Wednesday, 3 July 2013

War- Part 1: Food For Thought

The year 1946 heralded the birth of the UN Security Council (UNSC), its supposed purpose to preserve peace. Suffice it to say that had there been any Seers in 1946, the UNSC would have been a source of great amusement.

A shocking 90% of arms bought by developing countries come from five powerful members of this so-called ‘peace’ Council- the US, Russia, France, Britain and Germany. Here is something to boost our national pride: Britain is the largest exporter per capita of military equipment. And for any Americans reading this, you will be pleased to know that your mighty country is the largest total exporter. Two of these countries that weapons are sold to are Iraq and Afghanistan. Then Britain and America use the internal conflict in the Middle East as an excuse to invade and ‘help.’ It’s not for the oil at all, oh no. I mean, it isn’t as if our own oil reserves are depleting.

I came across an article recently where a woman in Darfur reminded western aid donors of this situation. She said, “It’s very kind of you to offer to feed us, but we’ve always known a degree of hunger. What would really help is if you’d take the guns away.”

In order to fulfill its intended purpose, the UNSC should be reconstituted as the UN Peace Council and if any country thereafter exports arms, they should be shamefully excluded. Describing the weaponry business as defence is a gross abuse of language. Why should governments support an industry that results in the mass murder of innocent victims? Surely it would be more profitable and less damaging if governments supported cocaine or cigarette companies?

The disturbing truth is that governments throw their scruples (that is suggesting that they had any to begin with) out of the window when an economically profitable opportunity arises. Fact is, the weapons industry is a very profitable one, albeit murderous. What’s a few thousand dead children to our politicians compared to the potential billions in profit? Anything to improve our country, right? National pride it’s called, isn’t it?

In February 2005, friction between Pakistan and India seduced the US. A creative business plan was conjured and the US sold Pakistan a fleet of F-16 jets. It also sold India an anti-aircraft system to shoot down the F-16s. America made a handsome profit as a result of interest on debt, whilst UK cabinet members capitalised on the god-given opportunity, visiting both countries to promote arms sales.

In the past, the US has armed the Vietnamese (against Japan), Japan (against China), Iraq (against Iran), Iran (against Iraq) and their best friend Osama Bin Laden (against Russia).

One fifth of the current Third World Debt is due to past arms sales.