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Split ends of the American mind

 MPost |  2014-10-23 22:39:21.0  |  New Delhi

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that some institutions and corporations, particularly those of American origin, thrive well in times of conflict. So much so that ensuring conflict is part and parcel of the global trade in arms and ammunitions, an industry worth approximately one trillion US dollars, excluding the billions gobbled up in the black market of rogue gun and bomb sales.

The latest in the delicious serial ironies of American arms trade is the plan to sell 600-million-dollar worth tank rounds to Iraqi Army, a country it is instrumental in completely ravaging and destroying over a period of eleven years. The possible arms treaty is supposed to combat the growing might of ISIS, the newest ogre in global terrorism, which has been wreaking havoc in West Asia. The US State Department has cleared sale of 46,000 120-millimetre armour-piercing tank rounds for the Iraqi Army’s M1A1 Abrams tank fleet, according to latest reports, but that’s just the icing on the cake.


The Pentagon has announced nearly 10-billion-dollar worth arms sales to Iraq in this year alone. Evidently, the aggravating situation in Iraq and Syria, with their vast swathes now under ISIS control and the site of aerial bombing by American drones, has only benefitted the persistent US monopoly in arms trade, greening its pastures with ever more production and sales of state-of-the-art arms to, and this is the best bit, to both the oppressor and oppressed.

Sensational revelations last month had connected the weapons now used by ISIS to defence companies of US and Chinese origins. A finding by a group called Conflict Armament Research has alleged that Kurdish troops fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria have come across US-made weapons, including a number of M-16A4s and civilian rifles, on the battlefield, left behind by the militants.

In fact, there have been contentions that ISIS, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, and naturally an inheritor of the latter’s enormous arsenal of US-made weaponry reminiscent of the Cold War and 90’s era, has also been raiding Iraqi and Syrian military warehouses and taking hold of the ammunition. So in a way, the reckless arms sales that US is the biggest proponent of, has effectively fueled and weaponised the deadliest of global terrorists. It is hardly surprising that American-made guns and tanks are used to both wage terror and fight terror. Yet, the UN Security Council, of which the US is a permanent member, has very little to say on this elephant in the room.       

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