The Cripple Factor

by Roy Lisker

EXPORTING INAPPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY TO THE THIRD WORLD 1. Oil, Weapons, And The Balance Of Payments Money, whatever its quantity, has no intrinsic worth. Indeed, its versatility as a medium of exchange depends upon its innate worthlessness. A huge quantity of money in the wrong place can have an inhibiting effect on welfare, political advancement, prosperity or overall development. A sum of money is nothing more than the expression of an abstract relation between supply and demand, an essentially dimensionless index obtained as the quotient of substantive values. Since the majority of today's transactions, whether of goods or services, and certainly of labor - interface human beings and machines and are not between people directly -the image of dropping a token into a turnstile to get into the subway being the paradigm for an entire social order - the aura of its innate worth has been vastly inflated, as if the exchange value of a dollar bill were as fixed in nature as centimeters, seconds and grams. We measure wealth directly in dollars, as if all other less tangible intuitions of value might theoretically be adjusted to this universal magnitude. Observe that the Koran itself distinguishes four kinds of wealth: precious metals, lands, livestock and merchandise, and that tax structures in the traditional Islamic world were adjusted for each category. The modern and , by definition advanced, West has reduced this list to its first category of goods, then replaced even that by a promissory note which, drawn upon a government of more or less legitimacy, and by a polite fiction only, can be exchanged for them. People are obsessed as well by the need to earn money, as if it were far more important that the things which it can (and cannot) buy. No apparent distinction is made between the paper contract, and the obligation to fulfill same: people truly believe that there are laws which oblige persons to supply merchandise whenever enough dollars are presented, as if the only obstacle to dining on lobster in the Gobi Desert is the lack of $20,000 - or whatever. It is because of this, it should come as no surprise that there are so many people in our culture who find it difficult to understand that the many billions of petrodollars bestowed on the tiny feudal elites of the Middle East over the last half century have actually had the effect of further impoverishing these wretched lands. [1] There are at least two ways by which the power of the dollar has been actively inhibiting and even destroying the natural wealth of this region: (1) Its basic natural resource, the mineral wealth, is being striped away in exchange for dollars, pounds, francs and lira which have no 'kinetic worth' in the sense of energizing these societies, but only a 'potential worth' contingent on their purchasing power. The United States has aggravated this situation because of illegal tax incentives [2] which discourage the search for domestic sources of fuel and encourages the accelerated depletion of Middle Eastern reserves. (2) This 'potential' purchasing power is concentrated in the hands of feudal aristocracies with a strong vested interest in blocking the development of the countries they oppress. The only use they have for it is to acquire untold quantities of non-productive, advanced though generally obsolete, (no contradiction in the weapons jungle) and thoroughly inappropriate weapons technology and other military systems hardware and training. [3] This weaponry comes from, (excepting Russia, which is self-sufficient in oil), the same nations which import its oil; the companies manufacturing it, Lockheed, Northrop, Grumman, Dassault, Vickers, are thus able to maintain employment for many thousands of workers at home who, being paid with the same dollars that were initially exchanged for Middle Eastern oil, can now freely ( in the sense of the 'Free Market System'), spend them on gasoline for their cars and fuel for heating their homes. In a nutshell: the exchange of oil for arms ties in with the balance of payments in such a way as to return vitalizing currency back to the larger society of the oil importing nations, without them having in turn to give up anything of real value . [4] This fallacious "exchange" drives the motors of industry and eases labor discontent at home; while in the Middle East, the rusts trickling off the gargantuan stockpiles of atavistic/futuristic/obscene/obsolescent weaponry mingle their haemoglobin dyes with the desert sands to create abstract paintings which, in the dazzling heat, celebrate the spiritual and material sterility of a once great civilization. [5] This situation is not restricted to the Middle East. Third World countries in all parts of the globe, broken by their burdens of poverty, disease, illiteracy, hunger, without communications, roads, lacking an educated class or industrial base, are still somehow managing to arm themselves from scalp