Iraq now, Iran next, Saudi Arabia for later

“It’s the oil, stupid.”

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal of 10th June, Edward J. Markey asks rhetorically “Why Is Bush Helping Saudi Arabia Build Nukes?” He points out that if at all the Saudis need more energy — even after sitting atop the world’s largest oil reserves — then the US should be helping them out by selling them solar technology. Solar technology makes sense in a country three times the size of Texas, and where the desert sands see around 300 days of sunshine every year. He says, “For a country with so much oil, gas and solar potential, importing expensive and dangerous nuclear power makes no economic sense.”

Quite right. It makes no economic sense for the Saudis to import nuclear technology, a technology which Markey points out the Saudis are ill-prepared for. But it does make immense strategic sense for the Saudis to import nuclear technology. Markey points out that it is probably the first step for the Saudis to create Sunni nukes that will balance the potential Iranian Shia nukes.

I think that it makes immense sense for the US government to go around spreading weapons of mass destruction technology. Every country that has, or attempted to have, WMD ultimately has to thank the US for the capability. Why does the US do it? Because, first, the US makes money from selling the technology. The US is not the greatest arms exporter in the world for nothing. Selling weapons and weapons technology is its bread and butter. Second, it gives the US the opportunity to later go in and invade countries that it disagrees with under the pretext that WMD should be destroyed. Just one example out of many: the US gave WMD technology to Iraq and then invaded Iraq when it thought that the time was ripe. Another example (which Markey cites) is how the US transferred nuclear technology to Iran before the Shah was overthrown.

All indications are that one of these days the US will have to take action against Iran for their ambition to develop nukes. In the meanwhile, the US is putting the next country — Saudi Arabia — in the pipeline for the same old routine: sell them technology, and then go invade them and take over the oil fields under the pretext that they have WMD.

It’s quite impressive. I am not only impressed by the American strategy but also impressed by the foolishness of the countries that fall for it.

Related post: The care and feeding of the permanent arms industry–part 2.

5 thoughts on “Iraq now, Iran next, Saudi Arabia for later

  1. tarang_72 Thursday June 12, 2008 / 5:06 am

    Read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. It discusses many such incidents.


  2. Atanu Dey Thursday June 12, 2008 / 8:02 am

    Tarang_72, thanks for the reminder. I have added a link to a previous post that refers to that book.


  3. Notsure Thursday June 12, 2008 / 9:56 am

    This is old news…Why did markey wait so long. It started with turkey being approved for a nuclear reactor and Saudis running towards russia….
    If Atoms for peace led to weapons of mass destruction charge against IRAN(theres a weaker case there, as bulk of iranian weaponry plan comes centrifuge from pakistan)
    A stronger case exist in indias use of the reactor supplied under that clause case.
    US should be ok marching towards either of those now wouldnt it.
    Or better yet, march into UK?


  4. pankaj Thursday June 12, 2008 / 11:31 am

    USA is tricky and other nations are Plain Foolish, just look at how usa arms both the enemies with same weapons ,arab vs israelis(f-16,f-15 etc),India vs Pakistan(f-16,p-3 orion, radars etc) f-16s,p-3 are being offered to india.By selling weapons usa kills two birds with one stone,first it helps it hi tech arms industries and second it brings the countries it sells weapons under its influence.Lastly usa weapons are quite useless as they can only be used in the war which usa approves.


  5. Notsure Thursday June 12, 2008 / 12:05 pm

    US is open to give indians manufacturing license for f16? and sell it other aircraft?

    Besides Its upto india to decide if it wants to keep crashing migs(as its doing) or develop next gen migs in coop with russia or work with US, The LCA mca still sources US and Israeli(rebranded US compnents).
    And russia still sells arms to every one pakistan china…The US will at some point sell its arm to china(how far it is in future I dont know…. But the chinese werent as dumbass as the indians to reject a nuclear deal nearly identical to that offered to india. It was offered under reagan and they took it. The terms were nearly identical.
    They accellerated there testing and signed shittybitty CTBT(even though they seem to have voilated it at least on 2 occasions since then….:-)


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