to the Saudis, which only hinders Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East over Arab States. The sale is expected to be the largest in U.S. history if all purchases are made by Saudi Arabia. Ros-Lehtinen has already spoken out against the sale.”

“According to The Israel Project (TIP), Cantor has also cosponsored legislation that would end U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its culture of hate toward Israel. He also wants to see an end to unauthorized WAQF excavations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which are encouraged and supported by the Palestinian Authority.”

The Bibi and Biden Show:

Meanwhile, Israel PM, Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party is in America this week. First, D.C., to recall the nostalgic stench of a Republican majority House and then New York for a corned beef on rye at Katz’s Deli.

A source who was present at the meeting in Washington reported that Bibi told Biden:

“The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action against it if it doesn’t cease its race for a nuclear weapon…The economic sanctions are making it difficult for Iran, but there is no sign that the Ayatollah regime plans to stop its nuclear program because of them.”

Bibi will not be meeting with the American president this time, who is currently abroad on diplomatic duties.

The Test

construction of new apartments in the West BankPalestinian construction workers should be finding new work soon, as Bibi has authorized the construction of new apartments in the West Bank.

Is it:

a) To put Palestinian construction workers back to work

b) To house more Jews in Samaria…resuscitating the injured Zionist dream

c) To tell the Obama administration that Israel is NOT a territory of a Middle-Eastern American empire, and therefore under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction, despite any amount of welcome donations, as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in the Holy Land for a piece of the Peace Talks with our Bibi and Mahmoud Abbas.

d) To deny Palestinians of their human rights

Only G-D knows!

There will be 112 new apartments in the Beitar Illit ultra-Orthodox settlement, known as the “The Torah city of the Judean Hills.”

In this action, the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of trying to undermine the peace talks even before they began:

“If the Israeli government wants to sabotage Mitchell’s efforts by taking such steps, let’s talk to Mitchell about maybe not doing this (indirect talks) if the price is so high… put a big question mark on what it is that we came to do.”

The Palestinians presented the U.S. envoy with a document outlining their desired agreement: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with minor border adjustments.
This is what Bibi said after speaking to Biden:

“I believe we will succeed in advancing the diplomatic process…But the diplomatic process is not a game, it is real, and rooted first and foremost in (Israel’s) security.”

Peace Now settlement expert, Hagit Ofran said:

“The Israeli government is welcoming the vice president by demonstrating, to our regret, that it has no genuine intention to advance the peace process.”

Hamas and other known trouble-makers, have condemned Abbas’ decision to renew talks, accusing moderate Palestinians of caving in to U.S. pressure.

On Monday Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad unveiled a $3.13 billion budget for 2010, about $80 million more than last year, funded by the international community. He said that after years of a conflict-driven downturn, Palestinian government revenues are up, partly due to economic growth projected at 7% this year. Fayyad also said he will more than triple spending on development projects to $667 million, in accordance with donor countries desiring to see more money earmarked for infrastructure, health and education.

U.S. VP Joe Biden gives Israel nod to hit Iran

IDFAmerica’s 233rd Independence Day celebrations were barely over, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Apparently set the stage for some “fireworks” of his own by announcing that on the during a television interview on ABC, that “the USA will not stand in the way of Israel if it wants to launch an air strike on Iran”. Biden continued in the interview by saying that “the USA cannot dictate to an independent country (like Israel) what they can or can’t do (in regards to their personal defense). Israel has to decide by itself what its ultimate interest is in regards to Iran”.

The timing of the interview, given in the aftermath of the hard-line crackdown by the Iranian government on opponents to the results in the June 12th elections there, and at the same time his boss, President Barack Obama left for a two visit with Russian leaders in Moscow (where the situation in Iran will surely be discussed), appears to leave Israel’s “Iranian option” apparently wide open. There may be other reasons for Biden’s remarks, as the former head of the powerful U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee is not a stranger to what is going on in the world in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on America by the Islamic extremist Al Qaeda organization. There may be other reasons too, as the Democratic administration is surely remembering the aftermath of Iran’s 1978 Islamic Revolution, occurring during the Carter Administration; as well as the capture and imprisonment of the American Embassy Staff members for more than 400 days – which only ended after Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, entered the White House in 1981.

