March 26, 2005

Bush to Sell F-16 Fighter Jets to Pakistan

"The president's decision reversed 15 years of policy begun during the administration of his father. The United States barred the sale of F-16s to Pakistan in 1990 out of concern over its then-undeclared nuclear arms program ..."

But now that they have come clean about building nuclear weapons, tested them, been a haven for terrorists, remain the home to hundreds if not thousands of schools that are educating the terrorists of tomorrow, sold WMD technology to some of the most corrupt and horrifying political figures in the world ... well, obviously it's time we started selling arms to the military dictatorship in which Osama bin Laden is probably hiding out, right? Right?

Perhaps this is just one of those moves I don't understand since I'm part of the reality-based community.

The administration though has announced in their comments on this story that they are happy to sell arms to India too.

''What we are trying to do is solidify and extend relations with both India and Pakistan at a time when we have good relations with both of them -- something most people didn't think could be done -- and at a time when they have improving relationships with one another," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.

Given this I suppose I understand one thing that's partially behind this move - we hope to start an arms race between nuclear-armed rivals because it's good for US companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and where would they be without activist (reckless) foreign policy moves by the US government on their behalf. And beyond that, maybe there are people in the White House thinking - Hey if it worsens relations between India and Pakistan (which have been improving of late for the first time in years) maybe that will make corporations less likely to out-source jobs to India! We get to support one of our favorite dictators and help protect US jobs all at the same time! True, a nuclear war could result from us fanning the flames of the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan. And/or the current dictator could be killed and replaced with an Osama-friendly or more ardently anti-India regime and choose to use all those planes we just sold them against us or our allies. But ... well, those things aren't definitely going to happen, there are merely entirely plausible possibilities, so we'll all just gather at Camp David, sing spirituals near the fireplace and hope for the best.

Finally, I can't let this go without taking another swipe at Rice. That statement shows, for seemingly the billionth time, her disregard for reality and the truth. I mean it is true that India has been spending a good bit of money on its military of late, and perhaps they do seek access to more US military products, but the idea that this move helps to "solidify" our ties with the world's biggest democracy is ... well, it's either moronic or a flat-out lie. Take your pick (though with Rice, as we've seen in the past, it could be both).

Posted by armand at March 26, 2005 11:42 AM | TrackBack | Posted to International Affairs

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