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Why Russia should sell weapons to Iran and Syria
RIA Novosti (Russian state-owned outlet) ^ | 08AUG07 | Marianna Belenkaya, Russian Government

Posted on 08/08/2007 2:27:37 PM PDT by familyop

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Marianna Belenkaya) - In the United States, the debate on pulling out of Iraq has given way to a dispute about the wisdom of supplying the Saudis with the latest American weapons.

A similar situation is taking place in France, where passions are running high around the planned delivery of weapons and a nuclear power plant to Libya. In both cases, the commercial and political benefits are being weighed against the threat of nuclear proliferation and concern about terrorists getting their hands on nuclear arms.

With whom is it OK to trade in such commodities, and on what terms? These have always been relevant questions.

The U.S. Congress warned President George W. Bush that in September, after their return from summer recess, they would submit to both the House and the Senate a bill that would block supplies of certain weapons to the Saudis. They explained that Saudi Arabia did not behave like an American ally; rather, it supplied militants and suicide bombers for the war in Iraq and funded terrorist activities all over the world.

These comments were made about one of Washington's key partners in the Arab world. The United States is hurling the same accusations at its number one enemies: Syria and Iran. What is the difference between a friend and a foe?

It is true that terrorists are coming to Iraq both from Saudi Arabia and Syria. Many of the militants captured in Iraq have Saudi passports. But this does not mean that the kingdom's government supports them. (There is no evidence that Syria is backing them, either). Quite the contrary, the Saudis are interested in fighting terrorism.

But there are private funds helping the Islamic extremists in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world. After September 11, 2001 the Gulf governments became much more cautious in their attitude to such funds and generally changed their attitude to the extremists, who are now primarily a major headache for them. Extremists are a problem for the entire Muslim world, rather than just the Saudis.

Does this mean that it is necessary to ban the sale of weapons in the Middle East?

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a telling comment on this subject. He told the Israelis that the Saudis and other moderate Arab countries would be able to get the weapons elsewhere, including from Russia, if America did not supply them.

The logic is understandable: it is better to try and control which weapons are sold and where, or put the sales under international supervision, say, the IAEA, rather than cede the market to other countries.

But Moscow is following the same logic in cooperating with Syria and Iran. Many arguments may be cited to explain the difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran, or Syria and Iraq, but they are largely politically motivated. The entire Middle East, or rather the Muslim world, is in the same boat. Weapons supplied to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan or the Palestinian National Authority may end up in terrorist hands just like weapons sold to Syria and Iran. There is no guarantee that if Russia leaves this niche tomorrow, it won't be occupied by American or European defense companies.

The impossible becomes possible all too often. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a former swore enemy of the West accused of supporting terrorism, can now be seen hugging French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He also hosted Tony Blair when the latter was British prime minister. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she wouldn't mind visiting Libya. As a result, major Western oil companies have come back to that country; large-scale arms deals and the construction of a nuclear power plant are in the offing.

Obviously, all this has happened because Tripoli changed its foreign policy, abandoned the development of weapons of mass destruction and stopped lashing out at the West. But Gaddafi is the same man; yesterday, he profited from certain things, whereas now he stands to gain from others. Time and circumstance will dictate what he will be interested in tomorrow.

Or take an example from another region: North Korea. Today the world community, including the United States, is discussing ways of helping that country, but only yesterday Washington was calling it part of the Axis of Evil.

Everything is relative: friends and foes, and rules for trade in weapons. The United States supplying arms to Iran and Syria does not seem like such a fantastic notion, and as we see, regime change is not at all necessary. If such trade is profitable and politically feasible, why not go for it?

We could go on and on about whether arms trafficking is ethical at all. But if it cannot be stopped, let it be controlled as much as possible by respectable salesmen, be they the United States, France or Russia. Otherwise, as Robert Gates rightly noted, the niche may be occupied by completely different players.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; russia; syria; weapons

1 posted on 08/08/2007 2:27:40 PM PDT by familyop
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To: M. Espinola
...in their own words, ping.


2 posted on 08/08/2007 2:28:24 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: familyop

Bump


3 posted on 08/08/2007 2:29:16 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: familyop

Bush has been in office for six and a half years now. How many summits with Putin has he held? I don’t advocate us elevating Russia to super-power level status, but I don’t think you totally ignore it either.

Shouldn’t we be talking to them? Shouldn’t we let them win a few little ones, then stand firm on major issues?

This isn’t an attempt to throw in the towel, but it’s just amazing to me that we haven’t kept Russia closer especially in light of it’s seeming inclination to tap the China tree.

When Putin made his first overatures to China, it could just as easily have been an attempt to wake us up. When we seemed to ignore that attempt, it seemed to drive Putin into China’s camp.

Aren’t we making a classic mistake here? Seems like it to me.


4 posted on 08/08/2007 2:35:56 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Victory will never be achieved while defining Conservatism downward, and forsaking it's heritage.)
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To: familyop
The United States supplying arms to Iran and Syria does not seem like such a fantastic notion, and as we see, regime change is not at all necessary. If such trade is profitable and politically feasible, why not go for it?

IOW, sell weapons to all the muzzies and let them kill each other.

We make money on the deal, and the military only has to use minimum force in the future, because there will only be 20-30 ragheads left in the world....

(which is 20-30 too many IMHO....)

5 posted on 08/08/2007 2:36:38 PM PDT by dirtbiker (I tried to see things from the liberal point-of-view, but I couldn't get my head up my a$$...)
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To: familyop

We shouldn’t be selling arms to anyone but since we are, it justifies Russia and every other podunk who makes weapons to also sell arms.

