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Posted by on Jan 15, 2008 in At TMV | 3 comments

Embracing Tyranny

As Fareed Zakaria put it on last night’s Daily Show, the U.S., and the Bush Administration in particular, supports democratic reform only in “strategically insignificant” countries like Burma — and not in, for example, Pakistan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, where U.S.- and Bush-friendly dictators, or seemingly friendly dictators (like Pakistan’s Musharraf), accept U.S. aid in return for their compliance with U.S. interests, or seeming compliance with seeming U.S. interests. It’s all about seeming, you see, which is to say, about appearance. In the end, for Bush and the Bushies, democracy means much less than whatever it is they can get out of their friendly dictators, like oil, which may be real, or support for Bush’s war on terror, which may not be — support in speech is not support in deed, something Bush has yet to figure out.

Billions to Pakistan — for what? Billions to the Saudis — for what? For a hug, for a photo-op, for empty promises, for nothing.

And now Bush is in the Middle East making nice with his dictator pals. Indeed, not long after arriving in Riyadh, Bush announced that he was going ahead with the sale of sensitive military technology, specifically laser-guided bomb technology, to Saudi Arabia.

In what is surely related news, Abdullah awarded Bush the Saudi Order of Merit.

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  • rudi

    The JDAM sale to the Saudis is only part of a $20 billion arms sale to our Sunnis friends. Bush gave Olmert a promise of more Israel aid and MORE advanced technology exchanges to Israel as an OK for the Arab sale. We give the Israelis technology like the M1A2SEP while giving the Arabs M1A1 technology. Some worry about the JDAM’s falling into terrorist hands, well how is al-Qaeda’s air force going to deliver said JDAM’s. The Saudis level of training in using this technology is suspect, just search Pat Langs website for a take on this.

  • In the end, for Bush and the Bushies, democracy means much less than whatever it is they can get out of their friendly dictators, like oil, which may be real, or support for Bush’s war on terror, which may not be — support in speech is not support in deed, something Bush has yet to figure out.

    Um, this isn’t exactly new nor unique to Bush. What President has ever placed national interest below ideological concepts like “democracy?”

    As for laser-guided bombs, they are not that sensitive actually – the technology has been around since the 1960’s. Selling Patriots was a much bigger deal from a technology-transfer standpoint.

  • DLS

    “Billions to Pakistan — for what? Billions to the Saudis — for what?”

    To forestall the likely worse alternative (obviously).

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