What do our exports say about the U.S.?

Joseph Langan

Despite the U.S.’s official stance in support of nuclear disarmament and democracy, we have a long and documented history of proliferation and provocation.

In president Donald Trump’s first address to the United Nations, he behaved like a child, called Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea,” a nation of over 25 million people.

The Kim leadership is no friend to the North Korean people, that is obvious. However, North Korea has not inflicted mass destruction outside its borders the way the U.S. has. The U.S. is the sole leader in the global arms trade.

Since 2002, we have been massively increasing our armament sales. The North Korean population must be looked at as the largest hostage crisis in human history, not enemies worth murdering to the tune of 25 million human lives with a single nuclear strike.

Negotiation and diplomacy are the only solutions, and Trump’s reckless banter is doing more than just embarrassing Americans: He’s actively pushing us toward nuclear war.

So what happens to all of these weapons the U.S. exports? Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates buy most of them. Many of those are used by Saudi Arabia against the people of Yemen, in a war fought by some of the poorest people in the world. They fight against a military powerhouse armed and fueled by U.S. manufacturing.

Due to the ravaged nature of the country, thousands of children in Yemen are being sold into human trafficking and used as slaves. How does enabling Saudi Arabia to terrorize the people of Yemen support American interests or do anything to make the world more safe?

Was it democratic of the U.S. when we invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, unjustly killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, possibly over a million?

After we decimated Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and meddled with the conflict in Syria, the U.S. arms industry manufactured the largest refugee crisis in modern history. The millions of refugees fleeing our destructive campaign across the Middle East over the last 17 years have gone to Europe and elsewhere.

These destabilized populations escaping into Europe have caused right-wing reactionaries to gain power. A specter of fascism is haunting the Old Continent. Last year, right-wing populist and nationalist Marine Le Pen nearly claimed power in France.

Tens of thousands of neo-Nazis marched across Poland. The decades of U.S. sponsored devastation in the Middle East have arguably acclimated the political landscape for a Trump inauguration.

After World War II, American industries turned their interests away from war-profiteering and toward consumer goods. We used to be one of the largest exporters of goods in the world. Now our largest export is, unequivocally, death.

If Trump really wanted to “Make America Great Again,” why not invest more in jobs programs? Why not punish companies for outsourcing to cheap labor or restructure our factories to produce positive goods and services, instead of missiles? The safety of the world cannot afford Trump’s $1.2 trillion plans to grow our gargantuan nuclear arsenal.

Fueling the deaths of more people is not how you improve a country. Not now, and not ever.

Joseph Langan is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].