Test Ban Treaty & Arms Sales

The United States Senate refused to ratify the nuclear test ban treaty, an initiative to limit the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. Senator Joseph Biden (Dem – Delaware) called the vote “disastrous” noting that it would be difficult for the U.S. to negotiate other arms control treaties; “This is about ending the regime of arms control.”

It seems if the United States is really serious about ending arms proliferation, then maybe it ought to stop selling and trading arms to the tune of $10.78 billion per year.

There’s an air of supreme hypocrisy hovering over Washington D.C. – as if that were something unusual. Why did a joint House-Senate conference committee just last week, maneuver to reopen arms sales to India and Pakistan, two very dangerous nations that conducted nuclear tests last year then nearly fought a war over Kashmir this year?

The United States is the largest supplier of arms. If you added up the totals of all the other nations supplying weapons around the world, that figure still wouldn’t readh the $53.9 billion that the U.S. sold from 1994 through 1998.

How on earth does the U.S. reconcile arms control with massive ongoing arms sales? Chalmers Johnson of the Japan Policy Research Institute said the “system amounts to military socialism…Many of these arms sales are designed to keep people employed. We’re not a force for spreading peace around the world today, we’re a force for spreading arms.”

The Clinton administration now wants to sell arms to Latin America. the excuse? The region is now made up of mucho democratic governments, so it’s safer. We sell huge amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia. The excuse? This undemocratic nation survives in the unstable dangerous atmosphere of the Middle East.

What’s it all mean? We sell arms to anyone and everyone at any time we deem financially desirable. The buck does not stop here! (original post Oct.15, 1999)


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