While U.S. manufacturing exports dry up, one particular group of U.S. exporters are still raking in money: the arms dealers.

Via Trade and Taxes:

It turns out that in 2007 the US had the lowest share of global manufacturing output on record. For the first time since the UN began keeping these statistics in 1970, the US had less than 20 percent of global manufacturing.

But at the same time, according to CDI,

Global arms sales totaled nearly $60 billion in 2007, an increase of 9.2 percent from 2006 values. The United States was again the world’s most dominant arms exporter, making $24.8 billion (41.5 percent) of all global arms agreements.

Like a predatory lender during tax season, arms suppliers target the poorest countries for the bulk of their sales.

Developing nations continue to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by weapons suppliers.  During the years 2000-2007, the value of arms transfer agreements with developing nations comprised 66.6% of all such agreements worldwide.  More recently, arms transfer agreements with developing nations constituted 67.7% of all such agreements globally from 2004-2007, and 70.5% of these agreements in 2007.

Here’s Wikipedia‘s 2007  list of the top ten global defense contractors, with the U.S.-based companies in bold:

  1. Lockheed Martin
  2. Boeing
  3. BAE Systems
  4. Northrop Grumman
  5. General Dynamics
  6. Raytheon
  7. EADS
  8. L-3 Communications
  9. Finmeccanica
  10. United Technologies

U.S. arms sales worldwide totaled $24.8 billion in 2007. For the same year, we spent $22 billion on foreign aid. (That year, the U.S. government also paid $27 billion just to our largest defense contractor.)

How do you feel about that?

Dr. King said:

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

The numbers say “this business of burning human beings” is booming.

Some Christians are done with this business. Shane Claiborne, co-author of Jesus for President and author of The Irresistible Revolution, spoke about his experiences in Iraq at a nonviolent Good Friday protest last year at a Lockheed Martin facility (a U.S.-based company and the largest military contractor in the world). Shane spoke about worshiping with Iraqi Christians during Lent as the bombs fell around them during the 2003 U.S. invasion. During this season of Lent, let us acknowledge our own complicity with our nation’s militarism and resolve to put ourselves in the way to stop it.

From the Litany of Resistance:

One: For our scorched and blackened earth
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the scandal of billions wasted in war
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For our leaders who wage war in our name
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For our Caesars and our Herods
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For our generals and tacticians
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the men and women in battle
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the men and women training for war
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the scientists and researchers
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the arms dealers and the merchants of death
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For our taxes that fund the evil of war
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: Deliver us, O God
All: Guide our feet into the ways of peace
One: In humility, we ask
All: Hear our prayer. Grant us peace.

Amen.

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Comments
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