News & Politics

Our Own Worst Enemy

An ancient aphorism of war declares: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, what if you arm your "friend" to fight your enemies, but the "friend" later turns on you, using the weapons you provided -- are you then your own enemy? Or are you just bone-deep stupid?
An ancient aphorism of war declares: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, what if you arm your "friend" to fight your enemies, but the "friend" later turns on you, using the weapons you provided -- are you then your own enemy? Or are you just bone-deep stupid?

This is no rhetorical question, because, for the past 20 years or so, America has been the biggest arms dealer in the world, supplying weapons to practically anyone and everyone who has the money -- or to anyone whose "friendship" is deemed by Washington to be temporarily convenient. These alliances of convenience often turn around and bite us on the butt.

When our troops went after Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan, for example, they were fired at with made-in-the-USA stinger missiles, supplied to Taliban leaders by Ronald Reagan and Bush the First when the Taliban was our "friend" fighting our enemy, Russia, which is now our "friend."

And what a scream it is to hear Bush the Second wailing that our worst enemy is now Saddam Hussein, the evildoer who is so horrific that he has used chemical weapons. The irony is that it was the US, under Reagan and Daddy Bush, who provided the chemicals back when they considered Saddam our "friend."

Then there's Pakistan, who's our "friend" today, getting more than a billion dollars a year in U.S. military aid, even though its ruler is a vicious military dictator who only a few months ago was denounced by the White House as an anti-democracy fiend. But, as one expert noted, "In the past 20 years, Pakistan was our friend, then our enemy, friend, enemy, friend." How long before the next flip, turning on us with the weapons we're now shipping to them?

The the U.S. sells more arms than the next nine arms dealers combined, all for the profit a few corporate munitions makers -- even though our own troops often end up paying the price. To help stop this careless proliferation, call Peace Action at 202-862-9740.