to toenails with the most sophisticated modern weapons, Exocet and Stinger and Scud B and Nike-Hercules missiles, with laser guided aircraft, 'people sniffers'and other electronic sensors , fragmentation bombs, napalm, pineapple grenades, computerized surveillance networks, the gruesome chemical weapons which are a Russian speciality , biological and even nuclear weapons, and so forth [6] The causes for this situation are not hard to seek: in the total picture, the whole world is responsible, and it is an error to blame only the European bloc of arms-producing nations, or just the United States: the appetite for aggression is not limited to one population or one part of the globe. Yet the United States, the self-styled 'arsenal of democracy' , controlling as it least 50% of the world's arms trade, has joyously accepted far more than its share of blood guilt. (a) The sale of arms, accompanied always by "loans" or "foreign aid" with which to pay for them, to a Third World country, creates a false "national debt" for the possession of useless@goods that do nothing to develop the resources by which that debt might be repaid, (save that one occasionally hears of one country, such as Saudi Arabia, selling American weapons to another, such as Egypt. Needless to say, this money is not returned, even indirectly, to the general population.) This is however an effective strategy in catastrophically subverting the international exchange rate for that nation's currency, and this opens the door for the outright exploitation of its labor force by the multi- national corporations and the rip-off of its natural resources. Observe the ease with which the Bush administration "forgave" Egypt's 7 billion dollar military "debt" on September 2,1990. This debt had in fact been 'paid back' many times over by our exploitation of its economy. Most of the "foreign aid' which the United States gives to the Third World appears to take the form of bribes, either to the military, the ruling elite, or to a small group of private individuals. This money, ending up in Swiss bank accounts, or lubricating the gears of corruption in the government and the army, gets charged to the nation as a whole. This pattern was never so clearly present as in the Nixon administration's support of the Shah of Iran in the 70's. Aid went directly to him, his family, or the gratification of his lunatic passion for advanced fighter aircraft. The bill was, however, passed on to the Iranian people [7] (b) It is from last cited venture that what has come to be known as the "Nixon-Kissinger" doctrine emerged, which has since had so devastating an effect on the world's military complexion and both local and global power balances. We present a number of extended quotations from Anthony Samson's "THE ARMS BAZAAR", published in 1977: "... The arms race in the Middle East was not initiated by any perceived new threat from the East but by the commercial opportunities coinciding with the diplomacy of the Nixon doctrine and the British retreat from the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf, which had resulted in a general loss of control over arms sales..." (ARMS BAZAAR,SAMSON, pg.290) "...[in 19691 ... Nixon and Kissinger expounded the 'Nixon doctrine'. by which the United States would supply 8rna rather than troops, equi pping their reliable allies with large arsenals in crucial areas .... In 1971 the United States foreign trade balance showed a deficit for the first time since 1893-The need for exports was now far more urgent than ten years before, when McNamara and Henry Kuss had first unleashed the Pentagon's salesmen, and the aerospace slump and unemployment added to the crisis. In the White House, Nixon discussed how to redress the trade balance, and was pressed, for both political and economic reasons, to relax restrictions on arms sales..." [ARMS BAZAAR, pgs. 242-243] [19721 "...Nixon agreed to sell Iran 'virtually any conventional arms it wanted', supported by unlimited American technicians in Iran: and he personally told the Shah that he could choose between the two new-generation planes, the Tomcat and the Eagle. It was the first time that any non-industrial country had been allowed to reach the same level as the United States in the 'state of the art'. There had been no major review beforehand and Nixon's decision was passed to the Pentagon with no chance to revise it .... There was little evidence .... that Nixon had recognised the far-reaching policy implications..." (ARMS BAZAAR, pg. 252) We are today harvesting the fruits Of the Nixon- Kissinger doctrine throughout the world; Saudi Arabia Is military budget is about $17.8 billion a year. Its CSS-2 missiles can strike as far to the east as Bangladesh, into Ethiopia and the Sudan and as far to the north and west as Czechoslovakia, Poland and a good part of Russia. India and Israel also have missiles of great accuracy with a range of over a thousand miles, and Iraq appears to have bolstered its Russian Scud B