Bush’s Twenty-Billion Dollar Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

The Zionist Power Configuration Defeats Big Oil, the Military Industrial Complex, the White House and the Pentagon

The debate on which forces determine US Middle East policy has cut across the usual political spectrum: On one side most neo-conservative and progressive writers, academics and journalists argue that the military-industrial complex and Big Oil interests are the most influential forces shaping US policy. On the other, a small group of conservative and leftist writers and a few academics have identified what some call the Israel or Zionist Lobby and others refer to the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) as the prevailing influence in deciding US strategic policies in the Middle East.

While the debate rages over who and what interests got us into the Iraq war and the escalating confrontation with Iran, there is no better test of conflicting positions than the proposed US sale of $20 billion dollars of military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

The Pentagon led by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agreed to the sale; it was backed by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and at least tacitly by the entire executive branch, including the National Security Council. All of the biggest US, European and Asian multi-national petroleum companies, refiners and importers were in favor of upgrading the military defensive capacity of the world’s biggest oil producer since hundreds of billions in commercial and financial profits are transacted there every year. The US Middle East Command (CENTCOM) with major air bases and strategic logistic support systems in Saudi Arabia could not but support Saudi acquisition of a defensive high-tech air reconnaissance system.

Saudi Arabia is the most reliable and biggest single supplier of petroleum to the US world-wide. Saudi Arabia has been a staunch ally of the US — more like a client state — in all the US military and surrogate wars and interventions from the co-financing of anti-Soviet Muslim fundamentalist in Afghanistan, the attack on Yugoslavia and support of break-away Bosnia and Kosovo, to the two Gulf Wars and present confrontation with Iran, to its opposition of each and every Arab nationalist or leftist regime over the past 60 years. From the perspective of US imperial interests, dominance and influence in Asia, the Balkans and especially the Middle East, one would think that a military sale worth $20 billion dollars to the Saudi monarchy would be automatically and overwhelmingly approved by the US Congress.

This is especially the case because a $20 billion dollar sale will generate thousands of new jobs and will lessen the huge trade deficit. At the recent OPEC meeting, the Saudis strongly opposed dumping hundreds of billions of depreciating dollars they currently hold as foreign reserves — or even discussing the matter.

There is no greater contrast from the point of view of costs-benefit in comparing Saudi Arabia to Israel. The latter is subsidized by the US, having been gifted over $120 billion dollars over the last 30 years, while it competes, as the second largest arms exporter, with the US-military industrial complex thus costing American jobs, and it supplies absolutely no strategic materials to the US economy. Indeed, Israel has direct access to the most up-to-date US funded military technology, which it then sells to its clients. This is in stark contrast to Saudi Arabia’s servile relation with the US. Israel has constantly demanded and received US support and financing for its wars, its illegal colonization of Palestinian land, and it has unwavering US support for its repudiation of international law and numerous violations of United Nations mandates. While Saudi Arabia supports the US economy and is a strategic supplier of petroleum, Israel drains the US economy and secures its petroleum from it. Beginning in early 2007, the entire ZPC mobilized to block the US arms and military technology sales to Saudi Arabia. Zionist pressure was so intense and its control over Congress was so evident to the White House and Pentagon that Defense Secretary Gates did not even try to counter the ZPC’s campaign in the US Congress. Instead he went straight to the ZPC’s control center in Israel and not with empty hands. He pleaded with Israel to call of its American attack dogs in exchange for a ‘donation’ of over $30 billion dollars in US military handouts to Israel over the next ten years. Olmert accepted Gates offer: The US had paid the price but still the ZPC did not turn over their hostage Congress. President Bush and Secretary Gates were convinced that Israel would muzzle the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations to allow the Saudi sale to go through. This did not happen. Why should it? President Bush could not withdraw the well-publicized pay-off to Israel; it was already in the legislative books. He could not retaliate; the ZPC-controlled Congress would oppose any and all counter measures.

So Bush and Gates went ahead and sent the bill to Congress authorizing the $20 billion sales to Saudi Arabia, a trillion dollar economy with a two-bit military wholly dependent on its US military protector.

Immediately the ZPC rounded up its automatic 190 members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter opposing the sale. The ZPC formulated the position embodied in the letter and oversaw its draft with the collaboration of its co-religionists in Congress. Zionist Congress members Shelley Berkeley and Anthony Weiner teamed up with Michael Ferguson. The Zion-Cons claimed justifiably that they could mobilize over three quarters of the Congress on any issue affecting Israel’s ‘security’. Zionist lawmakers claimed, “the sale would undermine Israel’s superiority in the region”. Every major independent military think tank would dispute this argument since Israel is the only nuclear power in the region, has the biggest and most technologically sophisticated air force and missile system, while Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf States have trouble even controlling local ground level bomb throwers.

There are two likely outcomes both demonstrating categorically that it is the ZPC that dictates US policies in the Middle East:

The military sales will not fly.

