Arms Merchant U.S.

What is the U.S. doing supplying Israel with white phosphorous?

A recent Amnesty International report states that both the Israeli government and Hamas are employing arms from foreign sources. It is no surprise that the U.S. is supplying Israel with most of its weaponry. However, the report also tabulates, citing Janes Defence Weekly, the use of Russian, Iranian, and Chinese rockets by Hamas. It does point out that it is unlikely that these rockets are being imported directly from the countries of origin. Rather they are being smuggled in from neighboring countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, such as Egypt or Lebanon.

Although I have relatives in Israel, I find it repugnant that the U.S. government is supplying Israel with a substance that is banned for anti-personnel use, but that nevertheless is not being controlled effectively to prevent such use. The Amnesty report states:

Amnesty International found that the Israeli army used white phosphorus, a weapon with a highly incendiary effect, in densely-populated civilian residential areas in and around Gaza City, and in the north and south of the Gaza Strip.

I have no direct way to influence Hamas. But I feel I must at least speak out against the irresponsible actions of my own country’s government. In this respect, I support Amnesty’s recommendation for a multi-lateral embargo on foreign arms sales to both Israel and Hamas.

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2 thoughts on “Arms Merchant U.S.

  1. I would like to speak out also. Who in the present Cabinet would be most likely to pay attention to this problem? The Secretary of Defense? Who is that? How does one contact them, through their Congress people?
    How do you support Amesty International?

  2. To clarify, the above comment was not left by me (Jon, author of the post). But it raises some good questions, which I will try to answer:

    In theory, the SecDef is ultimately responsible for all weapons procurement and deployment by DoD and so, could, also in theory, halt the U.S. military’s role in supplying weaponized white phosphorous to the Israeli army. The new SecDef is Robert M. Gates. I will include a link to his bio on my next post to WackerFiles.

    IMO, leadership in resolving the white phosphorous issue is most likely not going to come from DoD or Mr. Gates. For one thing, legal U.S. arms sales are also closely regulated by the U.S. State Dept and the Secretary of State (SecState), Hillary Clinton. My guess is she may be the more likely of the two to be interested in the civilian impact of white phosphorous.

    U.S. mid-east foreign policy is undergoing intense review at present. The White House has sent both George Mitchell and Secretary Clinton on fact-finding missions to the region. The content of their reports, which may directly influence military policy is still unknown.

    As you know, members of the Cabinet are appointed by, and report directly to POTUS. Contacting members of the cabinet directly by telephone, especially the SecDef, is probably an unrealistic expectation. I will try to supply some alternative approaches in that same next post.

    You can find out about supporting Amnesty International by visiting their website at http://www.amnestyusa.org .

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