Sunday, November 09, 2003

War is impossible without weapons. The world's largest exporter of weapons is indoubtedly the U.S. and here is their customer list. Please note that many of the quantities have been blanked out, explaining why many of the items that appear on the list have "Quantity 0" marked next to them. Frightening, especially since a nation so devoted to peace and prosperity is shipping billions of dollars of weapons all around the world.

According to a report published by Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms ,

"The report says the global arms trade worth about £17b a year is "dangerously unregulated" and that about 500,000 people are killed every year, an average of one person per minute"

I'm not trying to exonerate the other super-powers (Ie. Russia, China, etc.) from guilt since they would gladly grab a piece of the weapons-trade pie, if they got the chance. Even so, the U.S. has a moral imperative, as the self-proclaimed "Leader of the Free world", to halt export of deadly weapons and to end the proliferation of death machines worldwide.

Here is a complete list of all the weapons & military services or supplies sold by American companies (or the U.S. Defense Dept.) to the world, as a whole. It is both mind-boggling and quite sad if you consider that much of this production could have been applied for peaceful means. If we spent half of our military budgets on feeding the world or taming disease, nearly everyone could eat and people wouldn't be killing each other so rabidly.

"An average of $22 billion a year is spent on arms by countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Just half of this amount would enable every child in those regions to go to primary school. Overall, 42% of countries with the highest defense burden rank among the lowest in human development."

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