…Well, not so new actually. Nearly as old as me, actually. Consider our “Defense” Department, enthusiastically funded by the taxpayers of a country last invaded in 1812. Since World War II we have become death merchants to the world, nor is there any sign of this ever changing. Not one major presidential candidate or political party since V-J Day has ever dared to propose that we exchange guns for butter — or for bridges, or schools, or highways, or health or…
And so the beat goes on:
The United States is rescinding a decades-old ban on sales of lethal military equipment to Vietnam, President Obama announced at a news conference in Hanoi on Monday, ending what the New York Times called “one of the last legal vestiges of the Vietnam War.”
“The decision to lift the ban was not based on China or any other considerations,” Obama said. “It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving toward normalization with Vietnam.”
So, to sum up: the sale of weapons is a sign of normalization. Appropriate, in that that is what is normal in America’s foreign relations in the 21st century. Not whether a nation is an ally or adversary per se, but whether they are a customer for our defense industry. For example, Saudi Arabia. Sure, they fund Sunni terrorism globally and played a role in the horrible events of 9/11, but they are also one of America’s most prolific buyers of weapons, and so are courted.