missiles to a range of 550 miles, enabling it to strike all of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel and Turkey. It certainly does not look like a mere coincidence that on the one hand, Saudi Arabia has the materiel to devastate Europe, Asia and Africa and that, on the other hand, the United States now occupies Saudi Arabia's deserts with over 100,000 troops. One recalls that China in the 50s gave a similar reason for the occupation of Tibet: its strategic position relative to China, Russia and the rest of Asia. [8] (c) In those countries which are in reality extremely poor though in possession of enormous though unproductive surplus worth, ( the "oil rich" nations of the Middle East), then as described above, the bartering of arms for oil solves the balance-of-payments problem in the oil-importing countries, returning their currency, thus stabilizing its international exchange rate and mitigating immediate social discontent. This dynamic cycle is something like the process of osmosis, whereby the rich become richer and the poor lose even the little that they have. The oil-Money-Arms-Cycle, is the polluting motor which drives the phenomenal prosperity of the so-called First World. It must be maintained in operation around the clock; were it to stop for even a single day, our illusions of permanent economic security and well- being would come crashing instantly about our heads. [9] 2. The Cripple Factor An inevitable question presents itself: what makes the industrialized arms-manufacturing nations so confident that the diabolic weaponry which they sell to the rest of the world will never be used against them? This guarantee, which appears to be as pervasive in the public optic as it is in the circles of government, I have given the name of " The Cripple Factor" : the multiple, mutually reinforcing, handicap effects inherent in the export of deliberately inappropriate technology. After stating the essential features of the Cripple Factor, I will try to show how both internal and external policy are governed by it. I will give a few examples of situations in which the Cripple Factor appears to have worked. The Vietnamese War is then presented as an example of the bankruptcy of Cripple Factor thinking; it is also envisioned as a kind of watershed, the first stage in the collapse of the hegemony of Europe over the rest of the planet, and the fading away of the mentality that has grown up with it. Finally I will show how the Cripple Factor is apparent within our own society, making us victims of our own delusions. As space is quite limited, I can only begin to sketch these ideas, but I believe that I can give,.enough here to provide the basis for further analysis by others and myself. The doctrine of the Cripple Factor inherent in inappropriate technology transfer rests on 3 basic tenets: I. The assumption that Third World countries lack, and always will lack the basic educational level, literacy, a leisure and educated class, a minimal standard of living, vocabulary, communication systems, industrial base and above all, a unique system of values ('free exchange of ideas', 'open channels for debate and political criticism', ecivil liberties', etc.), to ever become competent in the us of the technology of the West. [10] II. By overloading the rest of the world with our weapons, we shackle it, both physically and mentally, to the boundary conditions of having to fight our kind of war. Clearly we cannot lose, if the battles must be fought with our methods and our equipment. [11] III. The Cripple Factor will always work 'for us' and against them'. We will never become bogged down in our own technology; they will never learn how to use it. [12] Let us consider each of these points in turn: I. Almost every commentator on the subject of the Middle East and/or the larger Muslim world takes pains to remind one that because these 'oil-rich' nations are importing Western technology without the cultural values that produced it, they are living in a fool's paradise,( See for example the book by Daniel Pipes cited in the bibliography). This argument, which may be considered a weak form of the Cripple Factor theory, is valid up to a point, but is also flawed in several ways. Clearly those values which inspire us to dump weapons on them as a way of maintaining our prosperity are not the sort that anyone else should emulate. And it is indeed doubtful that a truly free society would permit the giving away of valuable military hardware and secrets to persons such as Sadaam Hussein and the Shah of Iran. One cannot argue that the Nixon-Kissinger doctrine which has permitted this truly represents the will of the people, particularly after learning of the critical role of Lockheed contributions in the amassing of the slush funds which got Nixon re-elected and-produced the Watergate scandal. These ideas about the inability of the Muslim world to fathom our culture and therefore our technology are self- serving justifications of arising