Selling weapons to Saudi Arabia compromises American values


By Aaron Brooks

Going once, going twice, sold: the soul of America for Saudi gold. On Sept. 12, the Obama Administration announced that a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia would be presented to Congress.

The deal will increase tenfold the arms exports by the United States from 2009, making the sale the largest ever, according to analysis of the Stockholm International Peace Institute’s trend-indicator value database.

The Wall Street Journal’s Sept. 12 article by Adam Entous reports the provisions of the contract, “the Saudis [are] to buy as many as 84 new F-15 fighters, upgrade 70 more, and purchase three types of helicopters-70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds…[and a] $30 billion package to upgrade naval forces.”

Reasons why Congress should approve the arms deal have been reported to be: as a boost to the U.S. economy and to strengthen Saudi Arabia as a deterrent to Iran.

Cole Albright, a freshman engineering major, supports the arms deal.

“I think it is a good idea,” he said. “We have to help Saudi Arabia from the inside. Americans always like to provide a helping hand.”

This is America’s helping hand? It seems to me that this ‘hand’ is coming from the most well-known prostitute at the intersection of death and destruction.

Have we not learned from past arms ventures in the Middle East? Like in the early 1980s when we sold Iraq weapons to fight Iran. That turned out well.

Jason Hickman, a secondary math education major, found himself perplexed.

“Anything that can help the economy is a good thing, but I do not know if we should sell weapons to other countries,” Hickman said. “We do not know what they will use them for, and if they do something that the world can bring back on us, then it is a bad idea.”

Beyond the fact that we are selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, a nation who is classified by Human Rights Watch as poor in human rights, it is the fact that President Obama has a freaking Nobel Peace Prize that really upsets me.

In his will, Alfred Nobel stated that the Nobel Peace Prize would go, “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Granted, it is not Obama’s fault that the Nobel Commission awarded him the prize, but if Reggie Bush had to give back his Heisman Trophy, then Obama needs to give back his Nobel.

To address the rationale that the arms deal with Saudi Arabia will deter Iran. Vice President Biden, in his May 6 address to the European Parliament said that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, “risks sparking a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

What is selling conventional weapons going to do?: increase Iran’s justification for nukes and/or start a conventional arms race. Are we going to handle Iran like the Soviets and try to make them keep up with the Jones’, and in the process run them into the ground financially? With our economy, I do not know if we would win.

As for the economic rationale, I know that most of the individuals who work in the military-industrial complex are geniuses, and this is how they get paid. If America was not offering them the high complexity/paying jobs they would go somewhere else, however, America cannot find something better for them to do?

I still do not have my jetpack or hover car. Fission power plants have yet to be engineered. I am sure they could design the sweetest rollercoaster ever. And as Laura Feit, an undecided freshman suggested, “We should just start selling flowers.”

You know Laura, I think some colorful flowers would spruce-up Saudi Arabia nicely, from what I heard they went a little crazy on beige. And although we would not get $60 billion for some flowers, at least we would still have our soul.