Each year, the research arm of the Library of Congress analyzes arms sales around the world. In 2012, as in every year since World War II, we were No. 1 in arms sales. What makes 2012 noteworthy is the fact that we sold $64.5 billion worth of arms, a nearly quadruple percentage increase over “normal” years. As usual, Russia was a distant second, with $4.5 billion in 2012 sales.
We’re No. 37 in providing health care, 27th in education and trailing miserably in most key socio-economic indicators that give a reliable picture of how well a modern nation is faring, especially vis-a-vis its own citizens. We can wave all the flags, recite all the pledges and display all the bumper stickers we want; they’re just empty gestures in the face of the odious message of being No. 1 in selling death each and every one of the past 60 years.