from a guilty conscience, and the terrified recognition that we have given away our security to perpetual an irresponsible way of life. Japan has been the living counter-example to these arguments for over a century, and yet we continue on in the same kind of thinking. Japan, too, was a militarist monarchy until the end of the Second World War. Civil liberties never achieved the level they had in the West, and under the fascist dictatorship that produced the war they vanished altogether. The Japanese imported all the Western technology they could get their hands on, imitated it then produced their own, kept their own value systems, and over a 35 year period carved out a huge Asian empire. Its creation and eventual dismantling occasioned the destruction of many millions of human lives, and if the United States had not entered the war, this empire might still be intact. The Japanese have, therefore, given the decisive counter-example to the first tenet of Cripple Factor thinking in this century. In order, then, for the Cripple Factor to continue to work in the Middle East, one needs something more than a mere estrangement of cultural values. The Arab nations must be maintained in a situation in which it is effectively impossible for them to take their destiny into their own hands. on the one hand, ruling elites have been enriched at the expense of their populations, thereby creating in them a vested interest in opposing the development of their own countries. On the other hand, national boundaries have been drawn in such a fashion as to destroy the natural economic integrity of this region. A glance at the map of the Gulf will reveal that the artificial creation of the 'nations' of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the 1920s deprived Iraq of effective access to the ocean, forcing it to build long pipe lines through Saudi Arabia and Turkey for the use of which it must pay enormous rates to both these countries. The barbarity of Sadaam Hussein is not to be excused, but there can be no doubt reasons of natural political economy indicate that Iraq ought to be part of Kuwait. [13] II. The belief here is that the ownership and use of our kinds of weapons locks alien cultures into the rut of having to fight our kind of war. Without a doubt there is some truth in this argument. Education itself can be seen as a kind of armament of the individual and it is certainly the case that much of the purpose of compulsory public education is to force a child's thinking into modes that society can control. By obliging people to think in certain ways and reject others, society sets the ground rules of the discourse. There is an apparent paradox in all this, but it seems that we send our military advisers and equipment to other countries to teach and supply them in ways that we can most easily defeat if necessary. Many authors have explored the uses of education as a liability, but few have drawn the parallel between this and the exportation of arms and the kind of military thinking they entail. [14] Something of the same logic appears to be present in the dumping of arms and the training of the armies of the Middle East. The strategies of conventional warfare are only effective against a conventional enemy, and our conventions derive from the Second World War. The massive bombings which destroyed Germany and Japan did not have the same effect in Vietnam; the Vietnamese would not fight our kind of war and therefore we could not beat them. The importance given to compelling one's enemy to fight one's kind of war is based on considerable historical precedent. Most of the engagements of the Hundred Year's War were unmitigated disasters for the French. Their armies were callously massacred at Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers by the English who refused to be drawn into "conventional" engagements in which the purpose of fighting had been the capture of princes for ransom and the key personal element was the display of reckless valor for the sake of honor. Later the English themselves lost the American Revolution partly because of their reliance on compact phalanxes of infantry moving as a block in a country where the settling of the frontier had led to the development of more flexible tactics. Likewise, Gandhi's strategy in the Salt March thoroughly upset all conventional expectations bound up with the very concept of force. His powerful ideas have yet to be understood and assimilated in most parts of the world. So that when Saudi Arabia for example ( by which one means a royal family of about 20,000 acting in the name of 5,000,000 people living in a desert 1/3 the size of the continental United States), purchases $18 billion of military hardware each year, it is not difficult to conclude that the purpose of this is to render it functionally unable to wage war. [15] In terms of the Persian Gulf War - the moment a genuine threat to Saudi Arabia's security presented itself- remember that this is a country with the