Friday, November 16, 2007

Bush Urged To Place Rules On $20B Saudi Arms Sale

by Eli Lake from The New York Sun (US)

Pressure is mounting from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress -- Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Rep. Christopher Carney (D-PA), are circulating a letter calling on the White House to "guarantee to Congress' satisfaction that selling JDAMs to Saudi Arabia will not harm U.S. forces or our democratic ally Israel." The letter from Congress, set to be sent to Mr. Bush on Friday, comes during a week in which the State Department formally notified Congress of the weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. Some House members, led by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), have already announced that they will oppose the $20 billion sale ... Mr. Kirk said yesterday that he was concerned that Mr. Bush could be making the same mistake with Saudi Arabia that President Carter made when he sold F–14 Tomcat Fighter Jets to the shah of Iran in 1977 and 1978. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, those fighters were aimed at the U.S. Navy. "Over the long haul, unless you see a stable democracy, you have got to contemplate the prospect of a government changing. You want to make sure any advanced weapons you provide cannot represent a danger to Americans in uniform."

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