Tag: missiles

It’s Time the United States End its Saudi Arabian Alliance

Shiam Kannan | United States

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is only one more entry in a long list of human rights abuses by the Saudi Arabian Government, which also includes their suppression of religious freedom, sponsorship of terrorism, and complicity in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. However, Khashoggi’s murder is significant because it has brought mass attention to Saudi Arabia’s actions, and has given the United States a window through which to exit its relationship with them. Now is the time to utilize this window and end our partnership with the Saudis. Due to the Saudi Government’s involvement in some of the most abhorrent human rights violations present in the modern era, it is imperative that the United States terminate its friendship with Saudi Arabia if it wants to remain a nation looked up to by the rest of the free world.

Unfortunately, President Trump has refused to censure the Saudi government for its actions and has seemingly taken it for its word that the Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, had nothing to do with the assassination, despite the fact that the CIA has concluded that Salman had indeed ordered the killing. Essentially, Trump’s utilitarian view on foreign affairs has led to his favoring a foreign regime over our own intelligence agencies. President Trump’s cozying up to Saudi Royalty merely punctuates his view of foreign relations as business deals, rather than interactions with moral implications.

However, regardless of the Khashoggi assassination, there are many, many, other reasons why America ought to terminate its alliance with the Saudis, not least of which is the Yemeni Civil War. Over half of all the civilian deaths in Yemen have been due to Saudi airstrikes, and a recent UN report has concluded that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has been responsible for recruiting child soldiers, some as young as 8 years old, and even raping civilians. Saudi Arabia indiscriminately conducts bombings throughout Yemen, which have hit targets such as hospitals, funerals, and even refugee camps. And worst of all, Yemen is on its way to experiencing the “world’s worst famine in 100 years” if the Civil War continues. Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the US, is engaging in a blockade of food and supplies to Yemeni civilians. Approximately 12 to 13 million people are at risk of famine in Yemen right now, which could begin as soon as 2 to 3 months from now if the war does not end.

The airstrikes in Yemen are, for the most part, conducted using weapons purchased from the United States. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is America’s number one arms customer, as they give the US billions of dollars in exchange for laser-guided missiles and other destructive technologies. American-made bombs utilized by the Saudis have led to the deaths of many innocent people in Yemen, such as the 40 students on a school bus in Yemen which was bombed by the Saudis earlier this year. Essentially, this means that by selling the Saudis the weapons they want, which they subsequently use to murder Yemeni civilians, the US is just as complicit in their slaughter as the Saudi pilots dropping the armaments. The blood is not merely on Mohammed Bin Salman’s hands, but America’s as well unless it stops providing the Saudi Government with the tools they seek to massacre civilians in Yemen.

Despite all this, then, why is Trump so ardently supportive of the Saudis? One claim he frequently makes is that arms sales to Saudi Arabia boost American jobs in the defense industry. However the American private defense industry, which only accounts for 0.5% of the American labor force, does not rely on Saudi money; rather, its main client is the American military. Only approximately 8,000 workers in the United States make bombs, including the ones sold to Saudi Arabia, and it does not seem like their jobs are dependent on Saudi sales. Nonetheless, even if arms sales to Saudi Arabia are economically beneficial, the benefits are not worth the lives of innocent women and children on America’s conscience.

Another explanation for Trump’s warm relationship with Mohammed Bin Salman is merely the reason why America has been a Saudi ally for over 80 years: oil. Saudi Arabia has a great influence on global oil prices and thus is of great significance to American foreign policy and the US economy. But our addiction to foreign oil has clouded our moral judgment. Khashoggi’s murder should spark a moment of self-reflection at the very least: we should ask ourselves if cheaper gasoline is truly worth the betrayal of every single one of the values we seemingly espouse. We should ask ourselves if cheaper gasoline is worth the assassination of a journalist for exercising his right to a free press. We should ask ourselves if cheaper gasoline is worth the 7,000 civilians killed in Yemen since 2015. And if we reflect deeply enough, we should all be able to realize that the answer is “no.”

America has been regarded as the leader of the free world for the last century for only one reason: our values of liberty, equality, and democracy make us uniquely morally qualified to lead. We cannot maintain this moral authority so long as we remain allies with a government which openly and brazenly shows contempt for the very ideals we stand for. America’s soul should not be sold in exchange for cheap oil. Our ideals are worth more than the extra dollar at the pump, or the extra workers employed at Lockheed Martin. It’s time that we sent a loud-and-clear message to the Saudi Government that its egregious assaults on human rights, dignity, and equality will not be tolerated by the United States. Khashoggi’s murder has given us the perfect opportunity to end this relationship. It is now up to the President and Congress to do it. Let us all hope they make the moral choice.


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Spoiler Alert: Israel Has Nukes

By Joe Brown | United States

Nuclear weapons are in season, and just like that old pair of jeggings in your mom’s closet, it doesn’t look like they will ever go out of style. While the trend originated in the United States, it’s found popularity all over the world, quickly becoming the hottest method of strategic deterrent and staying that way for over 70 years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, there are 9 countries which possess nuclear weapons – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and of course everyone’s favorite – North Korea, with the combined nuclear arsenal of all of the above listed countries totaling to over 16,000 nuclear weapons. “But wait” all you clever mathematicians are saying. “That’s only eight countries. Who’s the ninth?”