The military sale will be approved on conditions that Israel is privy to all its details and can modify or omit any part of the agreement.

The ZPC was even able to strong arm the Congress-people who have made a lifelong career out of aggressively promoting the interests of Big Oil (BO) and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) to switch sides and vote against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia — BO’s strategic partner and the MIC’s best overseas customer. Congress members from BO states like Texas and states with large military industries like California endorsed the ZPC letter prejudicing their constituents and big campaign financers. The feeble ‘lobbying’ by BO and the MIC in favor of the White House were crushed by the ZPC Congressional juggernaut.

The major trade unions of the AFL-CIO, like the steel workers, machinists, oil and chemical workers, electrical workers — whose members’ jobs were at stake, did not protest, let alone challenge the ZPC, demonstrating the high degree of Zionist influence over the trade union bosses. The obvious point is that the Congress and the ZFL-CIO are both Zionist colonized institutions.

The issue is not whether the US should or should not sell arms to Saudi Arabia (I oppose all arms sales and the MIC and BO around the world). The fundamental issue is whether we, the citizens, the elected representatives and the trade unionists in the United States, can be free of foreign colonization to decide the issue. The issue is whether we are or can be a free and independent nation or a subject of a tiny powerful elite acting for a foreign power.

The narrative on the US proposed multi-billion dollar arms sales to a wealthy third rate military power demonstrates once again that Israeli interests have priority over US trade, jobs and geopolitical interests. Secondly the narrative confirms that the Israeli state dictates US political relations in the Middle East through its US conduit: the ZPC. Finally it refutes the Zionist geo-politicians and ‘oil’ and ‘military experts’ who cover up for the ZPC by falsely blaming Big Oil for policies they oppose because it prejudices their strategic partnership.

By blackmail and deceit, the Israelis got their additional $30 billion dollars over the next ten years and they double-crossed ‘their’ president by unleashing their Fifth Column to block his military sales to the Saudis. And if Bush dares a complaint, he will be added to the list of ‘anti-Semites’ — the only honorable list in his entire 8 years in office.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ most recent book is The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Neal said on November 28th, 2007 at 7:52am #

    Mr. Petras,

    You write: “By blackmail and deceit, the Israelis got their additional $30 billion dollars over the next ten years and they double-crossed ‘their’ president by unleashing their Fifth Column to block his military sales to the Saudis. And if Bush dares a complaint, he will be added to the list of ‘anti-Semites’ — the only honorable list in his entire 8 years in office.”

    Those are pretty strong words. And, it all assumes that the US supports Israel because of lobbying and the like, not out of ideological affinity, religious affinity and the need for the US to take into consideration a strong country, Israel, which if the US adopted a hostile attitude could very readily make life in the Middle East even worse than it already is. Perhaps, it would even jump the US ship and make buddy, buddy with Russia or China. That, after all, is where your noxious ideas could well lead.

    Consider, however, that the very idea of restoring historic Palestine to Jewish rule was popular among American Christians long before it was popular among Jews. Perhaps, Mr. Petras, you might look into a doctrine called restorationism, a doctrine held by numerous US presidents going back to the early years of the US.

    I gather that your way of thinking does not allow for other explanations. It must be, on your thinking, lobbying. No matter that most Americans strongly support Israel. No matter that such has its roots in American forms of Christianity. No matter that Israel, like the US, is a state born of immigrants. Etc., etc.

    In a word, your theory is BS.

  2. Deadbeat said on November 28th, 2007 at 10:53am #

    I gather that your way of thinking does not allow for other explanations. It must be, on your thinking, lobbying. No matter that most Americans strongly support Israel. No matter that such has its roots in American forms of Christianity. No matter that Israel, like the US, is a state born of immigrants. Etc., etc.

    Both the U.S. and Israel are colonist settler states. What Petras has identified is the the invasion on Iraq was not a “War for Oil” that the “left” has embraced. It is Zionism that seems to be dismissed. Your assumption that “American strongly supports Israel” is only due to the propaganda that that been promoted over the years. However folks like Petras, Walt, and Carter are opening up cracks in that facade and getting their perspectives critical of Israel and Israeli Apartheid out to the public. 10 years ago you’d get ridiculed for making such a comparison today you are now engaged in a heated debate. That huge progress.

  3. Neal said on November 28th, 2007 at 11:09am #

    Deadbeat,

    How does one explain, by propaganda, the fact that President Wilson was an ardent restorationist? There was no pro-Israeli lobby at the time. There was no pro-Zionist lobby to speak of either. And, the top Jewish adviser and chief fundraiser for Wilson, Ambassador Morgenthau, was an ardent anti-Zionist. Notwithstanding Morgenthau’s assertive views to the contrary, Wilson thought restorationism to be important. Why? It was part of his Christian upbringing.

