"Convenient" Base Is Unexamined Excuse for US Silence on
Sunday 16 October 2011
by: Robert Naiman, Truthout | News Analysis
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)
Pressure is building on the Obama administration to delay a proposed arms sale to
This week, five senators - Sens. Casey, Durbin, Cardin, Menendez and Wyden - weighed in against the arms sale in a letter to Secretary of State Clinton:
"Completing an arms sale to
In noting that the
Doesn't this assumption deserve some interrogation? If we say boo, do we lose the base automatically? And even if we did lose the base, would that be so awful? And if losing the base were a big concern, might not it be short-sighted in the long run to tie ourselves so closely to the regime? If the Shia majority victimized by the regime perceive that the base is the reason for our silence, doesn't this make it more likely that when democracy comes to
Shouldn't these questions be considered before automatically assuming that "US interests" demand our silence on the crackdown?
For example, in the same Washington Post report, we find:
Actually ensuring that the kingdom lives up to its promises [of reform], however, is complicated by a host or regional considerations.
The kingdom, in addition to serving as a home base for the US Navy's 5th Fleet, is a bulwark against Iranian power in the region.
Two points are raised here: 1) the base, and 2) "a bulwark against Iranian power." Let's consider them in turn.
Is the base necessary to the
Isn't that report striking, given that the opposite - that the base is key to the
What about "bulwark against Iranian power"? Clearly, the current government of
Isn't it possible, even likely, that if
Before it had a democratic uprising, most Americans had never heard of
And if maintaining the status quo in our relationship with
This month the Pentagon notified Congress of a plan to sell
The message this sends is unmistakable: The regime's crackdown will not affect its cozy relationship with the
Is there anyone with more impeccable anti-Iran credentials than The Washington Post editorial board, which has called for a US policy of "regime change" in Iran and sharply criticized what is called the administration's "squishiness" about "military options" for dealing with Iran's nuclear program?
Doesn't all this suggest that people who claim that "US interests" dictate
Senator Wyden and Rep. Jim McGovern have introduced a resolution of disapproval against the arms sale to the government of
Robert Naiman is policy director at Just Foreign Policy and president of Truthout's board of directors.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs