Friday, May 16, 2008

Congress to Saudis: Give Us Oil or No Guns

(Waridaad) - A group of Democratic senators wants to make a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia contingent on getting cheaper oil, reports AFP. "We are saying to the Saudis that, if you don't help us, why should we be helping you?" says Chuck Schumer, a Democratic senator from New York. "We are saying that we need real relief, and we need it quickly. You need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers."

At issue is an arms package worth some $20 billion. The group has introduced a resolution in the Senate to block the pending sale. When the controversial deal was announced last July, Noah wrote that he was "utterly, completely flummoxed by the Bush Administration's decision to sell $20 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf potentates."

I'm not as surprised, since the sale is consistent with our arms sales to the region in the past. The precedent of linking oil prices to arms sales is interesting, however.

The resolution is carefully timed. President Bush this week will be in Saudi Arabia.
Source: Wired blog network