Another dictatorship in the Middle East, the misogynous Saud family of Saudi Arabia, may in the not too distant future see its people rise up against it. If, or perhaps when, they do, it will have massive arms with which to suppress them, courtesy of Western Nations. Indeed, it has already used its war machinery against a popular uprising, participating in the violent repression of legitimate dissent in Bahrain.
The contract between BAE Systems of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, had by 2005 earned that company and its predecessor £43-billion with the potential of £40-billion more, the largest export agreement in British history. The biggest foreign military sale in U.S. history was signed with Saudi Arabia in 2012, worth a staggering $29.5-billion. Of the European Union countries, France leads the list with arms sales to the Sauds of €2.2-billion in 2010 alone. In a nice touch, the U.S. recently announced a $641-million sale of cluster bombs to their favourite customer.
Ironically, Saudi Arabia continues to depend on the United States to guarantee its external security while it focuses its military might domestically—countering terrorism, suppressing dissidents and maintaining its iron grip on its own society.
While Western nations rail against Bashar al-Assad for using his military to kill his own people, those same nations arm to the teeth the thugs who may well be the next butchers of their citizens.