Open thread for night owls: Western nations, led by U.S., are pouring weapons into Middle East

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. […]

Firearms

The role of the United States in driving this arms flow was well-established long before Transparency International’s report. The Stockholm International Peace

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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 2005Pundit 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.



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