If I were to ask the average American to point to a country in the Middle East which possessed nuclear weapons, half of the votes would end up in Zimbabwe…but even if we were to pretend that most Americans knew basic geography, the majority of fingers would point to Iran. But what would you think if I told you that the real culprit was in fact, the Jewish state? There are nukes in the Middle East without a doubt; but they’re owned by Israel, not Iran.

Amidst all the hullabaloo concerning forged Iranian missile blueprints and underground test sites, Israel has conveniently remained silent concerning its own history of stealing weapons grade uranium from the United States, and has declined to comment on how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in smuggling nuclear triggers to develop the Israeli Nuclear Program.

Israel’s obsession with Iran has played a key role in distracting the world from its own nefarious nuclear pursuits, but Israel isn’t the only one that hypocritically denies nuclear development. American anti-proliferation think tanks regularly harass Iranian and North Korean developments, and international coalition inspector groups have conducted extensive investigations in countries who own nuclear weapons, with Israel being the exception, as always is the case.

The failure of these groups to demand transparency, or even conduct an investigation into, the possession of nuclear weapons demonstrates that these agencies are simply internationally sanctioned weapons against Iran and North Korea, and whose primary purpose is to restrict the nuclear development of select countries, rather than maintain international integrity or safety. Iran has historically practiced military conservatism, whereas Israel has repeatedly engaged in offensive campaigns in Egypt, Palestine, and Lebanon. Iran is within the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and submits itself to regular inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency, whereas Israel neither recognizes the deal, nor accepts inspectors. Finally, and perhaps most notably, Iran possesses no nuclear weapons, whilst Israel totes up to 400.

Despite the fact that there are weapons of mass destruction in the most volatile and unstable region in the world, this is likely the first you’ve heard about Israel possessing nuclear weapons. Why is it that such crucial knowledge has been hidden from the world? What has been keeping Israel from strutting its stuff on the runway with all the other countries with nuclear weapons, and what is keeping American politicians from talking about it? The answer is simple: Politics.

The existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is the unspoken elephant in the room in American government. Everyone is aware of its existence, from the scientists working in federal laboratories, to the President himself. Likewise, everyone is equally aware that they are never to be acknowledged, or even spoken of. An investigation published by the Atlantic reported that “U.S. officials, even those on Capitol Hill, are routinely admonished not to mention the existence of an Israeli nuclear arsenal and occasionally punished when they do so.” Such was the case of James Doyle, the veteran nuclear analyst at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who paid the price for straying from Washington’s playbook. After writing an article which indirectly mentioned the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons, Doyle’s publications were made classified, his pay was docked, his home computer was searched, and he was censured, before eventually being fired from his position.

The American political machine guards Israel’s secret like OJ Simpson guards his innocence. The problem is that in both cases, everyone knows the truth.

At this point, if you’re like me you would ask “But if everyone knows the truth, why does it matter? What is the purpose in pretending otherwise?”

If you’re like me, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that like almost everything else in American politics, the Israeli lobby is heavily involved in the issue. The motivation of the secrecy can be found in legislation drafted in 1976 regarding U.S. foreign aid and assistance. The law, known as the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, made it illegal to supply aid to countries found in violation of the National Proliferation Treaty, which was signed in 1968. In order to maintain the supply of weapons and diplomatic support between the U.S. and Israel, American officials are counseled to never acknowledge the existence of the Israeli nuclear program, and instead pretend as if such a thing doesn’t exist. You don’t hear about Israeli nukes because Israel doesn’t want you to know that they are in violation of not only U.S. policy, but international law as well.

But then again, since when has Israel cared about international law?

American officials may be aware of the presence of Israeli nukes, but the figures regarding how many nuclear units remains unclear, partially due to the fact that politicians in both Israel and the U.S. deny their very existence. Rising above the BS and the obvious facade are whistle blowers from different origins, professing the truth about Israel’s nuclear program, and denouncing the lies that Israeli lobbyists have been spoon feeding American politicians for years. One such man is Mordechai Vanunu, the former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed his country’s secret nuclear program as early as 1986. Vanunu claimed that the number of nuclear weapons possessed by the Israeli government is near 200, with media outlets in Jerusalem reporting 115, and American Intelligence Agencies estimating as many as 400 nuclear weapons.

You’ve heard of bureaucratic incompetence, but miscounting 400 nukes as opposed to zero takes some Ralph Wiggum levels of stupidity. Far worse than clumsy government ineptness, this involves a more calculated and conscious lie that is being used to justify the support of an ethno-nationalistic state.

Trump may have paraded the concept of “America First”, but don’t let the enthusiastic slogans or his trade deals fool you. This is Israel’s America, and it has been since the moment American politicians prioritized the support of the Jewish state over the needs of the American people. Decades of hidden deals and billions of dollars have created a system that serves those who can afford it, and as of now, Israel wants America to stay silent.

Yes, Israel has nukes…but you didn’t hear it from me 😉


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