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Poverty A Weapon of Mass Destruction

Poverty A Weapon of Mass Destruction

When President Obama met with a number of America’s Persian Gulf allies last year in Saudi Arabia, our Noble Peace Winning President didn't show up empty-handed. The Obama administration brought with them a deal to finally approve two long-delayed multi-billion dollar sales of Boeing fighter jets to Qatar and Kuwait.

According to the new administration, Qatar was a leading supporter of terrorism to the tune of billions of dollars a year and this week, well it's business as usual with the approval of this latest arms sale and of course, Boeing's Stocks sore even higher. It’s eyebrow-raising that the Trump administration is now suddenly selling this “funder of terror at a very high level” many billions of dollars’ worth of Boeing Fighter Jets.

Boeing Stock Sores

Is it to pump up Boeing's sagging jet fighter sales globally? One only has to follow the stock market to see the results there. Much like Raytheon's stock did when Trump first came to office and started launching tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria. Raytheon's stocks when straight up that day, after all, somebody has to build those tomahawks now being depleted from inventory. So has Boeing's stock with the announcement of this sale, up 3 points already and 1.60%. Now that's a nice day if you're a Boeing Stock Holder, but if you're not, well too bad, get a job at Boeing or at least in the only profitable industry left in America, arms sales. We are Number 1 in something folks, yep we are the number one manufacturer, distributor and users of weapons globally. Nobody even comes close to us.

The U.S. sits atop the international weapons market, according to the data and the arms trade is big business, with some trillion dollars being spent on military budgets and purchases each year around the world. The arms trade in its current form around the world is very irresponsible with western nations and military industry looking to make profits not caring who they sell to. As President Eisenhower warned us in 1953, the industrial military complex has taken over society and we're all to pay for it.

'Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.'

Dwight D. Eisenhower Speech, April 16, 1953

While this bit of fighter jet diplomacy could help bring an increasingly distant Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) a little bit closer to Washington, as well as offer a significant boost to Boeing’s flagging fighter jet business, the deals themselves reflect an alarming trend among third world nations to purchase weapons ahead of funding civil and humanitarian projects.

The arms trade is a major cause of human rights abuses. Some governments spend more on military expenditure than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined. While every nation has the right and the need to ensure its security, in these changing times, arms requirements and procurements may need to change too.

Publicly the U.S. government has rebuked Qatar multiple times in recent years over its refusal to take a harder line against terrorist financing. Yet Qatar is home to an important U.S. air base, the lease for which the U.S. extended for another decade in 2013. A year later, the U.S. agreed to sell Qatar $11 billion worth of Patriot missiles, attack helicopters, and other military equipment. Qatar is a prime example of what is wrong in the Middle East and what needs to change. It's time to stop being the number one exporter of terror in the world and start down a different diplomatic path. Buying allies with weapons will only arm a future enemy.

Michael McCarthy

'Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.'

James Madison Political Observations, 1795
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