missile capacity to devastate India, the Sudan and most of Eastern Europe - once Iraq raised the stakes above venomous sabre rattling and invaded Kuwait -the United States acted, realistically, as if all these many billions of dollars of ostentatious weaponry constituted so much kitty litter, and sent in over 100,000 troops, ( the figure may be as much as 200,000) to provide real protection - not for the people of Saudi Arabia, ( whose well-being it has steadfastly opposed by propping up the Saudi dynasty for more than half a century) - but for its own concessions and derricks in the endless desert, where one finds almost no people at all. It is a final irony to note that one can search our newspapers over the past month and not discover a single item about the mobilization or presence of the Saudi army, numbering about 60,000, at their own troubled borders. obviously they have been ordered to stay home: the U.S. is well aware of just how incompetent its miseducation has made them. III. The powers that be, including the government, the arms manufacturers, the oil companies and the Pentagon, would appear to entertain an almost religious faith in the belief that the Cripple Factor will always work "against them" and "for us" . They are certain that we ( the free, first, advanced, industrialized, will never become bogged down in our own technology to the extent that our own weapons, surveillance and command systems will become fatal liabilities, or lead us along the road to catastrophe. Once again, "he Vietnamese War serves as the decisive counter- example. Here is an extended quotation from David Marr's essay , "The Technological Imperative In US War Strategy in Vietnam" ( The World Military order,pg. 36). in fact the entire essay makes for valuable reading: .. At its peak operation in 1971-72, Igloo White was a tremendously ambitious, intricate system for seeking out and destroying truck convoys,supply depots, bivouacs, anti- aircraft sites, construction crews, repair teams,and just about any other signs of life in the hundreds of miles between the Mu Gia Pass on the North Vietnamese border and the general area where the borders of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia converge. Ground sensors, airborne 'people sniffers' , and infra-zred detection equipment pinpointed local activity and transmitted this information automatically to a battery of IBM computers in Nakorn Phanom, Thailand.Depending on the nature of the alleged target, operational commanders at Nakorn Phanom ordered B-52's , fighter bombers, transports with side-firing weapons helicopters to vector in and attack, often on the basis of automatic firing signals. Much of this activity occurred at night, without pilots ever actually seeing the target. Meanwhile, during the day, they increasingly unloaded 'smart bombs' , guided in by diverse means usually beyond the reach of the Pilot. As one commentator rhapsodised, ' The entire process, "from beep to bang ", may take less than five minutes.' The whole operation seemed like a wild scientists dream come true. But as the 1972 Spring Offensive demonstrated, something had gone wrong with American planning . Researchers and operational commanders had failed to understand the enemy or give him enough credit for ingenuity. Once again, by making the termination or drastic curtailment of north-south traffic a pre-eminent measure of success, they had continued to ignore or downgrade other critical elements of the struggle throughout Indochina. The Ho Chi Minh Trail had become an obsession. Yet even within the terms of that obsession, US planners never fully appreciated how tens of thousands of men And women along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1972 could outwit the electronic battlefield or, when that failed, reconstruct with alacrity , multiply the number of roads and paths available for alternative travel, and strip the most damaged trucks for repair of the least damaged." We do not appear to have learned the lessons that this most recent and in some sense most terrible of all American wars, has to teach us. There is great value in defeat, even more so than in victory, because there is always much to be learned from it, whereas the victor in usually not even interested in learning that he has weaknesses and blind spots. Vietnam demonstrated the bankruptcy of all three aspects of the Cripple Factor : Firstly, the Vietnamese made far more intelligent use of their technology than we did of ours. Much of this technology came from Russia or was taken off the battlefields, and it was far from primitive. Secondly, the NLF and the army of North Vietnam stubbornly refused to be dr-awn into the conventional engagements of the post-WWII period, refusing as well to yield under the massive bombing of open cities, a strategy that was condemned as the very acme of barbarity when the Germans first employed it over Rotterdam but which has since become the hallmark of what the West believes it has to