Yet this is exactly what the Obama administration is going to do in the next couple of weeks. A remnant of the Bush era (so that we don't get red vs. blue hysteria going), the deal breaks down like this: Saudi Arabia floods our coffers with $60 billion ($90 if a side-deal on KSA's naval upgrades goes through) and we sell the radical Islamist state a bunch of U.S.-made fighter jets and military helicopters. The justification for this? America's weakened economy. It seems that our government was right, except for the wrong reasons.
I'm just not seeing what benefit this provides America. The way that the government spends money, $60 billion is pocket change. We dole out $1 trillion to failed businesses, we mortgage our future to China, and we hand out arms to Israel like they're candy on Halloween, yet we have to sell high-tech weaponry to a country that does not allow women to drive because we've got a bit of a cash-flow problem? Is that a joke?
For those who have their knickers in a twist over the mislabeled Ground Zero Mosque, this news must be frightening. But this is an issue in which I would be in agreement with them. While the type of Islam that Imam Rauf practices (Sufism, which is the mystical form of Islam concerned with matters of the heart) is decidedly liberal for any religion, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a Wahhabi state. Wahhabism is an extremely conservative form of Islam. Indeed, KSA's constitution is the Qur'an and its courts follow Sharia law. If KSA were not sitting on top of a massive oil field from which they export large amounts of crude the last thing America would do is arm it.
Yet, under the guise of a weakened domestic economy both Democrats and Republicans feel that the right thing to do is to give weapons to potential future enemies. I highly doubt that KSA's body politic approves of America's freedoms (hell, we go one step further than allowing women to drive - they can vote!). If we really needed $90 billion that desperately, we could have shaved a little off of the stimulus or just not given Israel $30 billion in arms. Hell, we could have sold China more Treasury bonds. Instead we are militarily strengthening a radically Muslim nation. Old sayings tend to be remembered through time for their poignancy: mind the company you keep.
Photo - C-Note, U.S. flag, KSA flag, fighter jet (CBS News)