The Mideast Needs More Guns?

[Boston Globe] Editorial - The last thing the Middle East needs is a new round of arms sales. The administration proposes to sell more than $20 billion of weaponry to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states. Iran is a textbook case of how badly awry such arms deals can go in a volatile region like the Mideast. During the reign of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Tehran bought large stocks of U.S. weapons, only to have them fall into the hands of the ayatollahs after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the shah. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia's role in Iraq has been anything but helpful. It promotes a particularly militant form of Sunni fundamentalism, which has helped make Saudi Arabia the source of many suicide bombers in Iraq, as it was for most of the Sept. 11 terrorists. Saudi Arabia has also failed to commit to joining the peace conference planned by the Bush administration for this fall to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To reward such uncooperative behavior by selling the Saudis billions of dollars worth of U.S. arms can only encourage other nations to follow their own agendas and ignore U.S. goals.

2007-08-06 01:00:00

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