by Stephen Lendman
The US, UK and France are the main suppliers of heavy and other weapons to the Saudis and UAE - sold and used mainly for aggression, not defense, as falsely claimed. See below.
For the weapons and munitions makers, it’s all about tens of billions of dollars in sales and profits annually. Host nations facilitate gorging at the public trough by sales to their own militaries.
This goes on at a time nations involved in forever wars and aiding the aggression of others have no enemies, just invented ones to unjustifiably justify endless mass slaughter and destruction in multiple theaters.
In his book titled “Iron, Blood and Profits,” famed investigative journalist George Seldes long ago discussed the “worldwide (weapons and) munitions racket.”
Calling producers “merchants of death,” he accused them of promoting “imperialism (and) colonization – by means of war,” adding:
“(T)he healthfulness of the business depends on slaughter. The more wars,” the more riches.
In his book titled “Facts and Fascism,” Seldes explained its scourge “on the home front,” saying there’s “big money and big profits in fascism.”
What went on during the long ago time frame of his writing pales in comparison to today’s global militarism and war-making - US-dominated NATO bearing most responsibility, a killing machine alliance for forever wars in the post-Soviet Russia era.
In the US, the scourge of fascism is wrapped in the American flag. In the 1930s, Seldes, Huey Long, and others explained it.
Its roots metastasized into a virulent cancer, threatening humanity’s survival if not effectively challenged.
It’s all about great concentration of wealth and power in a repressive big business/big government alliance against the general welfare worldwide.
What Sinclair Lewis foresaw in his novel titled “It Can’t Happen Here” is reality in the US and other Western societies - supported by establishment media instead of exposing and denouncing it.
The US, UK and France are complicit in endless mass slaughter and destruction in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia - by their own war-making and weapons sold to belligerents, notably the Saudis, UAE, Egypt, and Israel.
Nearly half of US weapons and munitions exports go to Middle East countries, supplying about one-third of all arms worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
US weapons and munitions sales to the Saudis alone include warplanes, attack helicopters, ballistic and cruise missiles, warships, tanks, anti-tank TOW missiles, artillery, and armored vehicles, among others. Around one-fourth of US weapons sales go to the Saudis and UAE, according to SIPRI.
The US by far is the world’s largest arms and munitions seller, accounting for around one-third of international exports, Russia second with about 20% of the global market.
In FY 2017, leading US merchants of death and destruction included Lockheed Martin (with arms sales of $48.2 billion), Boeing ($21.3 billion), Raytheon ($14 billion), General Dynamics ($13.7 billion), Northrop Grumman ($10 billion) - along with numerous others, supplying the Pentagon and foreign buyers.
The US, UK, France, and other EU nations supply 98% of weapons sold to the Saudis, according to SIPRI. Other regional regimes buy most of their arms from these countries.
According to a classified French Directorate of Military Intelligence (FDMI) report obtained by Radio France and the NGO Disclose, Saudi/UAE aggression in Yemen depends on Western-supplied weapons and munitions — mainly US, UK, French-made ones, along with communications systems and other related equipment.
Disclose revealed that French weapons include “Leclerc battle tanks, long-rod penetrator ammunition, Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets, COBRA counter-battery radar systems, Aravis armored troop-carrying vehicles, Cougar and Dauphin helicopters, and CAESAR truck-mounted howitzers.”
Along with US, UK, other Western and Israeli weapons, ones France supplies are used for naked aggression in Yemen, including a French missile-launching corvette and warfare frigate, part of the US-supported year’s-long naval blockade of the country.
A map in the disclosed report titled “Population under threat of bombs” revealed that French 48 CAESAR artillery guns are deployed by the Saudis against Yemeni targets along the country’s border with the kingdom.
The report minced no words, saying “(p)ut more simply, the guns are used to bombard Yemeni territory to open up a path for the tanks and armored vehicles invading the country.”
Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni civilians live within range of these guns —able to strike long-range targets. At least 129 more French CAESAR howitzers are on order to be delivered to the Saudis by 2023, the report affirmed.
In February, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly lied, saying the Macron regime “recently sold no weapons that can be used in the Yemeni conflict.”
Last October, she lied claiming “(t)o my knowledge, the weapons we have sold recently have not been used against civilians.”
US-dominated NATO and Israel consider civilians legitimate targets in all their wars of aggression - in flagrant violation of fundamental international law. Civilians and nonmilitary targets are strictly off-limits in aggressive wars and defense against them.
Disclose and Radio France said French parliamentarians were “deliberately kept apart” from information about weapons sales to the Saudis - given only “fragmentary answers or even falsehoods.”
Would have fully informed French MPs mattered - highly likely not. Like their counterparts in the US, UK, and at least most other Western countries, they support wars of aggression by authorizing funding to wage them.
The US Central Command supplies the Saudis with intelligence, logistics support, mid-air refueling for their warplanes (despite claiming no longer doing it), and targets selection.
They include residential neighborhoods, marketplaces, food storage facilities, schools, hospitals, mosques, and other nonmilitary related sites.
It’s part of longstanding US war on Yemen - begun by the Bush/Cheney regime in October 2001, shortly after launching aggression on Afghanistan, continued in both countries by Obama for eight years and now Trump since taking office.
US, UK, and likely French special forces are involved in combat on the ground in Yemen, aiding the Saudis and UAE.
Under the so-called United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia, USMTM trains, advises and assists the kingdom’s armed forces, including through military exercises and related activities.
USMTM is a joint US army, navy, air force and marine corps joint command, an extensive arrangement with the kingdom since the 1950s – under the 1951 Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement and later USMTM agreement.
Britain operates the same way, training UAE pilots for combat operations in Yemen. The Pentagon trains Saudi and UAE pilots at its Al Dhafra airbase in the Emirates.
Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford earlier lied, claiming the US is “not a participant in the civil war (sic) in Yemen, nor are we supporting one side or another.”
Indisputable facts on the ground long ago proved otherwise. None of what’s explained above should surprise.
What’s going on in Yemen and other active war theaters is all about advancing America’s imperium - by endless wars of aggression and other hostile actions.
Straightaway in office, Trump was co-opted to go along with US aggression on the phony pretext of combating ISIS the US created and supports - along with wars by other means for regime change in Iran, Venezuela, and against other sovereign independent states.
Endless US war on humanity rages at home and abroad with no prospect for peace, equity and justice because bipartisan US hardliner in charge reject these notions.
A Final Comment
In October 2001, the Bush/Cheney regime launched drone war on Yemen, greatly escalated by Obama - increased six-fold under Trump since 2016 by drones and warplanes, according to CENTCOM.
During DLT’s first two years in office, the US caused more loss of life in targeted countries than throughout Obama’s tenure, according to UK-based Reprieve, adding:
“Under Trump, America’s illegal drone war has expanded further across the globe. (He) “increased and widened drone strikes…systematically weaken(ing) safeguards.”
“(E)ven individuals not considered to pose a ‘continuing and imminent threat’ can be targeted for death without trial…He “approved (it) casually over dinner,” mindless of the devastating human toll.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected].
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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