03/30/2012 02:52 pm ET

SOFEX: Experiencing The Military-Industrial Complex Trade Show

“You know, it’s weird, man. It’s like everybody’s real cordial with each other. But, at the end of the day, we’re, like, buying weapons to destroy each other. I don’t want to, like, sound liberal or anything. But it’s really not glamorous. This shit fucking kills people.” Shockingly, the guy who said this wasn’t some antiwar hippie who had just dropped acid. He was a 6'4" Marine Corps Force Recon sergeant who had recently returned from two tours in Afghanistan. We were both attendees at the 2010 Special Operations Force Exhibition (SOFEX) in Jordan. His booming reaction was prompted by the trade-show floor—a sea of displays and kiosks from weapons companies hawking missiles, machine guns, tanks, and bombs like they were next year’s luxury sedans. Even more unsettling, the expo’s biggest sponsor was the USA.

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