Looking for 142 Bloodstained Hands? Try the U.S. Senate

If someone takes an action he knows will cause the loss of thousands of innocent lives, would you consider him a mass murderer?

Would your answer change if his action was really good for his country’s economy?

Today, 71 Senators voted to dismiss a resolution that would have blocked the sale of $1.15 billion worth of industrial strength arms to Saudi Arabia. The sale now will go through. Saudi Arabia has been using its American supplied armaments to wreak havoc on the population of Yemen. How bad could the death toll get? Horrific. From Nika Knight of Common Dreams in “Indifferent to Yemen’s Misery,” Senate Approves Massive Saudi Arms Deal, quoting Ray Offenheiser of Oxfam America:

“Today, millions of Yemenis are on the verge of starvation and more than 10,000 children under 5 have died from preventable diseases. Every tank, missile, and gallon of jet fuel supplied by the U.S. to the Saudi-led coalition is a clear signal that the U.S. is indifferent to Yemen’s misery.”

In relative terms, those 10,000 dead Yemeni children would be the equivalent of 125,000 or so dead American children.

Why do 71 of our esteemed Senators want to be complicit in this?

Money, mostly, or so it seems.

During the floor debate, many of those in favor of the weapons sale echoed Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who declared: “This is a sale that benefits us.” Although even Corker admitted Saudi Arabia is not a “perfect ally” and that many civilians had been killed in Yemen, he argued that the massive sale of new weapons should be approved because it will benefit the U.S. economically.

Is there a strategic purpose for the sale? Arguably, yes, but it seems the economic upside is the real driver here:

Corker further claimed that arming the Saudi regime serves U.S. geopolitical interests by pushing back against the Iranians, who support the anti-Saudi Houthi factions in Yemen.

Is the concern regarding the Houthi factions in Yemen and their affiliation with Iran the motivating force for the sale of weaponry, as Corker suggests? No way. It’s window dressing and nothing more. Corker’s statement was an afterthought. This arms sale is about the money. You can bet some lobbyists for the manufacturers who stand to profit from this were working the Senate overtime in the days leading up to this vote.

And 71 Senators were so indifferent to Yemeni life that they voted for the profits of their defense industry sponsors, even though their votes likely will cost thousands, possibly millions, of innocent Yemenis their lives.

So there you have it. 142 bloodstained hands. All in the United States Senate.

American exceptionalism.

15 responses to “Looking for 142 Bloodstained Hands? Try the U.S. Senate

  1. Senator John Kavanagh

    AzBM where are you? I said something negative about Hillary!

  2. Sen. John Kavanagh

    Lets not forget Hillary:

    “During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton made weapons transfers to the Saudi government a “top priority,” according to a new report published in The Intercept. And even while Clinton’s State Department was deeply invested in getting weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the weapons manufacturer Boeing. Christmas presents were being gifted all around.”

    Go to: http://fpif.org/hillary-clintons-state-department-armed-saudi-arabia-teeth/

    • For Sure Not Tom

      We already know Hillary’s a war hawk. That’s been debated to death here.

      In fact, between her hawkishness and her Wall Street ties, she’s a Republican.

      None of this is going to get anyone here to vote for an actual con man and draft dodger to become Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces.

      • “None of this is going to get anyone here to vote for an actual con man and draft dodger to become Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces.”

        Two things, Not Tom:

        (1) Is that U.S. Armed Forces the same as the “…murderous military that is killing millions…”? If so, then either of the reprobates running for Presidents would make a good Commander in Chief. If not, then where did this “murderous military” come from? And,

        (2) Was there an election, or appointment, that made you the “spokesman” for this blog? I ask because you seemed to speak for everyone when you said no one was going to vote for the con man. Just curios… ;o)

    • John, you won’t get disagreement from me on that point. I’ll go a step further and say there are few saner voices on this issue than that of Rand Paul, a Republican. I quoted Corker only because he was quoted in the piece I’d read. But the Democrats who supported the arms sale (and about half of them did) were no better.

