200 tanks for Saudi Arabia

Germany sells 200 tanks (Leopard 2) to Saudi Arabia. To support oppression? It’s absurd,
because, on the other hand, they had some welcome slogans for the Arab youth revolution.

Fred van Dijken
message composition by Frizztext, part of his restaurant gallery
photo of the underwater tank by Combo1100 / Fred van Dijken
+
tanks are a symbol of oppression. actually vs. the Arab youth revolution. people try to force their administrations to change to more democracy. the answer: oppression: tanks, guns, etc. – as seen in Tunisia and Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. the government of Bahrain asked Saudi Arabia for support. They sent military and nothing changed in Bahrain. Now Germany sells 200 tanks (Leopard 2) to Saudi Arabia. to support oppression? it’s absurd, because – on the other hand – they had some welcome slogans to the Arab youth revolution.

Leopard 2A6M left

Image via Wikipedia

About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

14 responses to “200 tanks for Saudi Arabia

    • frizztext-P.S.:
      at first Saudi Arabia had negotiations with a Spanish producer of the Leopard 2 tank. The Spanish factory is part of an US-company …
      world wide weapons deals:
      USA 30%
      Russia 23%
      Germany 13%
      my wish: Germany zero%
      I didn’t vote for the current administration CDU / FDP in Berlin

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  1. discussion in my flickr photo stream:
    Tanks for Saudi Arabia

    1 – maistora’s comment:
    I imagine Saudi Arabia is already pretty well armed. Who is threatening to invade the kingdom’s borders? And do you seriously believe the events* in the mentioned countries were truly people-driven? (I am not calling them ‘revolutions’ as not a single one of them has succeeded in establishing any meaningful change, least of all – democratic). Imho the masses’ discontent is exploited and they are manipulated – literally sent to provoke and be butchered by tanks – in order to provide an excuse for (externally enforced) regime change. Change not necessarily democratic, but certainly in the log-term interests of those behind the manipulation.

    2 – frizz-reply:
    if those demonstrating crowds are not democratic and manipulated by Iran – is it O.K. to bulldoze them down using some German tanks? if Germany stops to sell, Saudi Arabia will buy Leopard 2 tanks via Spain and USA. why not. I would prefer, that Germany has the image of a country, which is willing to make no more weapons deals. why not sell books, photos, music – to change the bad education levels there?

    3 – maistora reply
    I don’t know whether Iran is behind the events in Bahrain (or someone would like to create such impression). I very much doubt Iran had anything to do with North African events, and Syria remains a big question mark. There is a clear pattern (in ‘Who benefits?’ – from regime changes) with Bahrain being the only exception. Or perceived exception. Things are not always what we see and hear. And most of us ONLY ever see and hear what the media is directed to let us see and hear.

    And, no – I never said that it’s OK to bulldoze people with tanks. Police batons, occasionally tear gas and water cannons do a ‘decent job’ , even a humane (?!) job in containing unarmed crowds, whatever their motives. With armed elements human-shielded among the crowd, these ‘humane’ tools don’t work. I am not questioning who is right or wrong here (!) – only pointing to certain mechanisms of escalation, which were never the idea of the ultimate abusive party. Violence is provoked – usually by violence (or the perception of violence). And the first, ‘innocent’ sparks of provocation, before it escalated into horror, were fuelled by the manipulating parties (unnamed here). Escalation is then amplified with all means: from mass media incitement and political pressures, to (undoubted) covert actions.

    As to Germany selling books and music instead: it so happens that, in the Arab world (unlike Central Europe), the German language isn’t the most popular – and therefore German culture. Which doesn’t mean Germany isn’t contributing – by selling the engineering to build and equip some of the best schools and universities in the region (as buildings and facilities; who attends them and what they learn is another matter). Even in photography – Germany has probably sold more Leica-s to the Gulf countries than to the whole of Europe (just because they can afford them and want the best). And beyond ‘culture’ – but as part of wider culture, Germany is selling high-end Mercedes, BMW-s, Porsches (and occasionally Audi-s) to those countries in 1000 x the numbers of tanks…

    Another thought: Is the selling of tanks any better if it’s to Holland or Poland? Or to Germany itself? Where is the boundary of legitimate defence of a country’s sovereignty against a clear external threat – as opposed to protecting it against less clear (but allegedly external) threat? Does a Ministry of Defence (as a buyer of tanks) ever specify to the maker of tanks “I want tanks that are well equipped and efficient against unarmed crowds of protesters”? If that was the requirement, Germany would have probably refused the contract – but I doubt it was.

    Things are never pure black or white. In the great scale of grey shades in-between, there’s a lot of over-exposure and under-exposure, and even some HDR processing – by manipulative forces and the media they control.

    And I am trying to think.

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    • we are not glad, that the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is not very well. They cut off heads or hands. Women are not allowed to drive a car. Nevertheless we sold some Mercedes + Porsche + BMW – and even LEICA cameras. But tanks into a region of conflicts, only because some Krupp, Rheinmetall and Krauss Maffei Wegmann want to earn some billions? Let them construct good automobiles. Dictators do not need a tank Leopard 2A7+ with a front-shield to shovel away demonstrators. More they need schools to teach women how to drive an automobile.

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  2. continuing: copy and paste comments from my flickr photo stream:
    4 – DrgnMastr:
    That is quite the message that is portrayed!! It is quite a different culture and when the ‘civilized’ nations get involved, they are seen as the bad guys. It is never a good thing when a select ‘few’ controls so much.
    5 – frizztext-reply
    my MESSAGE COMPOSITION:
    there is a big gap between the societies which earn much money by selling high tech
    – and those which execute massacres using those high tech weapons.
    +
    in Libya for example three groups are fighting with German war technology (anti-tank rocket “MILAN 3”):
    1 – Gaddhafi, 2 – his opponents in Libya – and 3 – the NATO troops. German government said, they won’t participate with soldiers…

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  3. with a click upon the photo
    you can reach the flickr comments:
    Tanks for Saudi Arabia
    for example Helmet / Helmuth writes there:
    January, 1961 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation

    “…A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry.

    American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence โ€“ economic, political, even spiritual โ€“ is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.

    Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together…”

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  4. Wolfgang Hermann

    geld verdirbt in ausreichender hรถhe jede moral
    wolfgang

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  5. Underwater tanker… Must be quite the story… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. Pingback: Weapon Exports | Flickr Comments

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