Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Surge in the Soccer Field

"Younis Mahmoud headed home his fourth goal of the tournament as Iraq secured a memorable 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday to win the AFC Asian Cup," according to the AFC website. Sometimes sports are easier to follow than diplomacy or politics. You can understand how and why a soccer team wins a game. It's harder to see the reason for selling a whole bunch of high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Nothing follows.

24 Comments:

Blogger NahnCee said...

Because they've got itty-bitty bugs embedded in them so we can listen to what our friends the Saudi's are saying about us behind our back?

And they're engineered to break down in six weeks, and you just know the Saudi's won't be able to fix them in-house. And the French nor the Russians won't be able to, either. Which will make those two "allies" of America feel bad about their capabilities, too.

7/29/2007 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Frederic said...

It is actually a brilliant idea: the long lead time on these weapons means that they will not be delivered for several years. Extra Saudi purchases lower the unit price for US Gov't purchases, amortizing R and D expenses. Finally, if something bad happens in Saudi we can always seize them in the shipyard and use them ourselves. See: "Kidd" class destroyers for an example (ordered by Shah of Iran- used by US Navy instead after Iranian Revolution).

7/29/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I feel bad for americans who have to negotiate with the saudis.

this is likely the price the saudis demanded for not getting into nukes.

Here's my report on my visit to Las Vegas for the membrane conference. Hopefully it will be reviewed by a committee currently considering appropriate investments in desalination research.

7/29/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger regretleft said...

Right, Nahncee - we may be selling them to the Saudis - but it's not Saudis who will maintain them or even (to some extent) fly them - isn't it all outsourced - mostly to South Koreans?

7/29/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

It looks like Israel is getting $30 billion in weapon by way of the US taxpayer in return for being quiet about the Saudi deal. After all, the radical Wahabbi nutjobs in power who inspired the 9/11 attacks are considered "moderates". Now Israel is not stupid and since they more or less control Congress this Saudi deal will not be approved but Israel will still get her $30 billion welfare check anyway.

7/29/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

No Kevin -- Democrats control Congress and Democrats HATE Israel and HATE Jews: see Obama or Kucinich or Gravel or Dodd or Biden or Richardson or Hillary.

All hate Jews, Israel, and all love the Saudis. Hillary and Bill just as much as GWB have been on the Saudi gravy train for decades, Bill gets $1 million a pop from them for making speeches and they funded his library.

Democrats hate Jews and Israel as much as Cedarford. Not surprising since Liberals by definition loathe Israel and Jews (visit Daily Kos) and African-Americans have a long history of hatred of Jews, from Farrakhan to Sharpton to Spike Lee to Jessie Jackson. Heck Conyers and Moran both think "Jews" were behind 9/11 and the DNC is filled with such people who even openly distribute flyers to that effect.

Dems will happily back this since by their own definition Islam, Jihad, and terrorism do not exist.

What this is all about is Bush's attempt to withdraw/surrender and not have the Saudis come to terms with Iran which is going to rule the Gulf from now on. If you like $70 barrels of oil, get ready for $170 barrels when Iran runs the Gulf.

7/29/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Was Christopher Columbus Jewish

This is odd but plausible. Especially the timing. It helps explain why a man would be willing to sail off the edge of the earth

7/29/2007 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Israel really needs to do the US and the world a favor and remove ME jihadi oil from the map. It's well past time to move towards homegrown ethanol to fuel our economic engine.

7/29/2007 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Back to the soccer field if you please.

It looks like Iraq is firming up. Article after article mentions worldwide sympathy for Iraq and the marvelous soccer players. That's a western sympathy, an American sympathy, a sympathy for the Iraqi's suffering at the hands of Al Quada while America valiantly struggles on their behalf to bring that country into the 21st century.

This smells like social victory for the things westerners prize. Military victory cannot be far behind.

Hooray for that soccer team and their mentally healthy spirit of fair play on the field and hopefully throughout their society.