    How does one explain, by propaganda, that President Lincoln said, in 1863, “restoring the Jews to their homeland is a noble dream shared by many Americans”? It was his Christian upbringing as well, if you are interested. How does your theory explain that John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, Charles Scribner and President William McKinley were known restorationists? Again, it was their Christian upbringing. How does your theory of propaganda explain that President Truman was a restorationist? The same answer.

    It is nice for people to throw out theories to explain things. It is another thing to explain the strong support that has existed for more than 200 years in the US for the restoration of Israel.

    As for the Iraq war, if we go by what Mr. Mearsheimer admitted when interviewed on the ON POINT radio show, in fact, Israel did not want the US to invade Iraq. Israel was concerned primarily with Iran, first, second and third. However, Israel was not going to tell the president it would not back him up, most especially when the President indicated that Iran was also a problem for the US that he hoped to deal with. How do we know this? There was a meeting well before the war in which the Israelis were told that the US would invade Iraq and representatives of the Israeli government argued against the idea and for dealing, instead with Iran. So much for your theory and that of Mr. Petras.

  4. jaime said on November 28th, 2007 at 12:16pm #

    Oh I dunno Neal,

    I showed Mr. Petras’ article to one of our patients here at Seabrook House Treatment Centre in Seabrook New Jersey, and he thought it made a lot of sense.

    Of course, he hadn’t taken his meds yet this morning, so we may get a different opinion later.

    http://www.seabrookhouse.org/

    And for anyone who thinks it’s easy running a Zionist Power Configuarion, they should think twice before trying it. I’m so busy processing Christmas weapons orders for Columbian druglords and the Myanmar junta that the Israeli takeover of Mauritania ( for their copra industry) has been put on hold at least until after New Year’s.

  5. VincentF. said on November 28th, 2007 at 6:55pm #

    James Petras has never, not even once, contended that the Zionist lobby was exclusively Jewish, as some in the comments section are trying to imply. O f course, Christian Zionism has been, and continues to be a, major influence in the support of the Jewish Supremacist State of Israel.

    Kudos to Petras for calling segments of the left to task for their totally discredited and insane view that the Zionist lobby exerts little or no power over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (which most sane people acknowledge it does—to the detriment of the U.S.).

    Seriously it’s some poison Kool-Aid that my left colleagues are drinking from. I really don’t think that acknowledging the HUGE amount of power that the Zionist lobby exerts, it will cause another another holocuast (if that is the fear driving the Lobby Denialists).

  6. Neal said on November 29th, 2007 at 7:21am #

    VincentF.,

    It is not generally claimed that Israel’s friends have no influence. That is in your head.

    What is claimed, among other things, is that such groups (a) are not the dominant influence on policy (i.e. they do not control US policy) regarding the Middle East, (b) Israel’s friends very often do not get their way (e.g. they have, in the past, opposed the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia), (c) Israel’s friends do not have a single policy agenda about Israel other than the view, shared, in any event, by the vast majority of Americans – in part for religious reasons and in part for cultural reasons – that Israel is a legitimate country that deserves American support and (d) that Israel did not lead the US to war with Iraq (because, in fact, that was not Israel’s policy issue).

  7. hp said on November 29th, 2007 at 2:18pm #

    Why even fool around with acronyms? The good old fashioned ZOG is the same as it ever was.

  8. Neal said on November 29th, 2007 at 5:45pm #

    hp,

    So, I gather that you are a right wing zealot who thinks that the US is an occupied country. How interesting.

  9. heike said on November 30th, 2007 at 12:41pm #

    The concern of this “50 year veteran of the class struggle” for the reactionary Saudi regime is sooo touching!
    //While Saudi Arabia supports the US economy and is a strategic supplier of petroleum…//

    And supporting the interests of the U.S. Merchants of Death. Is this what Petras spent 50 years of the class struggle for? Whom are the Saudis going to use all those weapons against? What happened to such things as putting teenaged girls in prison for 6 months because they got raped for the crime of comingling? I guess we’d better not talk about those matters lest we take jobs from American workers. A real socialist talking! A real man of principle!

    for more on the SPC (Saudi Power Configuration) see
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/04/jrm-pubnote-20070417

    p.s. I would have expected Comrade Petras to have done a better job in writing about Bosnia. “Support of breakaway Bosnia”? Does he know the first thing of the region’s history? How about “support of breakaway Ukraine” or “Support of breakaway Kazakhstan?” His Muslim friends, it so happens, didn’t want to live under Serb domination, and the feeling was mutual with the Serbs. The country approved independence in a referendum in March 1992 under Serb threats, after Yugoslavia itself was in a state of collapse. The Saudi game was to spread their form of wahabism in the country and I must admit they have been successful. But acting as a U.S. agent? Maybe we have an SOG (Saudi Occupied Government).

  10. Raffi_322 said on November 30th, 2007 at 3:23pm #

    Neal, I look forward to more of your robot commentary. It’s better than caffeine in waking me up.