The World

Merchants of Death

It’s like the meth distributor donating to the “Not Even Once” campaign.

That would be the U.S. military-industrial complex selling more than 50 percent of the world’s weapons while American leadership calls for peace.

It has been a very good year for weapons dealers, reports the New York Times, with a $10 billion dollar increase in 2014 (latest available figures).  That’s a 35 percent jump over the previous year.

Here are some of our biggest customers: our Saudi Arabian friends (who recently shot or beheaded 47 “terrorists”) and Qatar (ranked first in wealth and 166th in size).  We also sell a lot of arms to South Korea to help offset all the Kia, Samsung and Hyundai products we buy.

Anyway, this story came out earlier in the month but has been gnawing at me, so much so that instead of my usual Montana political fodder, I’m tackling this worldly issue.

Hypocrisy seems like too mild a word.  We can’t pretend to promote peace while we’re arming Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  There are others selling weapons but we’re still #1, by a long shot:

Russia followed the United States as the top weapons supplier, completing $10.2 billion in sales, compared with $10.3 billion in 2013. Sweden was third, with roughly $5.5 billion in sales, followed by France with $4.4 billion and China with $2.2 billion.

Despite the competition, the report concluded that, given its positioning, the United States was likely to remain the dominant supplier of arms to developing nations in coming years.

Given its positioning?  In other words, having our mitts in most armed conflicts around the world. And developing nations?  Developing them into well-armed militias.  I say let those other countries earn their blood money, not us.  Not if we really want to be known as a peace-loving nation.

American weapons receipts were $36.2 billion in 2014.  That’s obscene and I’m ashamed.  Can you imagine how this money could be better spent?


If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • We are the most Violent country in the world. We not only don’t mind our people being killed by guns…. we don’t mind making sure the rest of the world gets in some killing too. The problem is if you took the Populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark and Australia, you would roughly have the same in Population as America does. Problem is we killed 32,000 of our own in gun deaths, and they killed only 112 of their people.

    You see I Believe that war is played out in the media to be much worse than it really is elsewhere in the world So gun Companies can continue to sell guns. Russia does the same thing to sell their guns. they kill the people endlessly there as well with gun Violence.

    Propaganda has both of the above commenters unaware of Corporate Concern. the Gun Companies just don’t give a DAmn what you think! And until they are stopped, war and Gun Deaths will continue, because of Imagined slights everywhere. thats the gun Companies business plan, Whats yours???

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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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