This is one of the best stories out of that part of the world in a long time.

Drudge has it as a banner headline. I think he's right.

7/29/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Yeah, yeah, whiskey 199, the whole world dislikes Jews, blacks dislike Jews, Democrats dislike Jews even with half their money coming from wealthy Jews, and their aiding Jews to disproportionate representation in Congress, the Courts...

Why all the dislike?
When someone is voted "most popular" movie star or associate, chances are most who hld them so can explain why they did something or possessed the traits that led others to like them. And the popular ones can give out a few reasons why they ended up well regarded.
Conversely........
Well, lets just say that unpopular people find it just about impossible to accept there are reasons for their unpopularity...

AS for the weapons purchases themselves, there's something to like, something to dislike.

The idea of not only continuing the Egypt-Israel Welfare Queen arrangement started 27 years ago but jacking the welfare check to both up 25% won't sit well with a lot of Americans who question why half of our foreign aid has to go to two small, relatively well-off countries so they won't shoot at each other.

The Bahrain, Saudi, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates deal at least had the benefit that they pay for it.

More importantly, since Israel is unusable as an ally in any conflict, having Sunni nations join us in an attack to defang Iran gives us legitimacy in all the Muslim world which is lopsidedly Sunni majority outside Iran and Iraq.
Plus, Iran is getting tons of modern stuff from China, and the Gulf nations need to counter that, upgrade their purchases bought from the USA 15-20 years ago, and add Naval elements as they promised both us and the Brits they would do.
The alternative is they go French or Russian in their purchases, if patrons of "America's Special Friend" block the deal.

Getting the full requested weapons they seek may aid us enormously. Hitting Iran, restoring the Gulf if need be. Or otherwise deterring Iranian aggression...

Outside KSA, the Gulf States are solid allies and KSA is Jeckyll-Hyde. Our best ME ally over time, a force of traditional stability, staunch anti-communists for all, along with the USA, the co-runner of the global oil system and keeping it going reliably and - in dollars.
But KSA may have an untenable political system and is the exporter of the cancer of intolerant Wahabbi Islam and terrorist thinking.

Best we can hope for is Iran backs down, and if it doesn't, we get the Sunnis to join us in taking out the Iranian radical Shiite threat and Israel stays out of it. As for Israel, they look small these days, and seem to have their hands full just taking on Hezbollah.

7/29/2007 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

Getting back to the original post, my first assumption was that the weapons sale to the Saudis was to offset Iranian power.

I'd be interested in others' thoughts as to whether or not this seems plausible.

7/29/2007 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Sparks fly - Aww please, back in 2004 Olympics the Iraqi soccer team was held up as the glory of "liberated" Iraq, noble purple-fingered freedom lovers all. They were feted in America, which covertly picked up part of their tab.

At the 2004 Olympics, Iraq defeated Portugal, Costa Rica, and Australia on their way to securing fourth place in the tournament. [2] [3]

Remember those glory days for Bush and his "noble soccer heroes?"

Back in 2004, about 2300 American deaths and 14,720 casualties ago the world was filled with admiration for the marvelous soccer players

In the last 3 years, 1 was killed in combat with US troops, another arrested for being part of an IED team. (Gratitude for the tens of thousands the US paid them under the table? Perhaps American taxpayers springing for their 1st-class airfare, 1st class functions in Athens, and non-players on Team Iraq 1200 a night hotel accomodations and room service courtesy of Uncle Sam..

4 others in FIFA have left Iraq for safer Syria, Jordan. And denounce the Crusaders on their Website along with other team mates that show when it comes to ingratitude and deadly backstabbing, the Iraqis show the French up as pussies.

This smells like social victory for the things westerners prize. Military victory cannot be far behind.. Oh, yeah..just as Iraq's "miracle run" in the 2004 Olympics showed the sterling character of the noble Iraqis and how beloved War Leader Bush II was right that complete victory was right ahead as soon as a few foreign fighters and Saddam dead-enders were defeated by our "heroes" in the next few months...

