Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The killing machine came to town

Underlying and always inherent in warfare throughout the ages has been the search to find better and more efficient ways for one human to kill another, for one army to wipe out another army, for one nation to conquer another nation.

Each generation has hoped to be the one to build the ultimate weapon, the weapon that no human, army or nation can stand against. 

So they are able to dominate and control the whole world.

The arms trade is an immense industry, one of the largest industries in the world, and it has major effects on how millions of people live their lives - or more to the point, don’t live their lives in longevity and oldness.  

Most of the arms trade is legal and part of the world economy of general global trade in goods and services that flows from one country to another.

Today in Newham and where I live, and indeed a stones throw away from where I actually live in Canning Town, well in fact in Custom House, but still part of the old docklands, the killing machine came to town. Sorry I may have lost you, so do let me explain. When I look out of my windows I have a good view of the ExCel Centre, and it was here today and for the next three, that forty-six countries in all will show off the latest weapons of mass destruction, I say mass destruction because that’s what weapons are put quite simply.

A 1,000 weapons manufacturers have laid out their ware and merchandise of lethal objects in glass cases, ranging from guns that can fire shells more than 30 miles to the small hand gun and parang rang of knife.

Such US giants as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics are in attendance, so are representatives from the Israeli arms industry.

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, was there and in a speech he praised the UK arms firms for their role in Libya whilst promoting the cause of weapons exports, he said: 

“For too long, export potential has been ignored when initiating projects for the UK’s use. That needs to change...Defence and security exports play a key role in promoting our foreign policy objectives: building relationships and trust, sharing information and spreading values.”

Well Fox and the government keep going on about so-called values, and these values dismiss the fact that military spending actually exceeds the combined spending on all forms of heath and education, that there are 900 million people who cannot read and write in countries that spend more on arms and military than they do on education - some values!”  

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