News Release

Pope’s Call to Stop Arms Trade

Share activism alert launched this afternoon supporting the Pope’s “call to end arms trade” has nearly 5,000 signers.

WILLIAM HARTUNG, williamhartung55 at
Hartung is senior adviser to the Security Assistance Monitor. His pieces include “The Obama Arms Bazaar: Record Sales, Troubling Results” and “It’s Not Diplomacy, It’s an Arms Fair.”

Hartung said today: “The Pope’s comments on the arms trade are a refreshing change from the antiseptic language that too often surrounds discussions of this issue. The Pope’s recognition that arms sales can result in the spilling of ‘innocent blood’ is a far cry from the misleading language so often used to justify multi-billion dollar arms deals — that they promote ‘stability’ and are only for ‘defensive purposes.’ As the country that reaps the most money from the international arms trade, the United States bears a responsibility to play a leadership role in curbing weapons trading around the world. A good start would be to cut off U.S. supplies to Saudi Arabia until they stop engaging in indiscriminate bombing in Yemen, which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe of the highest order.”

Pope Francis said today: “Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.” [video]