[OPE-L:7207] The Weapons Industry

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri May 17 2002 - 22:11:23 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eli Pariser, 9-11Peace"
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 10:08 PM
Subject: The Weapons Industry

> Wednesday, May 15, 2002
> Susan V. Thompson, ed.
> Read online or subscribe at:
> http://www.9-11peace.org/bulletin.php3
> ---------
> 1. Introduction
> 2. Call for Submissions
> 3. One Link: Background on the Arms Trade
> 4. The Small Arms Trade
> 5. The American Weapons Industry
> 6. Israel and the Arms Trade
> 7. Updates
> 8. Get Involved
> 9. About the Bulletin
> -------------
> Someone made and sold each bomb and every bullet. For weapons
> manufacturers, wars are a windfall; conflict increases the
> profit margin. The War on Terrorism is no different: large
> American companies have already landed multi-million dollar
> contracts from the US government, and defense industry stocks
> are on the rise. In a truly vicious circle, weapons
> manufacturers financially support the most hawkish elements of
> each administration, and the resulting conflicts increase sales,
> and the profits are used to fortify lobbying efforts.
> Weapons manufacturers don't just sell their goods to their own
> countries, though. Profit is the key, and if there is money to
> be made by selling arms to a dictatorship, or a human rights
> abuser, or a rebel group, or even both sides of the same
> conflict, the ethical problems are usually put aside. The
> recipients of those weapons may also decide to sell them to
> others, spreading them even further afield. As the world's
> largest arms dealer, US industry sells about half of the world's
> weapons. "Made in the USA" can thus be found on arms the world
> over, even on the weapons used by many of America's enemies.
> That American soldiers are often killed with American guns
> apparently isn't a good enough argument to staunch the flow of
> deadly weaponry.
> So while peace groups work towards disarmament, weapons industry
> lobbyists pressure the US government to buy more bombs. While
> the Bush administration calls on Israel to stop its occupation
> of the West Bank, Israel uses American-made tanks and
> helicopters to continue. And while people in the poorest
> countries die in bloody wars, people in the richest country in
> the world get richer by fanning their flames. This is the
> business of war, and at the moment, business is good.
> ---------------------
> Weapons manufacturers provide a good argument for despair. But
> we believe that the millions of individuals around the world who
> are working for peace have potent reasons to be hopeful. We're
> collecting stories for next week's Bulletin, and we'd like to
> hear yours. Just send us a short essay (500 words or less,
> please). You may want to answer one or more of the following
> questions:
> 1) How did you originally become interested in peace work? What
> got you involved? What keeps you involved?
> 2) Write about a time that you or your group successfully
> applied the principles of non-violence to a conflict.
> 3) Who are the people or groups who inspire you to keep working
> for peace?
> 4) A large part of being an advocate for peace is talking to
> people about your opinions. Have you had a conversation with
> someone that was particularly hopeful or meaningful to you? Tell
> us about it.
> Please try to keep your essays focused and positive in tone;
> creativity is encouraged. Send your entry along with your name
> and address to:
> essays@9-11peace.org
> We need to receive your essay no later than this coming Sunday,
> May 19.  We will let you know beforehand if we are including
> your work in next week's Bulletin.
> ---------------------------------------
> What is the arms trade? How can it be curbed? What has been done
> to bring about disarmament so far? Learn the answers to these
> questions and more from this informative fact sheet.
> http://9-11peace.org/r.php3?r=197
> ---------------------
> The general public usually thinks of the move towards
> disarmament as focusing on nuclear weapons and other weapons of
> mass destruction. But many groups are now focusing on the damage
> done by small arms, which are the weapon of choice in civil wars
> and enable huge numbers of civilian deaths every year. According
> to the Red Cross, small arms are the principal cause of death in
> conflicts, and their accessibility around the world is a very
> real problem.
> This primer on the global threat created by small arms is an
> excellent introduction to the issue. It's in a clear and
> understandable question-and-answer format.
> http://www.fas.org/asmp/campaigns/smallarms/primer.html
> According to the UN: "Small arms and light weapons fuel civil
> wars and other conflicts, causing harm to millions of people,
> particularly in Africa. These small weapons are only part of a
> larger trade that includes heavier and more lethal weaponry, but
> light arms are often especially baneful because they are cheap,
> easy to transport and can be handled by ill-trained rebel
> soldiers and even children." This page provides a number of
> links and articles related to small arms and what the UN is
> doing to try to stop the illicit trade in these weapons.
> http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/smallarms/salwindx.htm
> In 2001, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)
> launched a global campaign to curb trafficking in small arms.
> This article explains the scope of the problem and describes the
> various initiatives meant to address it. Some interesting facts
> from the article are that the five permanent members of the UN
> Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, China and
> Russia) are responsible for approximately 85 percent of the
> global arms trade, and small arms have been the "primary choice
> of weaponry" in 47 of the 49 civil conflicts since 1990.
> http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0109-01.htm
> The United Nations has since adopted the first global agreement
> on curbing illicit sales of small weapons. The negotiations were
> greatly hindered by US opposition to any provisions that seemed
> to threaten the right of American citizens to carry such
> weapons, as well as any provisions which restricted selling
> small arms to "non-state actors," or rebel groups. As a result,
> the agreement has been adopted in a "diluted" form.
