Thursday, June 15, 2017

Qatar, Arms Deals, #45 Tweets and Reality


We can count on our news media to superficially discuss any issue so that the ordinary reader, that is, someone who does not waste their time trying to figure out what is going on, will have no way of understanding a news event.

In this case, there are two events. First #45 tweets that Qatar is a bad country that sponors terrorism, bigly, or something. Second, the SECDEF announces that we are selling US $12 billion of Boeing F15Q air superiority fighters to Qatar.

Of course that doesnt make any sense but here are a few things most articles fail to mention.

First, at 36 F-15s one is no where near the price of $12 B, so I presume that this price includes the total cost of ownership over many years, training, parts, supplies, bribes, and other equipment and services not mentioned (e.g. intelligence related), etc. Second, our largest base in the area is in Qatar and it is out of there that the Central command operates. Third, this is the command that had to be moved out of Saudi Arabia because of course all Americans are infidels and Jews, and so Qatar "taking us in" was something of a favor, depending on how you look at it. Fourth, I would not be surprised to hear that Qatar does sponsor terrorism. Of course, so does Saudi Arabia. The hair's being split here may have something to do with whether it is official govt policy to sponsor "terrorism" or whether it is merely important wealthy individuals from these countries that do. Fifth, there has been for many years a defacto trade going on between us and many middle eastern countries which generally involves us sending them dollars for oil, but they then purchase from us a variety of expensive things, and of course what they mostly want is high tech military equipment. Sixth, I suspect that this issue of terrorism is code for a variety of other things such as the efforts of Iran to dominate the region and to destabilize the Saudi Arabian monarchy. Seventh, I think it is a weak argument to say that if we do not sell them these fighters that other nations will, but it is also true.

It would not surprise me if this deal is the result of promises made years ago. Qatar agrees to let us build an important regional base on their territory and in return they get to buy a variety of things from us. So whether we like it or not, this is likely to be a follow through on deals made in the Bush and Obama administration. Or at least that is my speculation.

Just a reminder that while the F-15 is an incredible airplane which when upgraded is still relevant, it is one thing to buy such a plane, it is another to use it well.

The point of this overly short post (many more things could be said) is that looking at the Tweet from #45 and then looking at a press release on an arms deal that happens a few days later tells us very little about what is going on beyond the already very apparent reality that we have as president someone who is not qualified for the post and has no idea what he is tweeting or what the implications or context really is. And why should he? He is just an overrated rich kid, real estate developer, and bully. What do you expect?

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