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Arming the Bad Guys

Mar 12, 2009
The U.S. is the leading arms exporter throughout the world, accounting for over 45 percent of all the weapons transferred globally in 2007. This appalling statistic is in a report from the New America Foundation, entitled U.S. Weapons at War 2008. Among the report’s other disclosures:

  • Arms sales agreements in 2007 were triple what they were in 2005.
  • During 2006 and 2007, we supplied arms and military training to 174 countries and territories, up from 123 in 2001. (There are only 195 countries in the world.)
  • Twenty of the 27 major conflicts ongoing in 2006/07 involved one or more parties armed and trained by the U.S.
  • Over half (13) of the 25 U.S. arms recipients in the developing world during 2006/07 were either undemocratic regimes or regimes that engaged in major human rights abuses.
The report also notes how sales to putative friends, such as Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, eventually come around to being used against us as friendships go sour.

Militarism is as American as apple pie, and it seems clear from this report that we will sell arms to just about anyone. The history of our own military adventures in just our lifetime, from Korea to Iraq 2, suggest that violence is our first response to provocation of any sort. And since Korea, it has rarely if ever resulted in a lasting resolution accruing to our benefit.

We are not a pacifist. Were we a Russian at Borodino or a Yank at the Battle of the Bulge, we would have gladly blown the head off any enemy we encountered, knowing full well that our nation and our own survival were at stake. However, when they aren’t at stake, when we are there for economic gain, for political maneuvering, or even for plain old-fashioned revenge, then what we bring to the unhappy people at the receiving end of our enormous military might is simply murder, and there is no two ways about it.
tags: Militarism

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