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January 09, 1981 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-01-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, JanuaryA:1981


U.S. Should Carefully Consider Any Sale of Arms to the Saudis

(Continued from Page 46)
The threats to the Saudis
(and their oil) are many.
First and foremost are
internal threats from Mus-
lim fundamentalists such as
took over the Mosque in
Mecca, and from Palesti-
nians who work in the oil
fields and who are placated
by public statements of sup-
port (and money) from the
Saudis for the PLO. Offen-
sive armaments for the
F-15s won't be useful
against such internal
The second most serious
:eat is an external,
commando-like raid against
the oil fields.
The fact made clear to
me on my recent visit to
Saudi Arabia is that it is
difficult to protect key
points in the oil pipelines
running to the tanker
ports on the Saudi coast.
Such difficulties open the
Saudis to a commando-
like assault against
which the F-15s are of lit-
tle value.
A third possible threat is
an invasion by Iraq or Iran.
The F-15s may be of some
greater value as a deterrent
to such an invasion if given
greater offensive capability.
But the deterrent effect of
retaliatory air capability
was of limited value in pre-
venting an invasion by Iraq
against Iran and Iran's
revolutionary madness isn't
affected apparently by re-
taliatory threats, as seen by
the hostage situation and by
Khomeini's attempts to stir
up the Shia in Iraq and
Saudi Arabia to overthrow
their "evil" governments.
Giving the Saudi F-15s
offensive capability also
would threaten Israel and
require additional defen-
sive measures on their part
to meet the additional
threat. Only if one discounts
the avowed threats to Israel
by Saudi leaders and their
continued major financial
support of the PLO and its
terrorist activities against
Israel, and the fact that the
Saudis have participated
(albeit often late and
weakly) in the three Arab
wars against Israel, can one
be sanguine about the
potential use of offensively
capable F-15s against Is-
The Congress obvi-
( sly was concerned
aoout that threat in 1977.
(The Saudi military
argued to me that the
1977 commitments never
should have been made
in the first place.)
We must learn that the
idis need our protection
much as we need their oil.
Their sheltered way of life,
their religious orthodoxy
and their monarchy with its
billions of dollars of invest-
, ments abroad can't survive
under the domination of
Russia or her surrogates.
The oil weapon threat
must be put in its place. The
Saudis must know that we
know they need our protec-
tion and if they cut off oil to
us in response to our filling
ouc Stratecgcic Petrplearn
Resefv6 of 'in 'feikliation

against us for some other
action they don't approve of,
we would have that much
Less incentive to protect
them against the threaten-
ing world they face.
* * *

Lebanon Situation
Needs U.S. Attention

The military sales picture
in Lebanon is even more
complex.The always pre-
carious balance between
Muslim and Christian
communities in Lebanon
has been upset, perhaps
permanently. Lebanon is
bleeding to death. The
hemorraging is caused by
the "occupation" and con-
trol of parts of Lebanon by
the Palestinians, the Sy-
rians, the Christian
militias, and Major Haddad,
all of whom are more power-
ful in their areas than the
Lebanese army. The UN
peace-keeping force is there
by the sufferance of those
armed elements and it op-
erates under constraints so
narrow as to make it im-
possible for it to carry out its
mandate — to disarm
armed elements and keep
the peace in the area of their
The future is bleak in
Lebanon. There will be no
military solution without a
political solution to the
Palestinian problem, and
then only "maybe." The Sy-
rians will have to leave also,
as part of any solution.
When asked whether the
Syrian army, which was in-
vited in by his predecessor
to help keep apart warring
Lebanese factions would
leave Leabnon if requested
to do so, President Sarkis
said, "No," but then quickly
added, "Of course, chaos
would result if they left and
I would under no circum-
stances ask them to leave."
The Lebanese will be ask-
ing for a huge increase in
arms sales. Could such
sales, for instance of tanks,
win back control over Leba-
non for the army of the cen-
tral government? The con-
sensus of the people I spoke
with is "no." The most a
gradual built-up will pro-
vide is an army ready to fill
the vacuum in case a politi-
cal settlement is reached.
So build up the Lebanese
army sensibly we must.
So press for a political set-
tlement we must.
The life of this beautiful
nation, a microcosm of
the Middle East's prob-
lems, is literally at stake.
We have neglected Leba-
non. Its peoples' suffer-
ings, not of their own
making, are as obvious as
the Syrian tanks which
man Syrian check points
all over her roads. That
suffering is as gaping as
the wounds of the
bombed out buildings in
The UN role must be ex-
panded, and the U.S. should
consider initiatives of dis-
cussions in the UN Security
Council to determine the
possibilities for such an ex-
The complexity of the
arms sales issues in, iboth.
Saudi Arabia and Lebanon

