By Ted Belmann
Today, upon visiting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President Bush formally notified Congress of his intent to sell $123 million worth of some of the United States’ most advanced weapons and technology to the Saudis, a known sponsor and financier of terrorism. The package is part of a larger $20 billion arms sale.
Apparently Olmert couldn’t care less and has mounted no protest .
Saudi Arabia has not been a true ally in the war on terror or furthering the United States interests in the Middle East. In July of this year, American officials in Iraq said the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia and that about 45 percent of all foreign fighters are Saudi. Iraqi media reported that students at the Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, located in Riyadh and known as the “terrorist factory,” had organized activist groups and sent members streaming north to join the onslaught on Iraqi Shias. Brig. General Kevin Bergner, the top American military spokesman in Iraq detailed an account of a Saudi Arabian smuggled into Iraq to be a suicide bomber. Yet Prince Saud was quoted as saying, “All that we can do in order to protect the border in Iraq we have been doing.”
In February the Saudi Arabian government torpedoed U.S. plans to conduct a high-profile peace summit meeting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority by brokering their own power-sharing agreement, catching the U.S. off guard and ensuring the agreement would not require Hamas to recognize Israel or forswear violence. On March 29th, many agree Saudi Arabia King Abdullah referred to the U.S. troops in Iraq as an “illegitimate foreign occupation” at a two-day Arab summit in Riyadh.
And despite assurances to the contrary, Saudi Arabia appears to continue to bankroll terrorist organizations that have attacked both the United States and Israel. In sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2005, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Daniel L. Glaser indicated that the Saudi Arabian government refuses to crack down on the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which spreads radical Wahhabism and finances Hamas and Al Qaeda. 70% of the most-wanted international terrorists are Saudi Arabians.
“Weapons sales should only go to a dedicated ally committed to the war on terror, a stable Iraq, and security for Israel. Saudi Arabia does meet these preconditions,” Congressman Wexler said. “President Bush’s plan to sell $20 billion worth of weapons is simply counterintuitive to the war on terror and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree that it must be stopped.”
“People of all political stripes have come out against this deal,” said Rep. Weiner. “It’s mind-bogglingly bad policy because the Saudis at every turn have been uncooperative. The idea that we are going to reward the Saudis with precision weaponry is a stunningly bad idea, and clearly deserves the full review of Congress.”