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Weapons Sales

April 6, 1991
While the call for a one-year moratorium on weapons sales to the Middle East ("Close Down the Weapons Bazaar," by Andrew Pierre, Commentary, March 28) was right on target, its logic should be applied much more broadly: The United States should lead the way to ending all arms sales worldwide. Even if weapons sales to the Middle East were cut off for one year, as Pierre suggests, or permanently, as common sense suggests, that would not be enough. It is dangerously shortsighted not to apply the lessons of the Gulf War beyond that one region.
August 20, 2013 | By Andrew J. Bacevich
When it comes to Egypt, the U.S. has little leverage and therefore no real options. That's according to the prevailing wisdom, at least. Yet this analysis - endlessly reiterated in mainstream commentary - is misleading. The absence of leverage does not preclude options. It certainly does not require the Obama administration to debase itself by pretending that the military overthrow of a freely elected government is not a coup or by accepting the Egyptian army's slaughter of civilians with no more than a tsk-tsk.
"Swords into plowshares" may be the lofty motto of disarmament advocates now that the Cold War frost has melted, but "guns into greenbacks" is closer to the truth in Russia. Despite a glut in the global arms market, Russia expects to export at least 50% more weaponry this year than last, and it is looking to this trade boom to finance a revival of its bankrupt defense plants.
May 17, 2013 | By David S. Cloud, Paul Richter and Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Friday condemned Russia's delivery of advanced antiship missiles to Syria and its buildup of warships in the eastern Mediterranean, arguing that the Kremlin's escalating support for its longtime ally in Damascus could prolong the civil war. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Russia's military moves would "embolden" Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces and extend the suffering in...
March 10, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
China demanded that the United States "correct its error" and immediately cancel plans to sell air defense equipment to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao also urged Congress to grant China permanent low-tariff trade rights. President Clinton submitted legislation Wednesday to establish permanent normal trade relations with China.
December 20, 1997 | JAMES S. GRANELLI
An Orange County firearms dealer pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to evading $33,000 in federal excise taxes on the importing and sales of millions of dollars worth of weapons from 1991 through 1994. Donald Mitchell, 65, of Fountain Valley, had been charged with evading more than $500,000 in federal taxes. He pleaded guilty to a single count of tax evasion involving the lesser amount after admitting to District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler that he deliberately did not pay the $500,000.
Canada is jettisoning its decades-old image as an international conciliator and defender of human rights, reshaping its foreign policy to try to rake in more trade--including a slice of the burgeoning world arms market.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) brushed aside a last-ditch request by President Clinton and reopened debate Tuesday on legislation to force the Administration to end its embargo on the sale of arms to combatants in Balkan warfare. Dole and others who favor lifting the embargo, which critics say puts the Muslim-led government of Bosnia-Herzegovina at a severe disadvantage, appear to have a clear majority in the Senate.
July 2, 1991
Premier Li Peng begins a six-country Middle East tour today amid Chinese concerns of U.S. dominance in the region. His two-week trip includes stops in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan. Chinese Silkworm missiles and other weapons were used in the Gulf War and on both sides during the Iran-Iraq War. And Li's trip may heighten U.S. fears that China plans new Mideast weapons sales--especially, medium-range missiles to Syria.
August 21, 1991
One day I that read President Bush talks of curbing weapons sales to the Middle East. Another day I read he wants us to guarantee loans to poor countries so they can buy our weapons. Then I read he's suggesting a $14.5-billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. What's happened to our famous "know-how"? Can't we Americans any longer make, build, sell anything besides weapons for export? I wish Congress would do whatever it can to curb weapons sales to the Middle East in particular, and to other Third World countries, who need everything else but weapons.
August 27, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Global arms transfer agreements between governments - both developing and developed - nearly doubled last year to $85.3 billion, reaching their highest level since 2004. The U.S. dominated as a supplier, making $66.3 billion from transactions with other nations - a record high representing nearly 78% of all weapons sales, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. The haul is more than triple the $21.4 billion the U.S. made from arms agreements in 2010.
October 12, 2011 | Los Angels Times staff and wire reports
Sarkis Soghanalian, an international weapons broker who was nicknamed "The Merchant of Death" for selling arms to dictators on behalf of the United States, died Oct. 5 at a hospital in Hialeah, Fla. He was 82. The cause was heart failure, said his son, Garo. He had a long history of covert arms trafficking, brokering millions of dollars' worth of weapons and munitions over the years to the Christian militia in Lebanon, to Argentina during the Falkland Islands war, to the Nicaraguan Contras and to Iraq during that country's war with Iran.
June 14, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Federal gun agents in Arizona -- convinced that "someone was going to die" when their agency allowed weapons sales to suspected Mexican drug traffickers -- made anguished pleas to be permitted to make arrests but were rebuffed, according to a new congressional report on the controversial law enforcement probe. Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told congressional investigators that there was "a state of panic" that the guns used in the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in January and two U.S. agents in Mexico a month later might have been sold under the U.S. surveillance operation.
October 29, 2009 | Devorah Lauter
Convicted of profiting from illicit arms sales to Angola, a former French interior minister is roiling the political establishment by accusing other officials of knowing about the deal and demanding that the government open secret files to prove him right. Charles Pasqua, the former minister who now is a member of France's Senate, and Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of a former president, were among 36 people found guilty Tuesday of knowingly profiting from or facilitating the unauthorized $790-million sale in the 1990s.
September 11, 2009 | Megan K. Stack
In a showy display of cash-slicked camaraderie and like-minded politics, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recognized the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia today during a state visit to Russia. Venezuela becomes the third country, after Russia and Nicaragua, to acknowledge the national aspirations of the two small, rebel regions located inside Georgia's internationally recognized borders. Impoverished South Ossetia was at the heart of last summer's war between Russia and Georgia, and Moscow has been accused of carrying out a de facto annexation of the two republics.
April 25, 2008 | Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. joined calls Thursday for an arms embargo against Zimbabwe as the Chinese weapons shipment that sparked a scandal turned for home, shunned by ports in southern Africa. Young militiamen known as "green bombers" and war veterans have been attacking opposition activists and supporters in rural areas of Zimbabwe, according to human rights organizations and the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change. Britain has urged an international arms embargo against Zimbabwe because of the violence, and South African Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and the top U.S. diplomat on Africa, Jendayi E. Frazer, joined the call Thursday.
The Clinton administration has scaled back its annual package of weapons sales to Taiwan to avoid exacerbating tensions with China, U.S. officials said Wednesday. After an annual review of Taiwan's defense needs, U.S. officials agreed to sell Taipei an unspecified number of Stinger antiaircraft missiles, an advanced targeting and navigation system for jet fighters and a package of electronic warfare equipment.
January 18, 2008 | Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
The director of the anti-gang organization No Guns, which the city of Los Angeles once paid $1.5 million to steer Latino youths away from a life of crime, pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally selling assault weapons to federal undercover officers. Hector "Big Weasel" Marroquin, 51, was sentenced to eight years in prison, said Eric Harmon, the Los Angeles County prosecutor in the case. Marroquin's accomplice and girlfriend, Sylvia Arellano, 26, pleaded guilty to illegal weapons sales.
July 27, 2006 | Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer
North Korea and Iran, two fiercely anti-American regimes, appear to be bolstering their military and diplomatic cooperation, including the possible sale of missiles to the Tehran government, intelligence sources said.
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