contribute to the rest of mankind. Thirdly, the Cripple Factor came home to haunt us, exposing us as a nation of fools obsessed with gadgets, gimmicry, macro-technology at all costs, waste, quick solutions, comfort, fatuous rhetoric about freedom, and, it need scarcely be mentioned, hubris. It is therefore a mistake to automatically assume that the Cripple Factor will continue to work in the Middle East, although the evidence for its continuing relevance may appear to be convincing. our military-industrial complex basks in the smug illusion that the 6-Day War has demonstrated for all time that the weaponry of the Arab Middle East can be demolished in one day's bombing raids. But one should not assume that illiteracy, poverty and general backwardness will render the Muslim world forever incapable of making us of their own stockpiles of weapons; one should not forget that modern mathematics began in 9th century Baghdad. one should also not assume that our indoctrination is more disabling to them and less disabling to us than their indoctrination: Liberty, Fraternity, Equality are as much Muslim as they are French; the cry of "Holy war" is virtually the same as the call to a "War to save civilization". Finally, we continue to seriously under-estimate the amount of damage the Cripple Factor is creating in our part of the world, as we become increasingly victim, not so much really to our own technology, as to the fatal mentality that generates it. FOOTNOTES ------------------------------------------------------------ [1] David Pryce- Jones, "The Closed Circle" pg. 279 "...a unique and unrepeatable fortune has been dissipated into gunsmoke in one desert after another." A few Arab writers have drawn attention to reality, among them the Lebanese Georges Corm,.who speaks with eloquence a(nd scorn of 'this oil-fired tyranny, the new scourge of the Arabs', judging the society to be 'sick with oil'. A Kuwaiti professor, Muhammad Ruhaimi, concludes his book Beyond Oil somberly. 'Vested interests' in the Gulf, he says, oppose social justice and efficiency and 'continue to block any rational or open political development ....... the importation of industrial and consumer goods do not contribute to modernization but to deepening outrage and oppression. ------------------------------------------------------------- [2] "...The use of 'national security' to obtain a fabulous tax break occurred in 1949 when King ibn Saud, still living it up and still heavily in debt, demanded that Aramco pump more and increase its royalty payments rate ... Aramco saw a way to overcome these complaints without losing a dime. But again it would need the collusion of the United States Government. Aramco leaked its U.S. income tax records to Saudi officials, who saw that whereas - in return for their precious oil - they had received $38 million in royalties from Aramco in 1949, the U.S. government, in return for no tangible quid at all - had received from Aramco $43 million in taxes. That didn't seem fair to the Saudis .... to win the hearts of the Saudi princes, the U.S. Treasury Department broke the law. Federal statutes require income taxes to be applied equally and uniformly to all businesses. But the Treasury's Internal Revenue Service ruled that. as of 1951, overseas royalty payments would be considered income taxes, even though this ruling would exclusively benefit oil companies. They were the only companies paying such royalties. And since U.S. law forbids double taxation, these "taxes" ( royalties) could be deducted, dollar for dollar, from taxes owed at home .... Thus encouraged, the U.S.-based g;-ants began turning away from domestic exploration to develop their lush foreign fields. Why not? After all, an oil company that paid $1,000 in royalties to a landowner in Texas or Louisiana could deduct only $480 as business expenses. But an oil company that paid a foreign government ( and most of the foreign oil lands were owned by governments, not by private persons) $1,000 in "taxes" could deduct the full $1,000 (italics added) . The foreign tax credit was sweet indeed. ( Oil Follies, 1970-190) ------------------------------------------------------------- [3] By 1989 figures, the military capability of Saudi Arabia consists of: 10,000 National Guard 52,000 Soldiers 14 SAM missile batteries 4 AWACS 7 Squadrons of modern fighter/interceptor aircraft A naval flotilla The 1985-86 military budget was $17.8 x 109 . The entire population of Saudi Arabia cannot be more than 5 million, of which one million are immigrant labor. This comes out to a military investment of 3,500$ per person, and over 4,000$ per citizen. ( facts and figures, The Closed Circle, pg. 277) ------------------------------------------------------------- [4] "... Diplomats and arms-makers [1976] still argued that the Arabs could not really use the weapons , or present a serious threat to the Israelis. The arsenals in the desert could be seen as another solution to unemployment and over- production in