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Re: More Thoughts
Posted By: Dave, on host
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2001, at 12:58:04
In Reply To: Re: More Thoughts posted by Rob J D on Thursday, September 27, 2001, at 08:08:17:

> How about not selling weapons to other
>countries period. Or at least not selling to
>any country or group that is using those weapons
>to suppress people within their own country.
>And encourage other arms exporting nations to do
>the same.

See, here in the real world, we have what are called "allies". We sell them stuff because we like them, and they're generally cool people. You know, nations like "France" and "Great Britain" and "Australia". Also, we expect them to help us if we get attacked by lunatics (and vice versa) so we generally want to make sure they have good weapons. It wouldn't look good if France came to our aid armed only with baguettes now, would it?*

Also, there are these countries that are called "democracies". You know, countries like "Israel" and now "Russia". We think democracy is cool, so we provide them with the means to defend themselves should they be attacked by tyrants and those who wish to impose their own rule on a people who have decided they're civilized and intelligent enough to govern themselves.

Finally, there are these countries known as "enemies of our enemies." These at one time included countries such as "Afghanistan" and "Iraq". We gave them weapons to fight against people we considered dangerous and scary, countries such as "Iran" and "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics". We did this because we would rather be seen as arrogant and interlopers rather than let a whole region go up in flames because one country decided they needed to rule over everyone else. In the end, a lot of these countries we sold stuff too ended up turning on us, or using the weapons we sold them in ways we didn't approve of. This is called "a mistake", but it is also called "hindsight." We got the result we wanted, plus some results we didn't want and maybe didn't forsee.

I see only one group here I would approve of not selling or giving weapons to, and even then ONLY in hindsight. At the time, it sure looked like a good idea to arm Iraq to keep Iran from blasting the whole middle east to cinders, and to arm the Afghan rebels to overthrow the communist Soviet regimes.

I *do* think we need to reevaluate our foreign policy. However, I DON'T think the answer is to be as isolationist as you seem to want us to be. If anything, we need to take MORE action to prevent terror and instability in the world.

* Yes, I realize the French make Mirage jets and Exocet missiles and other weapons of their own. And I know that the nations I've listed don't rely soley on American-made weapons for their armed forces. But hey, who am I to ruin a good France joke with facts?

-- Dave

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