Small World: American Arms Dealing

Avatar of Kai Teigen

Joe Biden is one of the blandest human beings in existence, but somehow manages to stay extremely controversial, even among his voters. A lot of liberals, like my dad, are happy with the speed and strength of his policies, while others farther to the left, like myself, are often unsatisfied with lackluster results. However, one thing I felt we could all get behind — well, most of us at least — was his decision to end American support for the civil war in Yemen. 

For context, the Yemeni civil war has been a seven year-long, absolutely brutal conflict which has gotten 233,000 Yemeni people killed and millions more displaced. Since the civil war began, a mass famine has swept the country as food supplies continue to be ravaged and the international community ineffectually tries to lend support. The war is being fought between Yemen’s ruling government, which is being backed by the United States and its ally Saudi Arabia, and the Houthi rebels, who are covertly backed by Iran. Since the war began, the United States has made billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s coalition, while accepting the bland Saudi promise that the war on terror would be prioritized — a blatant lie, as evidenced by the tens of thousands of Yemeni citizens murdered. So when I saw that Biden was cutting off our support for this almost decade-long bloodbath, I was overjoyed. And then I saw what the policy entailed. 

See, the United States is still planning to make sales to Saudi Arabia. We’ll maintain our 175.8 billion dollar weapon exporting industry, which has helped fuel 21 of the 24 major conflicts since 1997, we’ll keep selling to a regime that commits countless human rights violations, and we’ll even keep funding this war, in this case “only for defensive purposes.” Only for defense. It is incredibly ironic that the military apparatus of the world’s most prolific warmonger is called “The Department of Defense.” A hostile foreign force has not set foot on American soil since 1812, and yet the United States is so self-righteous that it calls its militant actions defensive. It infects its citizens with constant paranoia in order to justify spending twice as much on its military as it does on its welfare programs. 

The United States government does not acknowledge the real root of its constant warring and arms dealing; a drive for power and profit. Since the end of World War II, the United States has become the world’s greatest superpower through decades of ruthless foreign policy. It has helped launch at least 81 coups, deployed its troops all over the world, and provided billions of dollars worth of weapons and training to its favored combatants in almost every serious war. United States support for the Saudi military effort in Yemen isn’t some one-off, fluke of a policy decision; it’s just the latest in a longstanding pattern of American aggression, a pattern that’s been backed by both political parties for seventy years. So when American politicians like Biden promise to start breaking that pattern, hold them to it. Watch them carefully. Don’t ever let this happen again.