Trump Thumbs Nose at International Arms Trade Treaty
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The 2014 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was ratified by 101 countries. Another 29 are signatories, including the US. It’s the third international treaty the Trump regime spurned since taking office — the JCPOA and INF Treaty the other two.
The ATT promotes for peace and stability over endless wars of aggression — the US by far the world’s leading offender.
The treaty regulates trade in weapons and munitions, including to keep them from embargoed outlaw regimes, other human rights abusers, and terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda the US created and supports.
According to the Arms Control Association, the ATT aims to “reduce human suffering caused by illegal and irresponsible arms transfers, improve regional security and stability (as well as) promote accountability and transparency” in the international arms trade, adding:
“The treaty “does not impact a state’s domestic gun control laws or other firearm ownership policies.” Trump lied claiming otherwise.
The ATT requires signatories to “establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list, (as well as) designate competent national authorities” to regulate arms sales.
The treaty calls for increased scrutiny of arms sales, an effort to prevent their use in committing “serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, acts of terrorism, or transnational organized crime (as well as to) facilitate serious acts of gender-based violence or violence against women and children.”
The US and its imperial partners are guilty of all the above high crimes and many others. Washington is by far the world’s leading merchant of mass slaughter and destruction — by its own actions along with its imperial partners in high crimes of war and against humanity.
Its weapons and munitions are sold for offense, not defense, for killing, not protecting national security at a time alleged threats are invented, not real — for gorging at the public trough at the expense of human lives and welfare.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), from 2014 through 2018, the US exported 36% of world arms.
Russia was second with 21%, followed by France with 7%, Germany with 6%, China with 5%, the UK with 4%, Israel and Spain with 3%, Italy and the Netherlands with 2%, all other countries combined accounting for another 10%.
EU countries exported 27% of world arms from 2014 – 2018. Middle East arms imports doubled during this period — because of regional aggression in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere, along with Israel’s undeclared war on Palestinians and Syria.
Over half of US arms exports go to the Saudis and other despotic regional regimes, including the UAE and Israel.
Since the 2009-13 period, US arms exports increased by 29%. Its global market share rose from 30 – 36%.
According to SIPRI director Aude Fluerant, “(t)he USA has further solidified its position as the world’s leading arms supplier.”
“The USA exported arms to at least 98 countries in the past five years; these deliveries often included advanced weapons such as combat aircraft, short-range cruise and ballistic missiles, and large numbers of guided bombs.”
The Saudis are the world’s largest arms importer, used for mass slaughter, destruction, and terrorizing its own people.
According to SIPRI senior researcher Pieter Wezeman, “(w)eapons from the USA, the United Kingdom and France are in high demand in the Gulf region (and elsewhere regionally), where conflicts and tensions are rife.”
Trump is the latest in a long line of US warrior presidents, onboard for smashing nations on the phony pretext of combatting ISIS the US supports.
He OK’d endless wars in multiple theaters from day one in office, targeting Iran and Venezuela for regime change — perhaps by naked aggression if other tactics fail.
Addressing the National Rifle Association on Friday, Trump said his regime “will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty,” adding:
“I’m officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treaty (sic).”
“We’re taking our signature back. I will sign…a message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process” — a formal notice to the Senate and UN to follow.
Endless wars of aggression and proliferation of arms is what the US is all about, mass slaughter and destruction what it stands for, bludgeoning other countries into submission, selling arms to let other countries do the same things.
Their proliferation is all about warmaking and repression. What the world badly needs is less arms and more good will, the latter notion not in the US vocabulary.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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