Taking on US foreign policy (again again)

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Seems like there is a problem with New´s thread so I´ll try to repost it for him:



So we're back at it.



--- Disclaimer ---



I know some of you will write this off as "just some more US bashing" and scramble to attack all the personal accusation you feel is being put on you as US citizens.

Well, it's not about that at all. It's about being concerned about the State of this world. Think of it more as being together in the same small boat.

If the fat kid next to you just can't seem stop rocking the boat, throws your safety west in the water and steals your lunch, you need to tell him to stop...



---



I'm reading that the US expanded it's market-share in the international weapons trade to 45.8% percent in 2001.

Since 9/11 there has been a significant increase in arms transfer and military aid.

And while many people would consider this bad in itself, what concerns me more is where this stuff is going.

Some of the countries that have had a huge increase in US military aid are: Djibouti, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

All nice, reliable democracies... er... And we are talking billions of US dollars here. Just to these countries.



This is just Aid (military), in addition the US exports weapons worth 13.1 billion dollars to 154 (!) different countries.

And to be fair to the US government, lets use its own standard of categorizing some of these customers, shall we?



According to the US State Department 42 of the 154 countries importing US arms has a "poor" or "extremely poor" human rights record. This description also applies to 17 countries receiving a total of 2 billion dollars in US military financing. And to 38 countries who received about 15 million USD worth of US military training.



Numbers collected and published by the federation of American Scientists Arms Sales Monitoring Project.



Frankly, I'm a bit concerned. About our common safety.



Could we please discuss this without getting into the usual euro Vs. US tag-team wrestling-style style of discussion?



and btw: I love the spelling correction in Safari.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,899member
    I'm really not sure of your point. One can't automatically assume that the "weapons trade" is bad thing. Some of these countries legitimately need milatary assistance.



    I do agree that if a nation ahs a horrific human rights record, we should reconsider aid. There are exceptions to that, though.



    Overall, I think our government spend too much on, well, everything....including foreign military assistance.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    [quote]Originally posted by New:

    <strong>

    I know some of you will write this off as "just some more US bashing" ...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Your reputation precedes you.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    [quote]Originally posted by spaceman_spiff:

    <strong>



    Your reputation precedes you.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Now that we have your opinion on messenger settled: What do you think about the facts in his post? I especially find it interesting that when we needed some friends when we fought our foe of the day (Afghanistan) suddenly we weren´t so occupied with human rights and started supporting dictators we had laid on ice before.



    The prime example IMO is Tajikistan. We are now actively assisting a dictatorous system opressing its people as a thanks for their support in the fight in Afghanistan. What kind of picture of the west are we creation in the minds of the people of Tajikistan? When they free themselves from the dictators we support do they want to be friends with us?
  • Reply 4 of 53
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Of course threads like these are so selective in their criticism. Why not start off with a critical analysis of the arms trade of the EU countries and then we'll move out from there.



    Also ... source?
  • Reply 5 of 53
  • Reply 6 of 53
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>Of course threads like these are so selective in their criticism. Why not start off with a critical analysis of the arms trade of the EU countries and then we'll move out from there.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Ah the old "oh yeah. But others do it too!"-argument.



    First of all its not an excuse to do bad that others do it. "But judge. There are so many murders in US. The three I comittedalmost doesn´t show in the statistics"



    Secondly: If you find that EU are doing the same please feel free to post about it in another thread and lets discuss it. I would really like to know about it because nobody is perfect and I would work to change such a policy. But remember: Norway (New´s home country) isn´t member of EU.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    No it's more of the "racial profiling" argument. The US is guilty of driving while American.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    Whatever. Anyone wants to discuss the subject?
  • Reply 9 of 53
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    [quote]Originally posted by Anders the White:

    <strong>Whatever. Anyone wants to discuss the subject?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Not unless we talk about the EU first. Oh god no the glorious EU never does anything that's self-serving or counter to world peace. It's not even worth considering.



    But those dirty American are out to ruin the world!
  • Reply 10 of 53
    :eek: You know what other members of AI want to discuss. I didn´t know you had psychic abilities Scott.



    Right now New (who doesn´t live in a country member of EU) have put forward data that shows US supporting countries that have very doubtful leaders with military aid and training and I have shown one example of this and what that can mean in the future. Scott wants us to criticise EU as well but refuse to give examples to critise. He want us to come up with the examples.



    R:"Your tax plan is bad for the economy for reason a and b"

    D:"Oh yeah. Why dont you criticise your own plan first?"

    R:"Whats wrong with that?"

    D:"Hey. Thats up to you to find out. If you want to criticise us then you have criticise yourself first"

    R:"Eh?"



    So lets ignore Scott untill he is a bit more coherent.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    Just one thing:



    Me (about the possibility of eu doing the same):

    [quote]I would really like to know about it because nobody is perfect and I would work to change such a policy.<hr></blockquote>



    Scott:

    [quote]Oh god no the glorious EU never does anything that's self-serving or counter to world peace. It's not even worth considering.<hr></blockquote>



    <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
  • Reply 12 of 53
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Source?
  • Reply 13 of 53
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    [quote]By SDW:

    I'm really not sure of your point. One can't automatically assume that the "weapons trade" is bad thing. Some of these countries legitimately need military assistance. <hr></blockquote>

    This point can certainly be valid in some cases, but we're talking a about military export and aid here to 170 countries in the year 2001. That's an amazing number. And considering that some of these countries are in conflict with each other, like India and Pakistan, the whole "need" argumentation certainly falls apart.



    Scott. Sure, we could drag in european arms industry as well, and Russian, Chinese and Pakistani. But my post is more about the size of US military engagement in the world. It's a very interesting issue.

    If you want to start your own thread about the EU, I'd be most interested in the figures and names of allies of european states.