      But here’s the thing, John: If you actually want this sort of thing to end, have the courage to call those on your own side out on it. You may lose a friend or two, but people will take notice and your credibility will be enhanced. And that’s the point in speaking out, right? I don’t mean you should do that here, BTW. Go to a site where you can let conservatives know how you feel about these arms sales and question John McCain’s wisdom in supporting them.

  3. Thanks for the information about Yemen and our U.S. arms industry. I just feel despair. How have we sunk so low?

  4. BBC will be airing a documentary, Starving Yemen, this Friday and Saturday (9-23, 9-24) on the World channel. Yemen has been devastated much like Syria.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3ct0bxp

    People in this country should be outraged about the arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but how many Americans actually know about Yemen? How much is it covered in mainstream media? I only see it on Democracy Now and PBS.

    And what about the 38 billion dollars in military aid for Israel?

    The last war in the US that actually destroyed major parts of the country over a long period of time was the Civil War. People who live here really cannot comprehend the kind of devastation that is going on in the Mideast. Most folks would just as soon turn a blind eye, but without media coverage there really isn’t an opportunity to find out.

    So the senators carry on mostly under the radar, doing what they do, selling out millions of people for whatever it is they get to pocket from defense contractors.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      You won’t see real news in the corporate media about Yemen or hear the truth about 90% of America’s wars because the folks who sit on the boards of the media companies also sit on the boards of defense contractors and banks.

      General Electric was the most brazen example for years.

  5. For Sure Not Tom

    The Founding Fathers feared banks and standing armies because of the misery both inevitably cause.

    The US is the world’s arms dealer, by far, no one else, not China, not Russia, even comes close.

    And we’ll sell weapons to both sides in a war. Because we make money.

    A lot of foreign aid is given in the form of weapons. We don’t give Israel or Pakistan 2 billion dollar bills, for example, we give them 2 billion dollars worth of bombs.

    Banks and Wall Street make billions financing wars.

    Defense contractors, banks and Wall Street, and FOREIGN governments spend millions on lobbyists and PR firms and campaign donations to our Congress and Senate.

    This is not tinfoil hat stuff, they don’t hide it. It’s all over the business section, the balance sheets and P&L statements of defense contractors.

    And you can actually see them in action on cable news shows all day long, a Senator screaming how we need to get troops involved somewhere, but failing to mention that he got a ton of cash for his campaign from defense contractors

    Or some retired General ranting about how we’re soft on Russia or ISIS, but if you look him up you’ll find out he’s a paid lobbyist for a defense contractor, or working for a “think tank” that’s funded by defense contractors.

    If we made banks and defense contractors non-profits, we’d solve 90% of the world’s problems.

    And I’m sorry Bob Lord, because we vote for the people who represent us in Washington, we all have blood on our hands.

    • “If we made banks and defense contractors non-profits, we’d solve 90% of the world’s problems.”

      I disagree, Not Tom. If we made them non-profits, they would still exist but they simply wouldn’t show a profit at the end of the year. Instead, they would distribute the “extra funds” (which used to be called “profits”) in the form of bonuses, gifts, training in exotic places, etc.

      One odd thing I have noticed about liberals is the strange respect and awe they have for “non-profits”, as if there was something philanthropic and almost sacrosanct about them. That is a very simplistic view. Being a “non-profit” is nothing more than having a tax status granted by the IRS if the applicant meets one of dozens of different catagories. I like to point out that the National Rifle Association and the Ku Klux Klan are both non-profits…

      • For Sure Not Tom

        You’re intentionally being obtuse, Troll Boy.

        I mean if we need ten bombs and it costs a dollar a bomb, the bombs cost ten dollars.

        If we need to finance ten dollars for national defense and that means we need ten bombs, we repay ten dollars.

        There are no funds left over at the end of the year. We are not arguing tax code, Troll Boy.

        You have studied your Alinsky, Koch Patrolman, but you betray your status as troll by bringing in the NRA and Klan.

        You are intentionally confusing non-profit as a legal tax status with non-profit as a moral philosophy of not profiting off of war and suffering.

