Rhetoric Versus Reality: the Role of U.S. Arms Transfers in Human Rights Violations

Rhetoric Versus Reality:the Role of U.S. Arms
Transfers in Human Rights Violations

‘We cannot have it both ways. We can’t be both the world’s
leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of
arms.’ So said President Jimmy Carter in 1976, speaking about
America’s role as the planet’s primary supplier of arms.

Unfortunately, America’s role as war chest to the world has only
grown since then. As William Hartung reports on the World
Policy Institute
Web site, the U.S. in 1999 supplied
54 percent of all arms delivered–four times the amount of arms
supplied by its closest competitor, the United Kingdom. While the
U.S. espouses a tenet of promoting human rights, says Hartung,
director of the Arms Trade Resurce Center World Policy Institute at
New School University, our eagerness to export weapons forces us
into the role of international hypocrite.

Two years ago, Congress passed the bipartisan International Arms
Sales Code of Conduct Act, which requires that the President
evaluate human rights criteria when judging arms sales and military
training. But, using information from non-governmental as well as
governmental sources, Hartung paints a sobering and sad portrait of
a nation that continually sells arms to warring factions that
violate every ethic the American people supposedly believe
–Al Paulson
Go there>>

U.S. ‘Supplier of Choice’ for Weapons, by
Frida Berrigan, World Policy Institute

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