Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The Arms Merchants - Nations that Profit from War and Deaths
One thing leads to another. Reading former President Jimmy Carter's comments about the nuclear deal with India and the dangers of nuclear proliferation made me think of the very lucrative trading in arms and ammunition in which all major nations take part. An Israeli friend,currently in graduate school in the USA, to whom I had forwarded the Washington Post article "Of Israel,Harvard and David Duke" (March 26,2006) commented:
- They forgot to add it that even Israelis in Israel argue that they wish US aid to Israel will stop since it is making the country more militant, and only contributing to the military industrial complex.
- I think these authors will be more honest if they will realize that the US does not give money to Israel because they care about Israel's security; the US only tries to maintain the economic profitability from selling weapons. The military industrial complex in the US accounts for as much as 25% of the US GDP.
- You ask yourself how? Well, for every weapon that Israel 'buys' form the US, rich oil producing countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, buy the same weapons from the US to equalize their military power with Israel. This is really where the US makes its most money from weapons.
The web site of Federation of American Scientists (FAS) contains a wealth of facts including the following:
- As reported by Richard Grimmett of the Congressional Research Service (in "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1994-2001"), U.S. weapons sales for 2001 accounted for 45.8% of all registered international arms deliveries. This was roughly than 2.5 times the value of exports by the second (United Kingdom) and third (Russia) largest exporters, 9.7 times the level of exports registered by France, and 19 times the level of exports registered by China.
Military Training: The U.S. government is training soldiers in upwards of 70 countries at any given time. The most transparent, and consequently well known of these training programs is the Pentagon's International Military Education and Training Program (IMET). Recent graduates as well as soldiers soon to be trained by this program come from countries at war or with horrific human rights records, including Indonesia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire.
- In Fiscal Year 1999, the United States delivered roughly $6.8 billion in armaments to nations which violate the basic standards of human rights (figure is conservative and based only on countries with major human rights problems).
- Of the active conflicts in 1999, the United States supplied arms or military technology to parties in more than 92% of them --39 out of 42. In over one-third of these conflicts - 18 out of 42 - the United States provided from 10% to 90% of the arms imported by one side of the dispute.
- Between 1986 and 1995 the United States delivered $42 billion worth of armaments to parties in 45 ongoing conflicts.
- U.S. arms or U.S. military technology were used by adversaries confronting U.S. soldiers in Panama, Iraq, Somalia, and Haiti. A significant portion of the $6 billion in covert U.S. arms and training sent to Afghan rebel groups in the 1980s was funneled to right-wing Islamic fundamentalist forces that now use these resources to attack U.S. allies and citizens.
Think about it--how many Iraqis were involved in the attacks on 9/11? None. How many Iraqi civilians have died in the war? More than 30,000, the majority from military actions. Perhaps you are one of those who are unable to differentiate between peaceful civilians and insurgents.