        The person building the bomb still gets a paycheck, for their work, because we are in danger, but Wall Street does not, because Wall Street has done no actual work to deserve a dividend, and requiring a profit for national defense is the opposite of Patriotism.

        This means you are not a Patriot, Troll Boy.

        I realize that profiting off of war and suffering is a core belief of you and conservatives.

        Support for the military war machine that is murdering millions of people in the name of profit does not make you a Patriot.

        It does not make you a Christian. I hope you do not claim to be.

        America is in a unique position in history, where the consequences of our actions are not immediate. We are geographically isolated and the only super power, for now.

        That does not mean there are no consequences for our children. But you don’t care, as long as someone who has done nothing to protect the country gets a cut.

        Basically, Steve, you make no sense, and you make no sense intentionally, you’re here to play with Liberals, but because you are bad at your job as a Koch Patrolman, you are not fooling Liberals into wasting our time, or into “re-thinking” our positions, you’re pushing people to donate to liberal causes and get involved.

        I have a job that requires my time in front of a computer monitor, how is it you can afford to spend so much time trolling?

        And how do you know, off the top of your head, that the NRA and Klan are non-profit?

        It’s a rhetorical question, just so you don’t hurt yourself thinking too much.

        • GOOD GRIEF, Not Tom!!! You are all over the map on this one!! I don’t think I have read a posting on this site before that tried to cover so much territory in such a little space. Fortunately, you are a reasonably coherent person, so I think I can figure it out and address the issues you raised in an equally reasonable manner,

          First thing…AzBM figured out I don’t care if you call me “troll” or “troll boy” or any variation of it, so maybe you will as well. I do think it is somewhat therapeutic to the people who use the term, so I say go for it!

          Secondly, I think you are being a bit obtuse about how the government buys its bombs. They fund the buying of bombs the same way they fund the Head Start Program. They purchase the bombs or the Head Start Services through tax dollars or borrowed money. The government contracts for the bombs or the Head Start Services under the same Federal Acquisition Regulations (more commonly known as the “FAR”). If we made the defense industries be non-profits, they would function just the same as the non-profits that provide Head Start Services. And, like the providers of Head Start Services, the funding that would normally be left over and called “profit” is, instead, rolled into salaries, overhead, incentives, etc., as part of the proposals submitted.

          ”You are intentionally confusing non-profit as a legal tax status with non-profit as a moral philosophy of not profiting off of war and suffering.”

          No, I am not. You are confusing a 501c(3) tax status (non-profit) with a moralistic and philanthropic organization. Such an organization can certainly be a non-profit, but the vast majority of non-profits are not moralistic and philanthropic.

          ”I realize that profiting off of war and suffering is a core belief of you and conservatives.”

          I am certain you do and I am certain it is very comforting to you, but you would be wrong. I know profiting off of war and suffering is not one of my core beliefs. And, unlike you, I can only speak for myself.

          ”Support for the military war machine that is murdering millions of people in the name of profit does not make you a Patriot.”

          I see. Blame the soldier for doing what the civilian government tells him he must do. I remember that after Vietnam. I remember being called “murderer”, “baby killer”, “rapist” and dozens of even more original names when I came home. It was liberals then, too. Pardon me if I don’t care to be known as a “patriot” by your measure.

          ”I have a job that requires my time in front of a computer monitor, how is it you can afford to spend so much time trolling?”

          You seem reasonably smart and I am disappointed you couldn’t figure this one out. I talk about serving in Vietnam. I mentioned I started a successful business after I retired from the Army which I turned over to my daughter to run after my bout with cancer. Hasn’t it occurred to you that I might just be retired and have plenty of time to do what I want, when I want to do it?

          ”And how do you know, off the top of your head, that the NRA and Klan are non-profit?”

          I am a life member of the NRA and I read the KKK was a non-profit on Google a while back. Aren’t you the one who is always telling me Google is there to be used?

          Now, one question for you: What the heck is a “koch patrolman”? You rant about them occasionally and I am curious.