Selling Death

It is a pretty well known fact that the US is the global leader in arms sales. Some will also have heard that Russia is second. But in fact, if you put together all the European Union numbers, in terms of total arms sales in the last 10 years, they come very close to tying the US. Somehow its not a very publicized fact, Europe sells almost as many weapons as the US.

And who gets those weapons? Which countries in the world? Better yet, which groups in the world? Places where there is civil war? Dictatorships? Or civil wars yet to come? I think of all those child soldiers in the world and wonder where their gun came from? USA? France? Probably both.

Global warming gets a fair amount of play in the media these days. There is even some, though surely not enough, mobilization to do something about it. Yet all over the developed world in all these lovely places with people that are so highly educated and experienced, people are engaging in the arms trade. Making money selling weapons for people to kill each other with. Trading stocks and benefiting while people arm themselves and carry out mass murders in the name of the latest cause or call-to-arms. Even in the US now, the favored presidential candidate Hillary CLinton has become the number one choice of weapons manufacturers… and yet people believe she will bring change and restore some sort of self respect for the nation.

With each passing year that arms dealers post record profits, more people die needlessly in the name of business and strategic defense. If that isn’t a threat to our world, I don’t know what is.


  1. DRock
    November 1, 2007

    Well there’s the arms trade and then there’s the small arms trade. The US and Europe sell, F-16s, Mirage fighters, radar systems, weapons systems, tanks, trucks etc. That’s the arms trade and everyone keeps their receipts and there are laws governing who gets what and how much.

    Small arms cause 90% of all civilian deaths – Oxfam

    “think of all those child soldiers in the world and wonder where their gun came from? USA? France? Probably both” That’s the small arms trade and it’s very unlikely that those guns came from the US or Europe. The AK47 is the gun of choice (it’s even on Mozambique’s flag) those guns got there by Romanian, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian, Chinese and Russian gun manufactures, dealers and runners.

    Check out Lord of War good movie

    While I’m sure there are US and European gun dealers running around making $ off people’s suffering and fueling wars those Ak47s that have killed more than any weapon on earth probably didn’t come from the US or Western Europe.

    • bicyclemark
      November 4, 2007

      Oh yes.. I did see it just recently. Liked the film very much. Overall I hold the first world extra responsible for their role in selling weapons to the rest of the world. Especially considering their position of power in the world, I demand better policies… etc.

      Im tired. your comment was good.. I go now.

  2. carmo da rosa
    November 3, 2007

    “That’s the small arms trade and it’s very unlikely that those guns came from the US or Europe. The AK47 is the gun of choice”

    DRock is absolutely right.
    The Kalashnikov is THE GUN by excellence. It seems to be well constructed, especially when used on the dustier parts of the Third World.

    But, we should not forget Rwanda, where in 1994 the Hutus killed 900.000 Tutsis (and moderate Hutus) in the astonishing short time of three months! ONLY WITH MACHETES! This is relatively a better performance than de Germans during the ‘endlösung’, with all their tecnology.

    But Mark wants to blame, coûte que coûte, only the white foks for each dead in the world!!! Especially his fellow Americans, but also the Europeans, as he is a little bit European (Portuguese). A serious case of trendy left-masochism…

    • bicyclemark
      November 4, 2007

      Once again you drag my comments to the lowest form of discussion by spreading half truths and assumptions relating to what I think and who I am.

      if you have an opinion write your opinion, spare me psycho-cultural evaluation based on assumptions and exaggerations.

    • BigDaddyJ
      November 6, 2007

      I see a good amount of vocabulary there and, of course, the trendy need to use catchy little phrases that are the play ground of the uneducated. Although I must agree that the machete should be the weapon of choice (no reloading needed), I don’t see any relevance in your racist comments Carmo. Last time I checked we Americans, as BM often refers to us, are a lovely mishmosh of colors and creeds all equally guilty in the spread of violence and hate (Visa, Mastercard, and American EXpressed accepted). I can only hope that your comments were some sort of attempt at satire and not a true reflection of what you thought of the topic. If it is, then BM is 80 times more European than you are a coherent writer/reader.

  3. carmo da rosa
    November 4, 2007

    Where are the half truths, the assumptions and the exaggerations?

  4. November 5, 2007

    Drock and carmo da rosa are a little confused about the arms trade. Although many of the world’s small arms are made in developing countries, the large deals are frequently done by arms brokers in the west.

    For example, the second largest arms dealing country is the UK. Most of the arms sold by UK-based companies(some partly owned by the UK government) are not made in the UK and don’t even pass through the UK. The weapons are bought in one developing country and sold to another. To be an arms dealer you just need a fax machine and a bank account…

    Almost every war since the Napoleonic Wars has just been advertising for the arms industry.

    – Karamoon
    ps. Mark: did you get my email dated 29th Oct? If so please reply!

    • bicyclemark
      November 6, 2007

      thanks for the comment and the point is indeed well taken.

      I emailed you immediately after your last comment. Shit maybe I missed the response.. must look again.. oh wait.. I got it.. ok responding..

  5. carmo da rosa
    November 6, 2007

    “I don’t see any relevance in your racist comments Carmo.”

    Why racist?

    Do we have, nowadays, white vs black guns? You see, coming from your redneck-ku-klux-klan country, I can imagine everything…

    You are not only a trendy-lefty masochist; you are also out of your mind…

  6. DRock
    November 6, 2007

    I have no idea what that guy is talking about above.

    Anyway, the Kalashnikov is not an “excellent” weapon and is actually poorly constructed when weighed against other rifles. Buy all measures of a modern rifle it doesn’t do anything well. I’ve taken a few trips to the shooting ranges and they have AKs available to rent and shoot (which I have). They’re poorly weighted and feel like a heavy tree branch, have dismal accuracy compared to other rifles, made of cinchy stamped steel and plywood parts, have a nasty kick (which decreases accuracy even more).

    The reason why it’s the most used is that: is that while it doesn’t do anything well, it doesn’t do anything poorly.

    It’s accurate enough for a irregular army, it’s smaller than other rifles to aid concealment, it’s actually purposely made with very wide/crappy tolerances between the moving parts of the rifle so little care and cleaning are required (down side is that it wants to jump out of your arms when shooting it) and most importantly it’s cheap and plentiful.

  7. carmo da rosa
    November 7, 2007


    The gun by EXCELLENCE is not the same as an EXCELLENT gun…
    Next time I will write it in Portuguese, or do you prefer Dutch, the language of the country where this site is settled?

    Nevertheless, I agree with you again about the AK47: “most importantly it’s cheap and plentiful.” That confirms what I said previously.

  8. bigdaddyJ
    November 7, 2007

    Wouldn’t the machete then by definition be the better weapon… You can weight them however you feel comfortable.. they are easy to care for… A little dust or rain won’t stop your machete… hmmm come to think of it… I think I need me a machete…

    • bicyclemark
      November 8, 2007

      Yes it will help you out with your sugar cane plantation.

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