Sarah Lazare at Common Dreams writes Flood of Western Weapons Fueling Unrest, Extremism Across Middle East:
Western nations—led by the United States—are selling large quantities of weapons to governments in the Middle East and North Africa, providing little oversight for how these arms are used, and thereby fueling corruption and conflict in countries from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, a new report (pdf) from the watchdog organization Transparency International finds.
The investigation examines government defense corruption in Tunisia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Syria, and Yemen. These countries together account for $135 billion in military spending in 2014 alone, making their expenditures as a percentage of GDP the “highest in the world,” the report finds. […]
The role of the United States in driving this arms flow was well-established long before Transparency International’s report. The Stockholm International Peace
Institute found earlier this year that, between 2010 and 2014, the United States was the world’s top supplier of arms, accounting for 31 percent of global exports. This compared with 27 percent for Russia.
The IHS Jane’s 360 report, released in March, found that Saudi Arabia was the “number one” military trading partner with the United States in 2014. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Defense announced its approval of an $11.25 billion deal to sell combat ships to Saudi Arabia, which has been waging a military assault against Yemen for more than six months. […]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005—Pundit Overload:
Can I just say something straight-up here?
Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the “meaning” of the Fitzgerald investigation isn’t relevant. It isn’t useful. It’s like watching a dog crap to music. There’s some percentage of the country that would probably tune in to that too, but it doesn’t make it “news” or even “analysis.”
And you can repeat that statement, to a less overtly crass degree, for nearly every Republican and Democratic professional spinner, on both sides.
David Waldman wishes you Happy Holidays! He is off Monday and Tuesday – but check back for special prerecorded programming that you can listen to on this site, as well as all of your favorite live stream locations at the usual 9AM Eastern time, right after Hopping Mad with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny at 8. Greg Dworkin agrees, the mainstream media suck, because they haven’t decided if they want to be seen as fair and balanced, if they want the candidates to answer the questions, or if they just want ratings. The one thing no one wants to admit is that the whole Gop lineup sucks. The Republican candidates want to exclude the RNC from the debates. Oh well, on to the next suit with a smile to be the Chosen One. Jeb! is a loser, having lost even Peggy Noonan. Jeb! plans to reinvent himself again and get back out there, again. Kim Davis is also losing the argument, as polling shows. Is it Springtime for Grifters? Is the GOP just an MLM anymore? Tune in Monday as Kagro in the Morning explores just how the Republican campaign-in-a-box can be a used as a profitable scam-in-a-box.