Wars kill, merchants of death profit

This 16 May 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

This Yemeni Boy Survived An Airstrike That Killed 45 Kids (HBO)

Hussein al-Ejri was too excited to sleep on the morning of August 9, so he woke up early in anticipation of the field trip planned for him and about 65 of his Islamic seminary classmates. Hours later, the 11-year-old was one of the few kids on the trip still alive.

That day had started like any other. The group performed early-morning prayer with their teachers and stopped at a busy market near the farming village of Dahyan in northwest Yemen so people could purchase snacks before setting off.

That’s where Hussein was when he heard the loud thud of an explosion and saw the bus blown apart.

A few days after the strike, the boy stood atop what was left of the bus and pointed out what was once there.

“One of my friends was sitting here. And another one here, and another there,” Hussein told VICE News. “They were all injured. After the explosion, I found one of my friends killed here but couldn’t find the rest of my friends, just this one.”

Of the 54 people killed in that attack, 45 of them were children between the ages of 6 and 15. Hours later, Saudi coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said on TV that the strike was made in retaliation against a Houthi rebel militia missile attack on the Saudi-Yemeni border the night before …

In a subsequent internal investigation, the Saudi government ultimately concluded that the “timing” of the strike was a mistake.

But since 2015, the Saudi-Emirati coalition has been waging a brutal campaign … In the process, they’ve launched more than 18,000 airstrikes, at least a third of which have hit civilian targets, according to the Yemen Data Project. Many of them, including the Dahyan airstrike, used American-made weapons: at least 13 so far, according to documentation from the Yemeni human rights group Mwatana.

At the Dahyan airstrike, witnesses found remnants of a MK 82 Lockheed Martin bomb, probably made at a factory just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The discovery of American bomb fragments at airstrike sites in Yemen has become fairly common, fueling public anger at not only the Saudi-Emirati coalition but also its main weapons supplier, the United States. In a rare show of bipartisan accordance, the U.S. has so far agreed to sell more than $110 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia in proposals reached under both the Obama and Trump administrations.

But it’s not just weapons Saudi Arabia buys from America. The U.S. has also provided the coalition with intelligence, mid-air refueling and even Green Berets to assist on the border.

Even so, the news of American involvement in the killing failed to make a splash for months — that is, until the high-profile murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi prompted American politicians to reexamine their role in the Saudis’ efforts.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

US American corporations drive global arms trade

Global trade in arms and military services increased by 4.6 percent in 2018 to almost € 380 billion. That is the conclusion of the Swedish research institute SIPRI in a report after the screening of the hundred largest corporations in the sector.

The institute found that US American corporations in particular are growing. For the first time, the entire top five of the list, which has been kept since 2002, consists of US companies: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. The five corporations account for around 35 percent of global trade.

The total share of all American companies has grown to 59 percent compared to 2017; an increase of more than 7 percent.

Anticipate on Trump plans

“American corporations are preparing for the new weapons programs announced by President Trump in 2017,” said SIPRI director Aude Fleurant about the growing US American corporations. “For that reason, many companies are merging, so that they will soon be better able to produce new weapon systems and thus have a greater chance of winning orders from the government.”

Russia is in second place after the US as the largest arms producer, with a share of 8.6 percent of the market. That is slightly more than the United Kingdom (8.4 percent). France is in fifth place with 5.5 percent.

Turkish arms companies grew the fastest last year, with no less than 22 percent. According to SIPRI, companies are benefiting from investments in the country to expand and modernize the arsenal of weapons.

12 thoughts on “Wars kill, merchants of death profit

  1. Turkey’s increase in military spending reflected its expanding military-industrial base and its bid to become a major regional power.

    Military electronics producer Aselsan (ranked 54th) increased its arms sales by 41 per cent in 2018, to $1.7bn (£1.29bn), while arms sales by Turkish Aerospace Industries (ranked 84th) rose slightly (by 0.5 per cent) to $1.1 billion.

    Earlier this year SIPRI found arms sales to the Middle East had increased dramatically, up by 87 per cent in 2018. Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest importer in 2014-18, with an increase of 192 per cent over the preceding five years.

    In a speech earlier this month the leader of Britain’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn pledged that, if elected, his government will develop “a peace and conflict-prevention fund and invest an extra £400 million [$513m] to expand our diplomatic capacity and increase oversight of arms exports to ensure we’re not fuelling conflicts, as in Yemen and in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”



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