September 05, 2003
Wanna Buy some Sarin, it's legit...
There was a very acidic article in yesterday's Independant (mirrored "here":http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0904-08.htm) on the Arms fair taking place next week. Yes, it is that time of year where all the cowboys of the world can meet to talk guns'n'things - supported by more than £1,000,000 of tax payers money for security. Why the fuck do they need security by the police, these Guys have serious anti-riot gear at hand (including 6 BattleShips in the dock!!!)... Here are some exerpts from the article:
bq. The last time this fair took place was two years ago, when it began on 11 September and carried on seamlessly, undaunted by events elsewhere. There must be people who still say: "I'll never for the rest of my life forget 11 September 2001. That's the day I sold three Apache helicopters to the Hungarian air force - I got pissed that night, I can tell you." Though to be fair, when they heard 3,000 people had been killed, they probably thought: "Amateurs."
If pressed, arms dealers may try the other approach, which is to claim that the tanks sold to Indonesia "aren't used for repression". Presumably they use them for rolling pastry. When it emerged that British Scorpion tanks were used by the Indonesian army to attack Aceh separatists, the British government explained that Indonesia had "promised" it wouldn't. And how were we to know they'd break their promise? This government could sell Vlad the Impaler a truck full of impaling sticks, then say: "But he's promised not to use them for impaling."
If you claimed British Aerospace could launch a cruise missile attack in 45 minutes, you'd be surrounded by salesmen insisting it would only take 30 seconds. So they're bang to rights.
One third of the world's governments have been invited, and there's great excitement at the possibility of deals being struck with regimes such as Syria, Turkey and Indonesia. The excuse offered to any moral objection is the old favorite: "If we didn't sell them arms, somebody else would." Which is perhaps a line of Defense the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay ought to try - "Oh, come on, if we didn't blow up your embassies, somebody else would."
Posted by Ian at September 05, 2003 06:17 PM