Harper becomes our arms dealer

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There's lots of money to be made for Canada

Harper has decided he wants to make money for us selling Canadian weapons to other countries. There's big money selling weapons especially to countries fighting ugly little wars.

Brian Mulroney tried to sell weapons abroad for Karlheinz Schreiber. It didn't work out so well in the end in his case.

Last spring when the Senate spending scandal burst publicly, Harper took off for South America almost immediately. We thought he was trying to duck out.

He was off to pitch Canadian-made weapons to various South American leaders.

Now we learn that Harper has removed four countries from our "sell-them- no-weapons" list. They are Brazil, Chile, Peru and South Korea, all countries recently or still involved in small wars or giving their native peoples a hard time.

South American political leaders like the look of Canadian-made armored vehicles.

Harper is offering them a bargain: 24 vehicles for $ 64.3 million dollars (Canadian money). The United States, Great Britain, Russia, even the mild-mannered Swedes with their SAAB jet fighters have all made good money selling weapons.

Canada is already selling lots of weapons  - exporting about $ 6.4 billion a year of Canadian weapons.

Canada recently sold weapons to Colombia supposedly for use against communist rebels and jungle drug lords, not against Colombian Indian miners working in Canadian-owned metal mines.

There are political risks. Canada recently sold armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, which is an ally of Canada, supposedly for use against Al Qaida terrorists.

Instead Saudi Arabia turned around and resold the weapons to Bahrain where they were used against pro-democracy demonstrators in the streets. Canada ended up looking like a bad guy.

It could have been worse politically if the armored vehicles we sold the Saudis had ended up in Palestinian hands.



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