In an Economist.com article on a scheduled summit between American and the six members of the Gulf Co-operation Council on May 13th and 14th, this blurb caught my eye:
And he [President Obama] cannot meet all the Gulf requests for advanced weaponry, because congressional legislation requires that Israel must maintain a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours. [Emphasis mine]
That the USA and Israel have a special relationship is no surprise. Israel has been the only consistently functioning democracy in a region of states replete with strife and governmental incompetence.
It also makes some type of sense that the USA would want to ensure that its favored state in the region should have the ability to defend itself. But I find no compelling interest in the USA hamstringing itself because of a requirement that Israel continue to be able to kick its Arab neighbors’ collective arse.
Also, more broadly speaking, the increasing tendency of American politicians, be they Republican or Democrat, to fall all over themselves in order to placate, rather than advise and serve, our supposed allies is worse than disappointing. It is destabilizing and dangerous to the entire state.
Republicans have actively tried to derail any nuclear arms deal with Iran, even going so far as to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce their own President on the floor of Congress and writing a letter to the mullahs of Iran. For his part, President Obama has given almost unquestioning support to Saudi Arabia’s ill-considered and largely ineffective war against Yemen.
Why Israel should be allowed to prioritize its grudges with Iran over American attempts to solidify a nuclear arms deal and why America should support, in any way shape or form, Saudi Arabia’s expansion of its sphere of influence is beyond me. The USA needs to grow a damn spine.