Tuesday, February 13, 2007

To arms!

By Capt. Fogg

As if to illustrate my point yesterday about the complexity of the international arms trade; the many under the table and through the back door ways arms are paid for and find their way from the major suppliers like China and the United States to end users both legitimate and illegitimate, CNN ran a story this morning. It seems a large shipment of arms originating in China and Russia and destined for Libya by way of Italy and Malta was interrupted by Italian police. That the story did not run under the headline "China supplying terrorist Libya with arms" has more to do with the fact that The Bush Administration is not playing "pin the evidence on the donkey" in this case as it so often has done.

According to the BBC, world governments spend more than $700 billion on their armed forces every year and official annual arms sales total $30 billion. That leaves well more than half a trillion dollars worth of arms in the category of "unofficial" and puts countless weapons in the hands of terrorists and criminals and enables genocide and mayhem in Africa and elsewhere.

Needless to say, it isn't just the Russian bear or the Chinese dragon selling weapons and washing their claws of responsibility; the USA sells more arms than the next six arms distributing nations combined. The US supplied weapons to Iran to use against Iraq and to Iraq to use against Iran and it's likely that some of these are being used against us as are weapons made in countries we don't care to blame at the moment. Someone as cynical as I am might be tempted to say that we are in no position to preach and in no position to blame other nations whose weapons show up in embarrassing places.

I am still not sure that Iranian weapons are being found in Iraq in quantity, but if they are, I am even less sure that we can use this as evidence that the government of Iran is involved in supplying Iraqi militias. That General Peter Pace shares this opinion is not being widely covered in the press and this suggests that the ability of the White House war mongers to shield their deceptions from contrary evidence remains in place. Even so, I think we can all feel the resistance building.

(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)

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