Weapons of Destruction

There’s a company here in Canada (actually in my home of London, ON), that makes Light Armoured Vehicles. They’re somewhere between a truck and a tank, is my understanding. They’re used for moving troops around in places where they might experience small arms fire. It has gun mounts, turrets, thermal imaging, and tires that can adjust the air pressure to the terrain. It’s a very cool toy.

It’s also a vehicle that is expressly built for the purpose of protecting some people while they kill other people.

You can call it troop deployment if you’d like. Troops are soldiers, and soldiers are people who are trained and paid to kill other people. This machine protects the soldiers who are in it, and kills the soldiers who aren’t. Sometimes the soldiers who aren’t in it aren’t soldiers, per se. Sometimes they’re rebels. Or insurgents. Or collateral damage. Or protesters.

General Dynamics has sold many of these LAVs to several governments: Canada, New Zealand, the US, Columbia, and Saudi Arabia. The deal with the Saudis is under fire right now because the Saudis will likely use this vehicle to kill other Saudis.

I fail to see a substantive difference between, say, Saudi Arabia killing Saudis with a LAV and the US Army killing Afghans with a LAV, or the US Marines killing Panamanians with a LAV. Any government that buys LAVs is going to use them to kill people.

This is a machine for killing people. Why is it okay to sell this thing at all, if we’re worried that it will be used to suppress a population?

The Saudis are bad. Yes. They have a deplorable human rights record. I don’t want to visit Saudi Arabia, and I will never take my daughters there. It has many bad people doing bad things.

However, Canada and the US owe their existence to genocide and slavery. Columbia is hardly a bastion of freedom. Where is the outcry about these deals?

Why is it okay to sell this thing at all, if we’re worried that it will be used to suppress a population?

That’s what it’s for.