Monday, September 07, 2009

Our Legacy

When I was a child (and thought like a child), I believed that the most important mission I had was that I left the world a better place than it was when I entered. Now, that shouldn't have been difficult: I was born one year to the day from the detonation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Surely this joint would come to its senses and we would never face that kind of madness again.


We, and by that I mean specifically the United States, are still in the warmaking mode. We are still engaged in two wars (actually three, if you count Pakistan, which I think qualifies). There are still those, among them former Vice President Dick Cheney and his followers, that think we should open yet another theater in Iran. We can't have universal health care access because it is too expensive, but we can piss away billions of dollars each month killing people. It's as if that's the only thing we do well.

And if that isn't depressing enough, today I learned that our highly vaunted and much praised free market system has scored another coup. We lead the world in producing and selling the weapons of war. From the NY Times:

Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before. ...

The increase in American weapons sales around the world “was attributable not only to major new orders from clients in the Near East and in Asia, but also to the continuation of significant equipment and support services contracts with a broad-based number of U.S. clients globally,” according to the study, titled, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations.”

Well, hooray for us.

What's even worse is that we are selling weapons to some of the countries that have established that they are just as willing to turn those weapons against their own citizens as they are to use them for defense:

The study found that the larger arms deals concluded by the United States with developing nations last year included a $6.5 billion air defense system for the United Arab Emirates, a $2.1 billion jet fighter deal with Morocco and a $2 billion attack helicopter agreement with Taiwan. Other large weapons agreements were reached between the United States and India, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea and Brazil.

But, hey! It's ok because it involves jobs and meaningful work for people. We can wait for carriage builders to start on public transportation and tech companies to build cheaper solar panels. What we need is money, lots of it, now, even though that money only passes on to the patricians.

There isn't enough Effexor in the world to tame what I'm feeling right now.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

There isn't enough Effexor in the world to tame what I'm feeling right now.

that's why they make Paxil, and Welbutrin, Cymbalta, Prozac, and Zoloft...

Welcome back, dahlin....

7:10 AM  

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