    But this thread is about the US. How do you feel about US weapons being used against democratic forces, in Tajikistan for instance, Scott? This must bother you. I know I'm not entirely comfortable about norwegian F16's still bombing in Afghanistan.



    [ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: New ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 53
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    And even more important than the lack of a source is a complete and total lack of context. New's credibility on this board is apparently not sufficient.



    A breakdown of where the U.S. ships these weapons is also non-existant.



    And Scott is 100% correct about the bias built into what is being discussed. One hypocritically speaks of wanting to speak to a world issue and then, when looking towards the problem, cries bloody murder when others try to expand the discussion of this "world problem" to other (significant) parts of this perceived problem. People will call this out as blatant U.S.-bashing because it is.



    If shipping weapons is a bad thing then restricting the discussion to the U.S. is ignoring over half the problem (by your numbers), and that's not an intelligent way to discuss any problem. Of course, your goal isn't to actually discuss the issue, it's to bitch about America (as usual).
  • Reply 15 of 53
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>Source?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    [quote]Originally posted by New:

    <strong>Numbers collected and published by "the Federation of American Scientists Arms Sales Monitoring Project."</strong><hr></blockquote>

    <a href="http://fas.org/"; target="_blank">http://fas.org/</a>; is the original source, I really don't know much about it, but I read the numbers in a very respected conservative norwegian newspaper. So my guess is it's pretty decent.



    [ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: New ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 53
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>Of course, your goal isn't to actually discuss the issue, it's to bitch about America (as usual).</strong><hr></blockquote>



    When my small, poor excuse of a country is being pressured into one war after another by the US, it is certainly my right to bitch about it, and discuss it...



    What do you know about my goals anyway?



    [ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: New ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 53
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>And even more important than the lack of a source is a complete and total lack of context. New's credibility on this board is apparently not sufficient.



    A breakdown of where the U.S. ships these weapons is also non-existant.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>

    The context is these numbers just being published. The Source was named in the original post, maybe you just didn't read it? Made up your mind when you read the topic, did you?

    Oh, and I checked the source, and there is so much breakdown there it could keep you up every night the next month...



    [ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: New ]</p>
  • Reply 18 of 53
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    [quote]Originally posted by New:

    <strong>

    The context is these numbers just being published. The Source was named in the original post, maybe you just didn't read it? Already made up your mind when you read the topic did you?

    Oh, I checked the source, and there is so much breakdown there it could keep you up every night the next month...</strong><hr></blockquote>

    You're more likely to get blood from a rock then to get even the slightest critical look at American foriegn policy from the triad of AI members above . . . it simply doesn't matter that you point out statstics of military trade to repressive governments there will be something wrong with your post instead . . . perhaps a spelling error or a possible not accounting for Norways whaling treaty imbalances, or something equally as irrelevant that will dominate their responses to your stats . . . anything, other than recognize that the US might possibly not being doing the best thing for foriegn relations . . . anything other than think critically about the doings of that Fabulous Bush Team . . .

    true, a general accounting of military sales worldwide might also throw light on the situation



    However, the very glaring point of the statistics have so far gone unacknowledged (because a European brought them up) namely, that we continue to supply deadly weapons, for profit, to countries that will may very likely become our enemies in the future, or, who are not worth 'ethically' supporting . . . . the latter part is, of course, relevant now when the whole list of reasons for invading Iraq include among them the unethical treatment of the people of Iraq by that 'Evil' despot Hussain . . .
  • Reply 19 of 53
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    [quote]Originally posted by pfflam:

    <strong>

    You're more likely to get blood from a rock then to get even the slightest critical look at American foriegn policy from the triad of AI members above . . . it simply doesn't matter that you point out statstics of military trade to repressive governments there will be something wrong with your post instead . . . perhaps a spelling error or a possible not accounting for Norways whaling treaty imbalances, or something equally as irrelevant that will dominate their responses to your stats . . . anything, other than recognize that the US might possibly not being doing the best thing for foriegn relations . . . anything other than think critically about the doings of that Fabulous Bush Team . . .

    true, a general accounting of military sales worldwide might also throw light on the situation



    However, the very glaring point of the statistics have so far gone unacknowledged (because a European brought them up) namely, that we continue to supply deadly weapons, for profit, to countries that will may very likely become our enemies in the future, or, who are not worth 'ethically' supporting . . . . the latter part is, of course, relevant now when the whole list of reasons for invading Iraq include among them the unethical treatment of the people of Iraq by that 'Evil' despot Hussain . . .</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I agree. US foreign policy needs to be discussed but those that want to vehemently deny that our great country does any wrong will use any excuse to dodge the issue. I don't care who the hell brought up the subject. It doesn't make the subject itself any less relevant or important.



    Imagine the kind of health care we could have if we weren't sending weapons to these human rights violating countries every year...
  • Reply 20 of 53
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    [quote]Originally posted by pfflam:

    <strong>However, the very glaring point of the statistics have so far gone unacknowledged (because a European brought them up) namely, that we continue to supply deadly weapons, for profit, to countries that will may very likely become our enemies in the future, or, who are not worth 'ethically' supporting . . . . the latter part is, of course, relevant now when the whole list of reasons for invading Iraq include among them the unethical treatment of the people of Iraq by that 'Evil' despot Hussein . . .</strong><hr></blockquote>

    This is very much my concern as well. Considering that the norwegian F16 fighters currently doing their small contribution to the war on terror in Afghanistan only risk of being shot down is from the hundreds of US Stinger surface-to-air missiles gone astray during the Reagan years.

    Just using the statistics as a base of argument, US (and european) made weapons are probably being used against US and Allied forces as we speak.



    [ 01-19-2003: Message edited by: New ]</p>
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