Tag: weapons

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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America Focuses On All The Wrong Problems

By Ian Brzeski | United States

Around the world, horrendous atrocities keep happening and people keep turning a blind eye. We focus on the little problems rather than the larger grand scheme of things.

Life in the Unites States is not as bad as it could be. Our problems are far less problematic than those throughout the world. The average low-income American is far better off than King Louis XIV and John Rockefeller ever were. Humanity has progressed tremendously in recent times, yet we still have the audacity to complain about every little thing. We complain about problems that don’t even carry weight compared to other problems such as how:

For God’s sake, there are more pressing concerns than the ones I just listed. People around the globe are dying at the hands of the United States government. Just the other day a Saudi led airstrike, backed by the United States, killed dozens of Yemeni children on a school bus. The airstrike killed kids on their way to school without any warning. This is utterly detestable. Where is the outrage?

People are quick to work themselves up if Trump says something controversial. But how come when the United States backed Saudi government bombs innocent civilians and children in Yemen you barely hear about it? Don’t even say that the death of these children is a result of collateral damage. We should never consider human lives as collateral damage. I’m not saying that the concerns I listed aren’t problematic, but when comparing the problem of the murder of innocent children to the to the “problem” of income inequality in the workforce it’s clear which one should take preference over the other.

When I turn on the news all that anybody can talk about is Donald Trump. It’s either how Trump is awful because of racism or the greatest because our economy is booming. Nobody ever talks about how he’s currently the head of a government that is supporting Saudi Arabia who is practically committing a genocide against Yemen. The United States along with the U.K. is in a coalition with Saudi Arabia which provides them with weapons, fuel, and other forms of support so they can continue to terrorize Yemen.

This is sickening and nobody is doing anything about it. People would rather smear Trump for racist or sexist comments. Give me a break. How is getting Trump impeached for being subjectively a bad person and for kissing up to Putin more important than the human rights violations happening in Yemen? How is any of that more important than the thousands upon thousands of bombs we drop in the Middle East per year, killing loads of innocent lives? I’m sick of people disliking Trump for all of the wrong reasons.

The strategy of “bombing the shit” out of countries is not unique to Trump and it dates back to Harry Truman who is mainly remembered for dropping atomic bombs on Japan, injuring and killing hundreds of thousands of people. Republicans and Democrats have consistently been dropping bombs in other countries since World War II and people aren’t realizing that it happens under both parties. Obama dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016 and has bombed the most countries since World War II. Trump has also been dropping bombs at unprecedented levels. Having a booming economy is never an excuse for these mass murders ever taking place. All of this is absolutely monstrous and it doesn’t seem that people care at all. We keep electing these mass murderers.

People need to wake up and realize that the mainstream politicians simply don’t care. All the recent presidents have been puppets to the establishment and the track record shows.  If people were half as outraged with the establishment and their wrongdoings as they are with their other minuscule problems, maybe we can stop these massacres from taking place.


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The US Military Has Just Invested In ‘Doomsday Genetics’ Technology

By Owen Heimsoth | USA

The US Military has just invested in technology that can create a gene that can take out an entire species and spread through an entire population.

Emails released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has become the world’s largest investor in this new gene technology called “gene driving.” Essentially, the technology allows for the gene to spread throughout an entire population undetected.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating on whether they will impose a moratorium on this type of gene technology research next year among fears of military use.

This technology’s planned use is to help wipe out malarial mosquitos and other species that may carry the disease. The worry, of course, is because a military agency is funding this research. Potential military use is what is causing the UN to consider a ban on the technology.

Jim Thomas, co-director of ETC Group said, “The dual-use nature of altering and eradicating entire populations is as much a threat to peace and food security as it is a threat to ecosystems.”

This technology uses CRISPR-Cas9. It is described as “a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome” by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The technology uses a synthetic ribonucleic acid (RNA) to cut into DNA strands and then insert, alter or remove targeted traits.

Why War With North Korea Simply Won’t Happen

By Griffen Smith | NORTH KOREA

 

In the last month, North Korea has launched multiple missile tests. Some of them went over Japan airspace, though all of them eventually went into the ocean. However, all come with condemnation from the United States and their allies. United States President Donald Trump says there will be “fire and fury” as retaliation in the case of any missile attacks from the small communist nation. US media has further escalated the issue, vividly describing the death and destruction that would ensue from these wars if they ever took place.

Unfortunately for them, there will never be a nuclear war to report on.

The possession of nuclear weapons, as explained by philosopher William Gay, actually discourages countries from war. In his paper titled “Apocalyptic thinking versus nonviolent action,” taking into account the use of a nuclear arsenal in potential conflicts actually decreases violence. In fact, he explains that in the numerous conflicts between countries in the 20th century, almost all countries used nonviolent modes of aggression. The reason countries are not convening in blatant warfare is because these countries possess the ability to destroy one another in less than an hour. Examples of the concept of mutually assured destruction (or MAD) can be seen in the Cold war, and now Korean tensions. This can also be seen today with the US putting sanctions on nuclear countries such as Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

What the media will not tell you is that nuclear weapons in the present are simply used for leverage, not for war. There has not been a single nuclear or even conventional war between two countries that have weapons of mass destruction. Yes, nuclear war has happened once. World War II holds the title as the only time conventional nuclear weapons were actually utilized. However, if Japan had developed the capability to launch nuclear weapons, the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki most likely would not have taken place for fear of retaliation. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction is what drives this philosophy of nonviolence. MAD explains how if both nations in any instance have nuclear weapons, then both will not fire because nuclear war is simply unwinnable. Simply put, “whoever shoots first, dies second.”

Lastly, journalists arguing that North Korea is different from past nuclear aggressors don’t take into account how the North Korean regime has threatened the world for decades. It all started in 1994 when a North Korean negotiator threatened to turn Seoul into “a sea of fire.” Since then a campaign if aggressive rhetoric has been coming from Pyongyang as well as America. For example, George Bush calling North Korea the “Axis of evil” in 2002. The Korean crisis is, at least at this moment, all bark, no bite. Furthermore, if Kim Jong Un wants a preserved North Korea, the last thing he would do would be to attack the most powerful military in the world, even with non-nuclear weapons.

So when looking at this threat of a supposed World War III with North Korea, one must look at what the media refuses to mention. Nuclear war is not feasible without complete destruction of the countries that participate in it, along with the rest of the world. Moreover, Nuclear weapons actually prevent violence through MAD. This is why there will not be a nuclear war in the near future, or as long as nuclear missiles are the pinnacle of military technology around the world.