Monday, July 30, 2007

Saudi arms deal OK by Israel, not N.Y. pols

By Lisa L. Colangelo from the New York Daily News

Israel's leader gave his grudging support yesterday to a U.S. plan to sell arms to Saudi Arabia - but two New York congressmen said they'll try to block the deal anyway. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he "understands" the Bush administration's support for the proposed $20 billion weapons deal, and that the U.S. has promised increased aid to Israel ... Sarri Singer, survivor of a 2003 bus bombing in Israel, said she supports Weiner and Nadler's call to block the deal. "We need to feel safe here and abroad," she said. "A deal like this ... is not going to make us any safer. In fact, it may make terrorism more prevalent in our lives every day."

Jerusalem wary of US arms sale to Saudis

by Yaakov Katz from The Jerusalem Post

Senior defense officials praised the decision to increase military aid but said that the JDAM sale to Saudi Arabia was still enough to destabilize the strategic military balance in the Middle East. The advanced weapon, these officials said, would grant Saudi Arabia the capability to accurately fire missiles at strategic sites and installations in southern Israel. "We do not have a way to defend ourselves against this weapon," a senior Defense Ministry official said, warning that the Saudi regime could be toppled and the advanced American weaponry fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

Rudy to be Tough on Saudis

by Habib Shaikh from

According to, foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz told the New York Jewish News: "Any president would have to hesitate before risking the kind of economic dislocation that would be caused by tangling with the Saudis. But I think that Rudy does actually have a different attitude (than Bush) and might very well try to change our policy. "Because the Saudis are alarmed over the Iranian threat, we have a very good chance of persuading them that it is in their own interest to cease financing jihadist agitation."

U.S. ambassador criticizes Saudi Arabia over Iraq

from the Associated Press

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (former U.S. ambassador to Iraq) said Sunday that ally Saudi Arabia was undermining efforts to stabilize Iraq ... Iraqi officials have accused Saudi Arabia of allowing a flow of funding to support Sunni insurgents and failing to prevent would-be suicide bombers from crossing the Saudi border to infiltrate Iraq ... Two House Democrats, Reps. Anthony Weiner and Jerrold Nadler of New York, said Sunday they would introduce legislation to block the Saudi arms deal. Said Weiner, "Saudi Arabia should not get an ounce of military support from the U.S. until they unequivocally denounced terrorism and take tangible steps to prevent it."

A Saudi Strategy

from The New York Sun

The better strategic line is to support a sustained effort at defeating our enemies in Iraq, work to support democratic, pro-American elements in Iran, and dismantle the Saudi tyranny. Splitting the Eastern Province from the rest of today's Saudi Arabia would, as a strategic matter, accomplish several aims. Those living there, the liberal open-minded merchant communities who have worked with Americans for decades as well as the oppressed Shiites would welcome a liberation and support it. Among other things, an independent Eastern province could curtain the corruption of the Al Sauds, and it would defund the Wahabi movement.

All roads lead to one

Nayan Chanda interviewsvCheryl D'Souza from the Deccan Herald

Global terrorism is mostly the result of acts by some in the ‘preacher group’. In the past, connection has also brought conflict. The first instance of a violent political movement with long-distance inspiration occurred in the 19th century when three Sumatran Hajis returned from Mecca profoundly influenced by the Wahhabi movement. They launched a jihad against the Indonesian brand of Islam which was less purist. The jihad led to a savage war in the 1830s. This has happened again and again in history and what is happening now is just a re-enactment of the past, the difference being that due to communication and technological advancements , those who are hardlined, have greater means to wreak war today.