illustrate the competing
claims that can be offered
both for and against such
sales. But those arguments
can best be analyzed if we
keep in mind that a sale of
arms does not inherently
enhance American military
interests, nor does a denial
of arms inherently negate
the political relationship
that a nation has with the
United States.
My third recommenda-
tion, for a renewal of our
commitment to defend our
interests in the Persian
Gulf, is the result of many
conversations in the Middle
East-Persian Gulf region.
Wherever I went on my trip,
with whomever I spoke,
there was agreement that
the Russian Bear thirsts for
Persian Gulf oil, and only
one great power can stand
in her way — the United
We have progressed a
long way since December
1979 when the brutal Soviet
invasion of Afghanistan
underscored the need to im-
prove our military
capabilities in the Middle
East and the Persian Gulf.
But these efforts to improve
our military capabilities
must be accelerated, for we
still have a longer way to go
and, most importantly,
there needs to be an im-
mediate renewal of the
explicit U.S. commitment to
defend our vital interests,
which was made in
President Carter's State of
the Union message of
January 1980.
Campaign rhetoric al-
ways draws sharper distinc-
tion than those found in the
real world. In the 1980 cam-
paign, the world was inun-
dated with cries bemoaning
the weakness of the Ameri-
can military establish-
ment. Such cries tended to
create misconceptions
about our capability and
commitment to defend our
national interests in the
Persian Gulf. My trip has
convinced me that we are
capable of defending those
interests — a capability
which we must, of course,
seek to strengthen and sol-
idify — and it has also con-
vinced me of the need to
clarify both our willingness
and ability to meet our
As I have suggested,
you can clarify our
willingness to meet our
commitment by reaffirm-
ing it and making it your
own. Such a declaration
would help bolster our
friends in the area. And,
as importantly, it would
prevent any possible
misconceptions and
dangerous miscalcula-
tions by the Soviet.s.
In terms of strengthening ,
our capability, there are a
number of very significant
steps which I believe can be
taken easily and quickly. I
would specifically call a
number of them to your at-
tention. * * *

ment Force initiatives are
required to give our com-
mitment greater meaning.
We should accept
President Sadat's offer to
use airfield and port
facilities at Ras Banas (on
the Red Sea) for preposition-
ing equipment and for
emergency operations and
we should promptly begin
upgrading those facilities.
However, President
Sadat told me he would
be "crippled" if we seek
to make Ras Banas a reg-
ular base or insist on a
written agreement em-
bodying our limited ac-
President Sadat also
suggests that the Saudis
need our presence so much
— to protect their Moslem
state and monarchical form
of government against
Soviet threats — that we
should be able to insist suc-
cessfully on at least preposi-
tioning equipment in Saudi
Arabia. The Saudis told me
strongly that they will not
permit this at the present
time, but the new Adminis-
tration should be sensitive
to President Sadat's advice
and encourage such an op-
tion for the future.
Second, we must also re-

vamp our command
structure in the Persian
Gulf region.
Our Pacific and European
Commands (CINCPAC and
CINCEUR) presently di-
vide the responsibility for
operating forces in the

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Now you can send your personal mes-
sage in a colorful joyous display of huge
helium balloons for Congratulations,
Birthdays, Get Well and Anniversary
wishes or just to let someone know you're
thinking of them.


In Addition We Do:

• House Parties
• Openings
• Luncheons
• Bar Mitzvas
• Showers
Beverly Hutton
Nancy Bonheim

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *












Designers of Fine Furs

for U.S. Action

First, acceleration of our
planning and implementa-
tion of the Rapid Deploy-

region. The dividing line is
the Iran-Afghanistan bor-
der on land and the Strait of
Hormuz at sea. Our Middle
East forces needs one mili-
tary commander — not two.
That area is more critical to
(Continued on Page 48)

Complete Fur Service


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