Soooo, whoever has the money gets the weapons.
And when they start rattling sabres, who comes to rescue them???
Talk about making the World unstable.


6 posted on 08/08/2007 2:43:17 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
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To: DoughtyOne

Iran will be a major issue soon enough. And as we wait, Russia gets closer with Iran. Two or three years ago, Russian defense said that it wouldn’t get physically involved in a US invasion of Iran. That will probably change.

S. Korea, U.S. verifying reports on test of new N.K. missile in Iran: source
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1834307/posts
(4,000 kilometer range—will reach London and Rome—May 16th, 2007)

I’ll just wait, and when the time comes, watch the mushrooms grow from a remote area.


7 posted on 08/08/2007 2:48:03 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: DoughtyOne

It is interesting, BTW, trying to have logical discussions with people whose nationalism is based on pride alone.


8 posted on 08/08/2007 2:50:00 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: o_zarkman44

...agreed. Instead of selling arms to any of them, we should be doing the following in Iran as soon as possible, before they consolidate any more with their neighbors.

Denazification, cumulative review. Report, 1 April 1947-30 April 1948.
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/History.Denazi


9 posted on 08/08/2007 2:53:21 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: familyop

Best reason for Russia to sell weapons to Iran and Syria? The crap will fall apart, and is exactly what you want your enemies to be using when you fight them.


10 posted on 08/08/2007 3:39:48 PM PDT by webheart
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To: webheart
Dripping with hard-liner contempt, I see.

Bully for you.
11 posted on 08/08/2007 3:55:08 PM PDT by JohnA
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To: familyop
Putin's pests are crawling all over this thread.


12 posted on 08/08/2007 4:12:39 PM PDT by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: DoughtyOne

Putin, in his heart and soul, is a Soviet communist.


13 posted on 08/08/2007 4:26:46 PM PDT by Thunder90
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To: familyop
Putin's Press says: Russia to build 2 Kalashnikov factories in Venezuela by 2010

Marxist dictator Chavez visits an AK47 factory in Russia on July 26th, 2006.

Twin communist tyrants

14 posted on 08/08/2007 4:33:08 PM PDT by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: Thunder90

I suffer from no dilusions here. You keep your enemies closer. You don’t simply ignore them for the better part of six years. If you have a relationship with a tyrant, at least you have some bartering position.

I don’t like what I see in Putin these days. It doesn’t bode well for the future. It could get a lot worse. I would hope that it wouldn’t.

Let’s remember that traditionally Russia and China have not been friendly with one another. Border skirmishes were the norm for decades. Now they’re playing footsie. I don’t think that is the answer. We should be vying for a reasoned working relationship with Russia IMO.

Good God, look what we’ve done with China. We’ve gifted them with decades worth of technology so much so that Russia is betting on them to be the next super-power, one that it wants to side with.

Wouldn’t it have been better to give both a reasoned measure of business, quite limited, than to go the routes we have with both?

Seems to me we kissed China’s ass and mooned Russia. The result is not something I am glad to see.


15 posted on 08/08/2007 4:35:19 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Victory will never be achieved while defining Conservatism downward, and forsaking it's heritage.)
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To: webheart
webheart wrote:
"Best reason for Russia to sell weapons to Iran and Syria? The crap will fall apart, and is exactly what you want your enemies to be using when you fight them."

There's some truth to that.

Georgia Seeks U.N. Security Council Session About Missile
NY Times ^ | August 9, 2007 | C. J. CHIVERS
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1878501/posts

Excerpt:
No one was injured by the missile, which struck on Monday evening near Tsitelubani, a village about 30 miles from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. The missile broke apart on impact, but did not explode. The Georgian military later detonated the missile.



16 posted on 08/08/2007 7:46:23 PM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: familyop

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a telling comment on this subject. He told the Israelis that the Saudis and other moderate Arab countries would be able to get the weapons elsewhere, including from Russia, if America did not supply them.

The logic is understandable: it is better to try and control which weapons are sold and where, or put the sales under international supervision, say, the IAEA, rather than cede the market to other countries.

But Moscow is following the same logic in cooperating with Syria and Iran. Many arguments may be cited to explain the difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran, or Syria and Iraq, but they are largely politically motivated. The entire Middle East, or rather the Muslim world, is in the same boat. Weapons supplied to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan or the Palestinian National Authority may end up in terrorist hands just like weapons sold to Syria and Iran. There is no guarantee that if Russia leaves this niche tomorrow, it won’t be occupied by American or European defense companies. ==

I told these to you many times here. It is the business. Russian weapon factories need orders.


17 posted on 08/09/2007 2:16:53 AM PDT by RusIvan (It is amazing how easily those dupes swallow the supidiest russophobic fairy tales:))))
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To: Thunder90

Putin, in his heart and soul, is a Soviet communist.==

Nope he is just Russian nationalist. He does everything to make money for Russia and himself of cause. Guy is the billioneer already.


18 posted on 08/09/2007 2:20:22 AM PDT by RusIvan (It is amazing how easily those dupes swallow the supidiest russophobic fairy tales:))))
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To: RusIvan

It reminds me of something I’ve known for a long time.. If you’ve got enough money you can buy whatever you want. You could be in the middle of a hardcore theocracy and with enough money you could have drugs, booze and prostitutes delivered to you. Maybe you’ll have to agree to a ‘temporary marriage’, and cut the cleric in on the money is all.

Same thing for nations.


19 posted on 08/09/2007 2:33:06 AM PDT by ran20
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