Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Feb 1

When President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, millions of people around the world contemplated the obvious: How can a man who is currently waging war win an award for peace? Earlier this week, another curious question arose: How can a man who sells weapons of war win an award for peace?

Well, both events are now occurring. We continue to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the State Department just finalized a deal to sell over $6 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Taiwan. The pact demonstrates two things: Just how badly the US Government REALLY needs some cash at the moment and just how much Taiwan loves increasing its armed forces to anger the People’s Republic of China. Hmmm, with the new Tomahawk helicopters, Taiwan just might be thinking about retaking Pengchiaya Island, which is claimed by both nations.

Not really. The Taiwanese will more likely use their Tomahawk helicopters to rescue flooded typhoon victims than to invade disputed Chinese islands. But, with other nations, it’s not so clear. A much larger issue at stake is the very high number of nations around the world who receive US-made weaponry. Let’s face it: every continent (but Antarctica) has some military machinery branded “Made in USA” on it. Are we really confident that the Colombian army is using our guns ONLY to fight the Drug War?

Indeed, the most frightening part of selling guns and ammo to other nations is the unthinkable possibility of regime change. Although it makes US politicians nervous, we must remember that we did supply arms to Iraq during their war with neighboring Iran. Many of these arms have gone unaccounted for since Saddam’s overthrow. Some have undoubtedly been used to kill US military personnel in Iraq today.
Please, President Obama, remember to look at the Nobel PEACE prize next time you decide to shower another nation with weapons of WAR.

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