As I just observed Veterans Day I wondered, where are these kids getting these guns? Every time I turn on the fake news I see young teenage thugs in developing countries sporting sophisticated rifles, grenade and rocket launchers, mortars, tank rounds and C-4 explosives. War.
I just did a quick Google search for assault rifles, and there are plenty available if you have a couple of grand or more. How can a poverty-stricken African with his belly distended from hunger afford one of America’s finest weapons but I can’t? How come a 13-year-old can run around Baghdad blasting the legs off Marines with a grenade launcher and I have never seen one offered for sale (or for free)?
Yes, I can buy a gun, but I have a job. These “terrorists” on the news don’t have anything resembling a job. They are on another planet playing with adult toys provided by adults in all of the major “civilized” countries. If the adult nations of the world decided NOT to provide sophisticated weapons to the kids in the playground there might be less conflict. I guess that as long as the success of our nation depends on feeding fires we’re not going to stop giving out matches.
But our involvement in the manufacturing and supplying is the basis of much of our economy. Stop doing that, another country will step in and we’ll be out of lots more jobs, the ones making bullets, launchers and bombs that sometimes end up in the hands of African and Middle Eastern kids.
Sometimes the stuff even ends up being pointed back at our guys.
Just ask our leader who, despite getting almost all the facts wrong, is still “refreshingly honest.” Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was recently executed by our “allies” in Saudi Arabia.
Trump’s tweet: “I know they’re [senators] talking about different kinds of sanctions, but they’re [Saudi Arabia] spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs, like jobs and others for this country. I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States.”
The Post’s Fact Checker says $4 billion has actually been approved, but we are not going to concern ourselves with facts right now. We are, after all, the failing fake news.
Our relationship with this dictatorship (Saudi Arabia), tied to the biggest terrorist attack in the United States (9/11), has led to the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world (Yemen) with “Made in USA” on the shells, bombs, bullets and planes. It’s all about the economy, right?
This is nothing new. On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican and former general, gave a farewell address to the nation. In the speech he warned about the overwhelming momentum of the military-industrial complex.
“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction …
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
I might just be a Republican, too.
The media has failed on this one. When we turn on the set we should hear a little more detail. Tell us the source of that improvised explosive device. Who makes the bullets, the bombs, the tank shells and all the other nasties? Who is profiting and how are they spending their profits? Start looking under rocks and you’ll find lots of patriotic Americans making big money on arming bad guys. It has been estimated that our country is involved in 98 percent of the world’s conflicts. Someone’s making serious cash and trying to tell us that the enemy is poor kids with sophisticated weapons pointed at Americans.
Steve Skinner notes that the kids are getting their guns from us. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.