Arms for Sale

Recently a Saudi citizen journalist walked into the Saudi embassy in Turkey and has not been seen since. Reliable sources say he was tortured, murdered, and dismembered by agents of the Saudi government. Apparently the Turkish government officials say there is a tape to verify the murder.

Donald Trump was asked about this event.  He said if it was true it was “very bad”.  He also cast doubt it was the Saudis when he said it might have been rogue thugs.  When asked if we should impose sanctions such as cancelling our arms sales to the Saudis, he balked.  The Saudis have contracted with American arms manufactures for $110 billion in purchases. Trump contends that if we cancelled the deal the Saudis would just buy their arms from Russia or China, and American arms manufactures would lose business.  The lesson:  Dictators can violate human rights at will and we will look the other way as long as they do business with us.  So the highest value is the Art of the Deal.

Is it any coincidence that the Trump organization has business dealings in Saudi Arabia and Russia? Any coincidence that our president refuses to condemn or sanction them?  When Jimmy Carter was president he boycotted the Moscow Olympics after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. While some see Carter’s presidency as a failure, there were many successes, including his brokering peace between Israel and Egypt, and his promotion of conservation of resources during the energy crisis.  Carter had a moral compass.  Trump’s compass points to the Almighty Dollar.

Finally, why do we need to be manufacturing weapons of war to foreign countries?  I though Trump said we need to beef up our own arsenal. America first!  Of course this begs the question of how much is enough already.  In the meantime we’ll continue to crank out arms for sale to the rest of the world and sell them to dictators who commit violations of human rights while we look the other way.

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