Boston Globe Quotes Frida Berrigan on Military Aid to Middle East

August 1, 2007 |

SECRETARY OF STATE Condoleezza Rice said the United States wants to send $63 billion in military aid and weapons to the Middle East to "bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran."

Talk about wriggling in quicksand. Having destroyed Iraq to save us from horrors that did not exist, Rice now wants to save us from Iran's future nukes by selling American weapons of mass destruction. Over the next decade, the Bush administration wants to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a nearly 43 percent increase over what that nation received over the last 10 years, according to The New York Times. We want to give $20 billion to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. We want to give Egypt $13 billion.

Do you feel safe?

"This is throwing bad money after worse money," said Frida Berrigan, senior program associate at the Arms and Security Project of the New America Foundation. The program was formerly known as the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute. "You can see the whole arms package as a buyoff of Arab nations for what we've done in Iraq.

"Justifying the sales because these countries feel threatened by Iran doesn't hold water. Iran is five to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. That gives the United States and its partners more than enough time to come up with diplomatic solutions," Berrigan said. "This is just going to reinforce Iran's desire to have a nuclear weapon..."

For the complete article, please visit The Boston Globe website.