Another recent development that hay have influenced Biden’s remarks were remarks made by the Iranian leadership in which they didn’t see anything different in the new Obama Administration from the former one lead by George Bush, despite Obama’s “reaching out to Islam remarks” made during Obama’s recent visit to Cairo. It does appear, however, that Obama’s remarks did have an influence on some M.E. countries, as the Saudi government also appears to have said that they will not object if Israel (still formerly at war with Israel) uses their airspace to attack Iran.

It might also be noted that the new Israeli Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Michael Oren, warned what would happen if the Iranians succeeded in hitting Israel with a nuclear bomb that “could destroy Israel in a few seconds like Hitler tried to do with European Jewry in WWII”.

So what’s left now – a time table, or venue date (like Madonna’s upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, for example)? It’s reckoned this event, if now in the works, won’t be announced beforehand, as Iran is not a push-over like Iraq was when Israel attacked it in 1981. And for sure, Israeli government officials aren’t giving out any ‘flight plans’ with Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, assuring everyone that Israeli P.M. Bibi Netanyahu “will ignore such remarks”. IAF spokespersons have said, however, that “Israel doesn’t need a formal clearance from either the USA or a country like Saudi Arabia to conduct an operation (against an enemy such as Iran) that is in Israel’s national interest”.

These events, especially on the anniversary of the America’s independence from British tyranny, make one remember those sterling words written by Revolutionary War patriot and writer Thomas Paine when he wrote: “These are the times that try men’s souls”. Indeed!

Liking the Kid or Is Obama good for Israel?

Are Israelis really for Obama? I am not sure. I came across this ad for Obama. It’s a campaign piece but it made me think a little.

Today the front pages of the newspapers were showing the pearls of wisdom provided for us by the good Rev. Jessy Jackson. I clearly remember the famous Haimi speech that basically flushed Jessy’s political career down the toilet – that was one of those “brilliant” moments that I just know left Jessy scratching his head for years to come.

Since then Jessy tried to stay relevant (even remembered) and whenever possible tried to stick it to Israel. So I guess when I see that he suggested that he says that: Obama will be less of a friend to Israel and will be better for Palestinians, I am a little skeptic.

I asked my nephew (4 yrs old) about his opinion. These days I think that his opinion is actually as relevant as anyone I see on the news.. And he had a simple answer. I showed his both McCain and Obama on TV (he recognized both) and asked him who he preferred – “I like the kid” he said. You know what, I have a feeling he is right and that he is predicting the future.

McCain’s woman strategy was a good idea on paper but not the “woman at all cost” execution. Palin is a problem and a tough pill to swallow for probably the one group he was mostly trying to reach – Women. My Mom (self proclaimed old school lady) was first very impressed – she loved the fresh attitude and the glasses were just fabulous…. But then some cracks appeared. The talk about Anti Abortion, Pro NRA and the fact that she had such a narrow point of view of life (mostly from Alaska) started making her a little nervous.

Let’s face it – Sarah’s views belong in a different century and of all demographics women, are the one group that knows it. Can the US really afford to go marching into 2010 with a leader (any leader) that feels its a sin to abort a pregnancy no matter the circumstances? Wasn’t this issue laid to rest ages ago?

I like John McCain. I am more confident that he is the better leader for Israel-US relations. Period. No doubt. I think that Obama is young and inexperienced. I think Obama is Naive. Can Obama get past that – can he learn and improve? Yes.

Look at his track record during these elections:

In these elections Obama proved a couple of things. He has the balls to bypass the Clintons (no small thing). He had a good potential running mate there with Hillary that would have taken him all the way to the brass ring but she would have stabbed him in the back the first chance she would have had.
What’s worse, Hillary comes with a built in Ex President with an over developed ego that makes her even more difficult to control and predict.

Joe Biden was a good choice. Obama brought in a “deal maker” to make those uneasy political moves he is going to need some grease and Biden is the right Mechanic for the job.

Now back to Pailin. If anything happens to John (God forbid) SHE WOULD BE PRESIDENT! Let me say that again: Sarah Pailin would be the US President!

And now for a commercial break…


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2VFRt5W4FM[/youtube]

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