When President Obama said in his State of the Union message “So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years…” we wondered aloud if that meant what we thought it meant. Four days later we had an answer when the front page of the Washington Post announced “US steps up weapons sales to Mideast allies.”
According to the annual report produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service the US signed weapons agreements valued over 37 billion dollars in 2008. US weapons sales increased by more than 12 billion dollars from the 2007 total and accounted for over 68% of the total arms sales recorded worldwide. All this despite a decline in global weapons sales overall as the great recession cooled the interest of many nations to place new orders for weapons.
Using fear of Iran as an excuse, many nations in the Persian Gulf region were at the top of the list, including Saudi Arabia $6.06 billion, Iraq $2.50 billion, Egypt $2.31 billion, Israel $1.32 billion and topping the list, the United Arab Emirates $6.5 billion.
Is introducing tens of billions of dollars more in weapons to the powder keg we call the Mideast how we deal with our trade deficit, or is it how we sow the seeds of war? One thing is for sure, it’s InSANE.
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This is, indeed, an insane policy. Expanding the capacity to kill and destroy will not improve the world. Encouraging nations with many, many poor people to spend vast amounts of their money on military will only further impoverish them. It’s just another form of colonialism.
I didnt vote for Obama or was motivated by his message/theme. To get to the top you have to please the powerful. I am not surprised that this is the case. It is time for the US to back off from the world stage and focus on its own efforts to improve the lives of its citizenry.wc
Well since we have sent all of our manufacturing jubs overseas what else are we going to make. We seem to be very good at making weapons of war. We are suppose to be a peaceful nation, perhaps if they get busy killing each other they will leave us alone…The problem with that is we think we have to step in and finish the job….so our young men and women die in the process….Will we ever learn??
So what else is new??!!!!
Looks like we’re funding both sides of all wars, either directly or indirectly, through other nations. The munitions manufacturers in the US are certainly helping to keep the unemployment rate down!!!!
Let’s hope US weapons aren’t available to the opposition in Afghanistan to be used against our own soldiers!!
So what else is new??
I just added those numbers to my list of industry sizes. Interesting to put them in some perspective:
The 37 Bn of 2008 US global arms sales falls just above the 35 Bn 2007 sales of US pizza restaurants, and 33 Bn 2007 sales of German renewable energy equipment. Less than half the 78 Bn the US lost in 2007 to traffic congestion!
The 6 Bn each we sold to the Saudis and the UAE fall just above the 5+ Bn that was spent on “virtual goods” (avatars, game status, and online gifts) just in Asia. Well below the 8 Bn sales of global solar thermal systems (hot water collectors, not including solar electric). Less than half what we in the US spend every year on bottled water!
So the old excuse that our economy would collapse if we didn’t have the weapons industry is clearly silly. If Germany can make that much on renewable energy, saving the planet in the process, why can’t we?
Why do we keep repeating the same insane cycle? Tax dollars go into building weapons, shipped to foreign countries, and we then go to war with those countries so Americans die die from American-made weapons.
And we wonder why a health care reform bill cannot be produced… The output of various “ordinary” Americans cannot begin to compare with what this nation receives in the sales of weapons, so who the hell cares about the health of most of us; just keep the corporate sponsors of weapons production well and happy.
All those big names in Economy and they still fail to understand the basic principles of their field. Teach a guy to fish more effectively, don’t sell him useless dangerous equipment to destroy his compeditors equipment. They think that trading money from this hand to that hand equals financial progress and could lead to economic recovery; they are defiantly wrong. Economic recovery only follows when the workers efforts advance the standard of living for others.
Creating war machinery has a further cost of fear mongering, hatred, mistrust and cowardliness; it does nothing to lift people up. Helping a people to create improvements in the lives of their neighbors gives them self worth, confidence, respect and courage to follow their dreams.
America can not waste the fruits of our labor burning up and destroying, we have done that enough. Now we must learn to carry ourselves forward, and in this carrying inspire others to lift themselves up.
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