Ms. Fatima Bhutto in her article â€œA Farewell to Armsâ€ published in The Muslim Observer, Aug. 24-30, 2007, makes an excellent case against providing billions of dollars of military aid to several Middle Eastern countries, including Israel. This military aid is designed to offset perceived growing military power of Iran in the region by President Bush. It is highly questionable whether Iran presents any meaningful threat to countries in the Middle east such as Israel or Saudi Arabia etc at the present time or in the foreseeable future.
There is yet another question related to foreign aid that we might consider. It was Akbar the Great, a Muslim Emperor of Hindustan (India), in the sixteenth century, who realized that sending money to Hijaz (now part of S. Arabia) in the form of gold and silver coins was a drain on the nations economy. Therefore, he came up with an idea to produce prayer rugs in India and sell these rugs in Hijaz. The income generated from the sale of these rugs was then donated to Hijaz. Hijaz benefited from it as well as employment increased in India. After WW II, the United States adopted a policy of providing assistance not only to friendly nations in Europe but also to newly independent nations or developing countries as well. The aid was financed by the trade surplus. The aid receiving countries were obligated to buy most of the stuff from this aid from the U.S.A.
Thus it helped the aid receiving countries as well as the United States.
However, for more than a quarter of a century we have had no surplus in trade and our national debt is approaching $10 trillion. Providing military hardware to several countries in the Middle East may help â€œthe military industrial complexâ€ to reap higher profits at the tax payers expense, but may in the end impoverish the nation. Let us therefore, write to our Congressman and Senators to block this arms aid to â€œour friendsâ€ in the long term interest of our nation.
In my judgment, regardless of what your religious faith is, join hands in defense of peace and impress upon the administration to seek diplomatic solutions to political issues and not military solution. We know one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Habib A. Zuberi, Ph.D 9420 Hillcrest Dr. Plymouth, MI. 48170