the West: their rapid obsolescence and deterioration might keep Western workers happily employed for decades ahead..." (ARMS BAZAAR, Samson, pg. 314) ------------------------------------------------------------- [5] In the 1970's, the Arab nations exported 1,207.3 x 10/9$ in oil, and bought 604.2xlO/9$ in arms, that is to say, about 50% of the oil revenue currency returned to the industrial block, notably the U.S. which commands 50% of the world's weapons trade. (The Closed Circle, pg. 266) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [6] Scientific American, August 90, Nolan and Wheelon: " Ballistic missiles and other means of long-range destruction, traditionally limited to a handful of industrialized nations, are fast becoming a fixture in many regional conflicts. The Third World military buildup is perhaps even more worrisome than its First World prototype, for it is far more likely to find expression in war." "...the most depressing arms race was between the countries of the world who could least afford it, who were buying weapons instead of food and welfare; among the developing countries without oil to sell, orders for American arms had gone up from $240 million in 1972 to $2.3 billion in 1976 - a nearly tenfold increase ..... Zaire and Ethiopia, both impoverished countries, followed the arms-buying spree. American sales to Black Africa - nearly all to Zaire, Kenya and Ethiopia - went up by eight hundred Percent in one year. (ARMS BAZAAR, pg. 316)" ---------------------------------------------------------- [7] THE ARMS BAZAAR; all of Chapter 14: "The Arming Of The Shah" pgs. 241 - 259 ---------------------------------------------------------- [8] Scientific American, op. cit. - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [9][1972] " In Washington the increase in the oil-price had induced a sense of near-panic about the effects on the international economy and America's balance of payments, and William Simon at the treasury was not inclined to discourage orders for arms. The quickest way to recycle oil money or to Isop up the surplus', it was said, was to sell arms in exchange - much safer and stabler than having the oil-money 'sloshing around the short-term capital markets of the world'. (ARMS BAZAAR pg. 244) --------------------------------------------------- [10] "...The arms companies offered contradictory justifications for their huge sales to Iranians or Arabs; first that they were essential to Western security, secondly that they were not really dangerous, because their customers could not effectively handle them..." (ARMS BAZAAR, SAMSON pg. 311) "...'.Levels of education and technological skill are poor, and the troops have no compensating combat experience. The vast expenditure on arms that almost certainly could not be used outside their stockpiling warehouses is only the latest instance of military modernization as practised by Ottoman and Arab despots; and it refers more to values of honor than to actual preparation for battle..." ( Closed Circle, pg.277) ------------------------------------------------------------- [11] "...In November (of 1974), Assistant Defense Secretary Ellsworth and George Vest, then director of the State Department's politico-military bureau, flew to Riyadh with the recommendation that the Saudi government spend billions of dollars over the next ten years on more aircraft, 440 helicopters, 26 new ships, tanks, other armor, and equipment to create a paratrooper brigade. These weapons, said the Pentagon survey, would give the country the capabilities to "deter aggression and defeat an enemy." That year, Arabia ordered 300 improved Hawk missile batteries, for delivery in the 1976-79 period, at a cost of $270 million..." Weapons; pg. 560-61) "...We are selling the A model of the Maverick, which cost us under $20,000 apiece, to the Saudis for B model prices, about $46,000 apiece, apparently in order to develop and Process the C model. This type of back door financing avoids the Congressional authorization process and provides the Pentagon with an additional source of revenue. It amounts to an incentive to unload unwanted or unneeded equipment on a country that may not need it but has money to burn..." (Weapons; pg. 563; quote Ben Rosenthal, Congressional hearing,1976) "... Each batch of weapons generated the need for more. By 1976 the Saudis had already bought 110 Northrop Tigers, and they now wanted 2,000 Sidewinder missiles which could be fired from them, together with siiteen batteries of Raytheon Hawk missiles to provide an air defence system across the nation. The Israelis were now worried about these weapons' eventual destination, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in Washington questioned whether the Saudis really needed a five-fold increase in missiles. But the Pentagon insisted that they were necessary in the event of a war with Iraq; and Congress eventually agreed on the deal. Soon afterwards the Saudis asked for 2,500 Maverick air-to-surface