Much of the oil revenues of West Asian countries go back to the West through arms manufacturers.
Jordan, which has been witnessing widespread street protests, bought U.S. weaponry worth $431 million in 2010. Here, opposition supporters hold a placard reading “The penniless people” during a demonstration on March 11 in Amman demanding sweeping government reforms.
EVEN as the Arab street is on the boil demanding the ouster of authoritarian regimes, Western governments are busy trying to notch up multi-billion-dollar deals in the region. In Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen, United States-supplied weaponry and crowd control equipment such as tear gas shells and rubber bullets have been used against protesters. The oil-exporting states in West Asia have been splurging their money on buying sophisticated weaponry worth billions of dollars, mainly from the U.S., while allowing their economies to suffer. These lop-sided priorities of the pro-Western regimes in the region are a factor that has ignited the ongoing popular revolts. Continue reading