> http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0723-02.htm
> ------------------------------
> This excellent backgrounder on the US arms industry provides a
> brief introduction followed by a wealth of quick facts with
> links for more information. Highly recommended if you'd like to
> get a sense of the key issues relating to the manufacture and
> sales of arms in both the US and the world.
> http://fas.org/asmp/fast_facts.htm#WolrdMilitaryExpenditures
> A 2000 report by the Congressional Research Service revealed
> that the United States is the world's leading arms merchant,
> followed by Russia, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Italy.
> The report found that the US is responsible for almost half the
> weapons sold around the world, and 70% of those are supplied to
> developing countries.
> http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0821-02.htm
> The war in the Balkans was very profitable for US arms
> manufacturers.
> http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/may1999/war-m22.shtml
> The "war on terrorism" is also great news for weapons
> manufacturers such as Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing and
> Lockheed Martin. This article is composed of brief profiles of
> these companies, listing some of the specific weapons that they
> manufacture. The author also reports on the government
> connections that these companies are cultivating while their
> lobbyists pressure the US government for more money and new
> contracts.
> http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1218-03.htm
> Since Sept. 11, the US has increased arms sales to several
> countries in exchange for their support, including countries
> with a history of instability. In so doing, the US may be
> fostering new conflicts, and possibly even putting weapons into
> the hands of present and future enemies.
> http://9-11peace.org/r.php3?r=198
> This article details the arms sales that have taken place since
> Sept. 11. A little dense but a good resource nonetheless.
> http://www.fas.org/terrorism/at/index.html
> How do US arms sales compare to those of the countries named in
> Bush's "axis of evil"? Find out in this jolting "rant" from the
> Guerrilla News Network.
> http://www.guerrillanews.com/war_on_terrorism/doc312.html
> This article from 2000 demonstrates how the major arms
> manufacturers cultivate political ties with both the Republican
> and Democratic parties, making massive campaign contributions
> (although Republican candidates are favored). The authors even
> explain why George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the weapons
> industry's "dream team," a fact to keep in mind now that they
> are both in office and running a war that is potentially very
> profitable.
> http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/lockheedgop.htm
> This chart compares defense industry contributions to Republican
> and Democratic political candidates in 2001-2002.
> http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/sector.asp?txt=D01&cycle=2002
> The Carlyle Group is most likely profiting from the current "war
> on terrorism" through United Defense, one of the companies that
> it owns. Since the Bush family has close ties to the Carlyle
> Group, they profit as well.
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,583869,00.html
> A US Arms Transfer Code of Conduct could possibly help limit the
> extent of US arms sales. This site provides links to background
> information on the move towards such a code, and updates on the
> process.
> http://www.fas.org/asmp/campaigns/code/uscodecon.html
> Some good news: Russia and the US have just agreed to nuclear
> arms cuts. This article includes a chart of the number of
> nuclear weapons owned by each country.
> http://9-11peace.org/r.php3?r=199
> Finally, if you have the time, you may want to read this
> comprehensive handbook on the US role in the global arms trade
> from the Federation of American Scientists. It's called "The
> Arms Trade Revealed" and it's intended for "investigators and
> activists."
> http://www.fas.org/asmp/library/handbook/cover.html
> --------------------------
> Israel is one of the biggest buyers of US arms, many of which
> are purchased using the military aid supplied to Israel by the
> US government. While Britain has publicly objected to the use of
> British-supplied weapons in Israel's controversial military
> campaign against the Palestinians, the Bush administration has
> remained largely silent on the issue.
> http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0323-05.htm
> This fact sheet lists US contributions to Israel's military
> through weapons sales and grants and through military aid. It
> includes a chart that lists the American weapons currently in
> the Israeli arsenal, along with their manufacturer and cost.
> http://9-11peace.org/r.php3?r=200
> Robert Jensen argues compellingly for ending US aid and arms
> sales to Israel in order to help broker a lasting peace in the
> Middle East.
> http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0409-07.htm
> The arms that the US sells to Israel do not necessarily stay in
> that country. There is evidence that Israel routinely reverse-
> engineers American weapons technology and sells the results.
> These have made their way into the hands of countries such as
> China, Cambodia, and even Iraq -- on of Israel's greatest
> enemies.
> http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0509-07.htm
> Israeli Military Industry (IMI) is one of Israel's major arms
> manufacturers, and has supplied arms to a number of Arab states.
> This 1997 article illustrates the types of weapons that Israel
> produces (including Uzis, "environmentally-friendly" shells and
> bombs, and self-detonating cluster bombs,) and where they end
> up.
> http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/971119/1997111918.html
> --------
> In last week's issue, we noted the US government's opposition to
> the new International Criminal Court (ICC). Apparently a US
> House committee has now authorized the President to use force to
> rescue any American held by the new International Criminal Court
> and to bar arms aid to nations that ratify the court treaty.
> This would basically mean that the US could attack the
> Netherlands if the ICC attempted to try an American citizen.
> Representative Tom DeLay, who sponsored the measure, called the
> ICC a "rogue court."
> http://www.iht.com/articles/57496.html
> Correction: In last week's bulletin, under the section on the
> Srebenica massacre, we reported that the entire Dutch parliament
> resigned. According to a representative of the Hague, this
> should have read that the entire Dutch government resigned.
> -------------
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