missiles, 1,000 laser-guided bombs and 1,800 wire-guided TOW missiles. The Senate protested, but Kissinger persuaded them to allow 650 missiles, in view of the United States' dependence or. Saudi friendship. The oil was still lubricating sales..." (ARMS BAZAAR, pg. 310) ". . . No oil country could now be seen without modern arms. All down the Persian Gulf the rich sheikdoms, with Iran facing them and Saudi Arabia surrounding them, were buying fighters, tanks and ships to catch up with their neighbors. The richest of these, Kuwait, was determined to balance its purchases, buying Skyhawk planes from America, Mirage Fls from France, and Chieftain tanks from Britain; but what kind of war they visualized was hard to discover..." ( ARMS BAZAAR,pg. 312) ------------------------------------------------------------- [12] As soon as a technologically advanced weapon system has been purchased for the armed services, a chain of supplementary import demands is induced. To remain operational, modern fighter aircraft, tanks, or naval units require an extensive network of support facilities ..... The chain of demands, generally with a high import content, seems endless. Precise data is not available, of course but a few examples can convey a general impression of the ramifications of arms imports ..... The introduction of jet- fighter aircraft in developing countries requires the construction of additional airports, the extension of existing runways and the installation of navigational and control systems; it also leads to the adoption of a costly air defence system, since the inventory of aircraft has to protected while still on the ground." ( The World Military Order: The Economic Consequences of the Transfer of Military- oriented Technology, Peter Lock and Herbert Wulf; pg. 213) "... At the Hilton Hotel at Anaheim, near Disneyland, I observed a bus delivering a whole load of young Iranians ... I learnt that they were working on a top-secret intelligence project called Ibex (... ) run by the Rockwell Corporation at Anaheim, at an estimated cost of over $500 million ..... Ibex was described as a sophisticated electronic intelligence system to be placed along Iran's frontiers as a protection against impending aggressors: but there were suspicions among some Iranians that it also involved an extensive bugging system Whatever the full scope of the Ibex, it soon began to run into trouble .... At the Anaheim hotel, the young trainees began to have serious psychological disorders as they reached the climax of their course; eventually a psychiatric specialist from the State Department was secretly sent to advise. In Iran, as the equipment began to be installed, there were doubts as to whether it could be made to work at all .... The Shah suspected that he had been sold a dud system, and bitterly complained about the chicanery of Pentagon officials..." (ARMS BAZAAR, pg. 256) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [14] " Attacking the Americans in this manner obviously had its liabilities. Casualty rates were very heavy. US forces wiped out whole villages as they tried to retaliate effectively. Par more supplies and personnel had-to come from North Vietnam, running the bombing gauntlet all the way. Most seriously, the DRV and NLF ran the risk of seeing the entire confl-ict remoulded in ways advantageous to US capital- intensive warfare and disadvantageous to people's war, the multi-faceted political and military campaigns in which the KLF excelled ... ( The World Military Order,pg. 30) ------------------------------------------------------------- [15] "...Saudi Arabia, because of its huge orders for military infrastructure -80 percent or more of its arms purchases -had been America's second-best arms customer, but moved into first place in 1978 .... Not surprisingly, in view of Saudi Arabia's importance as an oil supplier and a force for conservative moderation in the area, the decision to build up the Saudi forces was as much American as Saudi Early in 1974, plans were revealed in Washington to sell the Saudis half a billion dollars worth of F-5s and naval equipment. Reporters were told that F-4s had also been offered to replace British Lightnings, but that the Saudis were hesitant about the cost; at that time, no other Arab country had the Phantom. ------------------------------------------------------------ BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. THE ARMS BAZAAR ; Anthon Samson Viking, 1977 2.THE CLOSED CIRCLE; David Pryce-Jones Harper & Row ; 1989 3.THE SEVEN SISTERS; Anthony Samson Viking; 1975 4. IN THE PATH OF GOD; Islam & PoliticalPower Daniel Pipes; Basic Books, 1983 S. THE WORLD MILITARY ORDER; Editors, Mary Caldor, Asbjorn Eide; Praeger, 1979 6. WEAPONS: The International Game 0f Arms, Money And Diplomacy; Russell Warren Howe; Doubleday, 1980 7. THE OIL FOLLIES OF 1970-80; Robert Sherrill Anchor Press; 1983 8. THIRD WORLD BALLISTIC MISSILES; James E. Nolan and Albert D. Wheelon, Scientific American, August 1990