Be aware of what is said in the news media about Iran. Note statements about Iran from Hillary Clinton, President Obama and others. Read between the lines when the news media discusses the middle east. Be aware as the public is groomed for the next war. The Military Iindustrial Complex is like a workplace bully, always looking for the next target. Sure Ahmadinejad is a jackass and the people in Iran would be better off without him(that is how people in Iran felt about GWB), but that will be the excuse, not the real reason for a war. This is not the whole story, Ahmadinejad wants a Middle Eastern union formed similar to the European Union and that would be a threat to U.S./Iraeli influence in the Middle East. One reason for his actions are the backing he gets because people in the Middle East are angry at the United States and Israel. I am concerned for the people of Iran. It is always the innocent who have to pay. Who is using who here? Is the U.S. using the right wing paranoia in Israel to fuel a war or is Israel using the U.S. corporate/economic needs for a war? I think both are a factor. The needs of the military contractors and the economy are being put above the needs of the people of the middle east and ultimately everyone else.
James Denselow on HuffPo:
Following the recent record-breaking deal to sell $60.5bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Financial Times reported at the end of last month that the Pentagon proposed to sell weapons worth $4.2bn to Iraq, including 18 F-16 fighter aircraft, Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, laser-guided bombs and reconnaissance equipment.
This deal is the latest in a series that has seen Iraq purchase more than $5bn worth of US weapons since 2006, and inherit a significant amount of equipment left behind as part of the US redeployment. According to UPI, the Pentagon stated that the deal would make Iraq "a more valuable partner in an important area of the world as well as supporting Iraq's legitimate needs" regarding self-defense.
Jonathan Tasini on HuffPo:
...the upshot should be clear: the United States--and this is true of Republican and Democratic Administrations (i.e., Bush and Obama)--is dispensing weapons like candy without even making sure that the sales of the weapons advances anything but the bottom lines of the weapons industry.
Professor Stephen Zunes on HuffPo:
The Pentagon has announced a $60 billion arms package to the repressive family dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, the largest arms sale of its kind in history. Rejecting the broad consensus of arms control advocates that the Middle East is too militarized already and that the Saudis already possess military capabilities well in excess of their legitimate security needs, the Obama administration is effectively insisting that this volatile region does not yet have enough armaments and that the United States must send even more.
According to reports, Washington is planning to sell 84 new F-15 fighters and three types of helicopters: 72 Black Hawks, 70 Apaches and 36 Little Birds. There are also reports of naval missile-defense upgrades in the works.
Though supporters of such arms sales argue that if the United States did not sell weapons to the oil-rich kingdom, someone else would, neither the Obama administration nor its predecessors have ever expressed interest in pursuing any kind of arms control agreement with other arms-exporting countries. A number of other arms exporters, such as Germany, are now expressing their opposition to further arms transfers to the region due to the risks of exacerbating tensions and promoting a regional arms race.
The United States is by far the largest arms exporter in the world, surpassing Russia -- the second-largest arms exporter -- by nearly two to one.
This US insistence on countering Iran through further militarizing this already overly militarized region is particularly provocative. Not only has the United States refused to engage in serious negotiations with Iran regarding mutual security concerns, but it has discouraged its regional allies from pursuing arms control talks or other negotiations that could ease tensions between the Arab monarchies and the Islamic Republic. If the Obama administration were really interested in addressing its purported concerns regarding Iranian militarization, it would be willing to engage in more serious diplomacy to limit the procurement of conventional arms on a region-wide basis.
In addition to alleged worries about Iran as a military threat to the region, US officials have also tried to justify the arms package as a means to respond to Iran's growing political influence. However, most of Iran's enhanced role in the region in recent years is a direct consequence of the decision by the Bush administration -- backed by the current vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, and other leading Obama administration officials -- to overthrow the secular anti-Iranian regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and replace it with a new government dominated by pro-Iranian Shiite parties. Another key element of Iran's growing influence is the earlier US decision to oust the anti-Iranian Taliban of Afghanistan and replace it with a regime dominated by tribal war lords, a number of whom have close Iranian ties. Similarly, Iranian influence has also increased in the Levant as a direct consequence of US-backed Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, which have strengthened popular political support for Hamas and Hezbollah and their ties to Iran.
For an excellent analysis of the whole situation read his whole article.
Jeremy White on the HuffPo:
A few days ago the U.S. and Saudi governments announced a record breaking $60 Billion dollars in future arms sales. This comes as a great relief to the Obama administration who was faced with the prospect of massive layoffs in the defense sector as the Defense Department begins to roll back its budget. While these cuts will come slowly over the next few years,the more important issue for the defense industry is the lack of big ticket defense procurements in the pipeline. Defense budgeting usually looks five to ten years into the future and from what I have seen of these budgets there is simply not enough money coming their way to maintain the American defense sector at its current size. This is however nothing new. The American defense industry has essentially existed as a welfare system since the end of the Cold War. If you were to ask Ash Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, he would tell you (privately of course) that the DoD is personally paying the operating costs of several U.S. weapons factories that are not producing so much as a single bullet. In fact only one weapons plant has actually shuttered its doors since 1991.