7/29/2007 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"As for Israel, they look small these days,.."

Cedarfard, you always manage to put a smile on my face. Especially when I know that you know that I know that you know that all these jihadi rivals of Israel's (including Iran) clamor for Israeli electronics to be placed in their military hardware no matter the platform's point of origin. As for Hezzbbollah, that's a problem for the Saudi whoring dope smuggling Gucci Lebanese.

7/29/2007 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Cedarford -- Nietzche felt anti-semitism to be the most notable attribute of a small and limited mind. Ignorant and stupid people dislike Jews as a convenient scapegoat. The same people who think shaking hands with westerners causes a man's penis to drop off, or polio vaccine makes Muslims sterile, or that sex with a virgin cures aids, or that aids is caused by "spores" and so on.

The Kos people, paleocons such as Pat "Hitler was Right" Buchanon, Muslims, Liberals, and Dems can't handle the messy ugly reality of the world and a want a scapegoat. Since Jews are convenient and PC targets they take it in the neck. If they didn't exist at all it would be the Bahais, or any other small group without any power to hit back and cause hurt.

There is also the Jewish insistence on God, and only one at that, plus a clearly defined idea of right and wrong, which has enraged Roman debauched Emperors and Pharoahs and Hellenistic kings in the ancient world, witch-burning fanatics in the medieval world, and Muslim lunatic rabble along with Buchanon's pal Hitler in the modern. Couldn't have the Paganistic "Germania" mixture of obscenely degenerated Roman and Teutonic fakery or the New Caliphate with Jews existing to tell the whole world it was all fake.

Egypt is hardly tiny -- it has a population of 80 million. Israel is tiny with less than six million. Giving weapons to Egypt is IMHO stupid since they are just a coup away from the Muslim Brotherhood aka the "civilian" branch of AQ in power. Israel is a tiny nation without much power projection (any wars they fight will be defensive and as short as possible) but is at least reliable in that intelligence they get relating to AQ activities will be shared. Which Egypt is doubtful, particularly when not if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over.

Moreover you've missed the most significant military development of Iran: their ability with Hezbollah and their own new "New Model Army" reforms with IRGC to fix the problems de Atkine pointed out in "Why Arabs Lose Wars." We can sell all the weapons we want to the Gulf states and it won't do a bit of good, Iran will steamroll over them because Arabs can't fight. But the Iranians can.

This is at best putting a bandaid over a bleeding wound of the US pullout and pretending it will do anything to stop the Iranian rule over the Gulf. [Clearly Ahmadinejad wants war like Hitler in 1938-9 due to what he sees as Western Weakness and internal pressures.]

The war with Hezbollah and Israel last summer showed Hezbollah (and Iran) mastering: pushing authority down to the sergeant level, well trained non-coms, initiative and resourcefulness, adaptable battle plans, highly trained and well equipped troops. Use of UAVs and other western materials.

7/29/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger rickl said...

I hope NahnCee and Frederic are right. Because otherwise it looks like a thoroughly cynical American government is eagerly selling weapons to both sides, and that can't be good for anybody. Least of all us.

7/29/2007 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Article after article mentions worldwide sympathy for Iraq and the marvelous soccer players.

I wonder how much of that reaction is world-wide satisfaction that Saudi Arabia lost. If I was an oil tick, I wonder if I'd lose any sleep over the fact that my itsy-bitsy unprotected sand dune of a country is even more unpopular globally than the Great Satans America and Israel.

(Yes, I do mean unprotected. We sold 'em whatever guns they have. Do you seriously think we couldn't kick the door in and gallop on through any old time we wanted to?)

