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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Israel asks the US to ease restrictions on Saudi weapons

Now this is really insane. On Saturday night, I reported that the US was going to impose certain restrictions on the placement of the Saudis' new weapons to try to minimize opposition to the sale of billions of dollars in weaponry to the Saudis.
In addition to promising an increase in American military aid to Israel, the Pentagon is seeking to ease Israel’s concerns over the proposed weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by asking the Saudis to accept restrictions on the range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs, including a commitment not to store the weapons at air bases close to Israeli territory, the officials said.
On Sunday, I reported that several pro-Israel members of Congress were going to try to block the sale of arms to 'our 'friends' the Saudis.'

Last night, I reported that there have already been rumblings that despite being showered with gifts, the Saudis do not plan on being very helpful to the US war effort in Iraq, and that they are likely to use the restrictions noted above as an excuse:
Officials who asked not to be identified told The Jerusalem Post said Monday that, due to links to different issues in the region, the US restrictions on the smart bombs might make it more difficult for Rice to rally the Saudis to play a more public role in supporting the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.
Rather than leaving this to the US to work out, it's Ehud K. Olmert to the rescue!
Israel, which originally championed placing limitations on the arms deal with the Saudis, among them barring the placement of missile bases near Israeli territory, is now calling to ease restrictions.
In one fell swoop, Olmert has told the Bush administration that we will fend for ourselves in the face of the Saudis - like the Egyptians, the Iranians and probably the Syrians - being armed to the teeth, he has undercut our friends in Congress who were looking out for our best interests, and the Saudis probably still won't be helpful on Iraq, because their uncooperativeness had nothing to do with weapons placement and everything to do with their not wanting to become involved in a dispute with another Muslim country (and their fear of the Iranian Mullahs).

The more I read and hear of Olmert, the more I think Emmanuel Winston is right.

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