7/29/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Iran doesn't have anything that can beat the F-15 air superiority fighter. As such, Iran doesn't have anything that would allow it air superiority over Saudia and therefore the ability to overtake any significant ground. I agree with Kevin; the Saudi arms deal looks as a political cover to up arm the Israelis. I'm not sure why this should be, but perhaps the calculation is that this would allow Israel to reallocate some Shekels towards Research & Development of Israeli developed weapons platforms (the Israeli Arrow anti missile defense system, the Trophy anti anti-tank defense system, etc.), and thus expedite their delivery.

7/29/2007 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Who said these words?

"I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon."

An American leftist? Al Qaida’s rep in Iraq? Or the captain of the Iraqi football team?

[http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/29/sports/AS-SPT-SOC-Iraq-Mahmoud.php]

It will be interesting to see how this is spun; it might make the Iraqi football team's visit to the White House a bit awkward.

*********

Now Whiskey 199 I was just about to give up on you ever saying anything interesting, especially after you said the Left was anti-Semitic despite the fact that 11 of 50 Democratic Senators are Jews. That’s more than 20% for a group that makes up 2% of the population. If over-representing a group by a factor of 10 is hate, what would it take to show love, 100% Jew Senators?

But then you went and said something very intelligent in your next comment regarding the military potential of the Saudis vs. the Persians was spot on. No Arab Sunni military organization has been anything except totally embarrassing with the very slight possibility of an exception for Saddam’s army at the end of the Iran Iraq War when with US help he mastered chemical warfare. Many people got a good laugh when the Saudis recently threatened to intervene in Iraq, they would have to find a whole lot of mercenaries to fight a conventional war since the only thing the Wahabbi organizational principle is good at producing is cowardly terrorists and rich oil sheiks.

For those saying Iran will have trouble gaining air superiority they better think again. Iran is about to buy 250 Russian / French Su-30MKM’s even though at this point it is unlikely the Israelis will allow them to use their advanced avionics. Sure back in the Iran-Iraq War days the Persians were less than useless with their patented human wave attacks of young boys but in the last decade or so they seem to have drastically improved their diplomatic and military potential as their recent string of minor victories across the Middle East shows. If the US or Israel think that Saudi Arabia will act as a buffer then they are seriously misleading themselves. That’s worse than the Germans thinking that Italy would serve to strengthen their southern flank in WW2.

In the end the sale of weapons to the Saudis will be decided between a clash of Washington insider titans. On the Saudi side will be their official servile lackeys known as the Carlyle Group (as well as their bitches, the Albright Group) with fat potential commissions going to all those loyal to the Bush (and Clinton) family, against AIPAC, who will have to work covertly since the $30 billion welfare check to Israel was supposed to buy their silence.

Now if the Right and Left blogosphere could just work together maybe we could get this Saudi deal killed.

7/30/2007 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Kevin, (aka Cedarfard)

Without the advanced avionics and advanced air-to-air missiles to go with it, the SU-30 that perhaps possibly might be delivered to Iran is little more than a fancy acrobatic air show jet.

:D

7/30/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Crazy Marzouq Redneck Muslim said...

I guess that Allah is obviously with Iraq and against Saudi Arabia. Gee, I wonder why that is?

This is a great boost for Iraq, especially since the parliament is taking a month off. I bet the hookas will be hot and the coffee thick while the parliament has some "networking" going on during this "vacation".

Allahu akbar, y'all!

7/30/2007 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner John Burns on Iraq, Iran and how the surge is working.
(and the difficult decisions yet to be made)
An honorable and humble professional.

7/30/2007 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Having seen the highlights of the game recommend cancelling the weapons and sending Eddie Johnson instead. Saudis will thank you more.

7/31/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Back on my meds, heh heh.

Salaam eleikum!

7/31/2007 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

It was nice that Iraq won their first Asian cup,Congratulations to all the players. I've seen their celebration in Dubai which is arranged by the Iraqis who living in Dubai, but I sad to know that all the Iraqi players has been banned to enter in Iraq because of security reasons...
home insurance derbyshire

8/01/2007 08:42:00 AM  

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