It wasn’t so long ago I watched Sir Michael Jackson (ex General) commenting on the war in Afghanistan on British TV. Given that on 11 December 2006, it was revealed that he would be taking up consultancy positions with PA Consulting Group, Numis Securities and Risk Advisory Group I wondered whether it was a good idea to have a man with vested interests using his ex military clout to so blatantly plug his war profiteering efforts?
As for General Dannatt
There is a little club called the Royal United Services Institute he is now the chairman of. It’s located at the heart of the City of London so well placed to lasso any passing politician and reel them in. I was reading up on it last night and they have had some impressive guests down at the old boys club, George Bush and General Petraeus to name but a few. I thought it was an interesting insight as to how the other half live whilst donning themselves with the guise of respectability. I can’t deny I found General Petraeus’s tribute to the British Parachute Regiment in his speech on the RUSI’s website particularly interesting, he clearly has an affinity with their top brass.
Petraeus’s comments on the Para’s can be found on the Generals address to RUSI which can be located herehttp://www.rusi.org/news/ref:N46F0DDB73C0ED/
(anyone who has previously read my blog will understand why I found this information relevant)
When London was bombed on 7/7 the best explanation our Government could come up with was nothing more than a conspiracy theory as yet the general public has not seen a shred of conclusive evidence (mainly the vast amount of CCTV footage that they should have obtained from the underground that day on the activities of the alleged bombers, which to this day the authorities refuse to release) to support their story.
I came across an impressive piece today called
Military Propaganda for Arms Sales
It’s well worth a read, here is a quote I stole from it;
“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
— General Herman Goering, President of German Reichstag and Nazi Party, Commander of Luftwaffe during World War II, April 18, 1946. (This quote is said to have been made during the Nuremburg Trials, but in fact, while during the time of the trials, was made in private to an Allied intelligence officer, later published in the book, Nuremburg Diary.)
And here are a few bullet points to take into consideration about the men who really run our country;
Arms contractors have a vested interest in expansion of military alliances, such as NATO, and also in many wars and conflicts that these alliances or member nations may be in, as this increases their likelihood of profitable sales (with the additional message of therefore bringing more jobs home, which of course is not always the case, as mentioned above). An
On April 28, 2002, the UK’s BBC broadcast a documentary called "Addicted to Arms" describing the British arms trade, as Britain is the second largest military and arms exporter after the United States. Amongst various points and implications made were the following:
Various elected officials, from the Prime Minister down in effect act as salesmen for the arms industry.
The British Defence Manufacturers Association, in a similar manner to the documentary described above, produce promotional videos that of course would not show the gory details of the impacts their products have. They admittedly also call their exports ‘defence’ exports rather than, say, arms exports so as to not conjure up too negative an image.
Regardless of the British political party in power, their arms policies have been the same. Before Labour came into power, Tony Blair criticized the Conservatives for their additiction to the destructive arms trade, and yet, now that Tony Blair is in power, his actions suggest that he and members of his government too are "addicted".
When Blair’s then Foreign Secratary Robin Cook talked about ethical foreign policies, they were selling to Indonesia, who were using it to violently crack down on the East Timorese (in what some would describe as genocide or ethnic cleansing. See the
East Timor section on this site for more about Britain’s support of Indonesia.)
In talking to a professor on the impacts of addiction to anything, from drugs, to selling arms, similar patterns of denial, grandioseness, etc, were seen. Hence, exporting arms was seen (or portrayed) as promoting peace and democracy. When India and Pakistan were fighting over Kashmir, Blair spoke of exerting a "calming influence". Yet, just a little while after such speaches, he and the British military industrial complex were attempting to sell a lot of weapons to India.
While Britain has an arms export licensing report, it only says how many exports are granted, but not how much, to whom and when, for example. Even government officials can’t find out about details of arms sales.
Furthermore, nobody has formal responsibility for monitoring the use of British arms exports. Unaccountability of use as well as of sales results.
The British military industry gets a welfare service by being able to have government officials involved in selling arms (at taxpayers expense). It is of more concern then that details are hard to get hold of.
Various spokespeople from the military industry said that the ethical dimensions and things like corporate responsibility was not in the domain of corporations, but of the government. That is, it is for the government to lay down the guidelines about ethical dimensions of arms sales and exports. For corporations they are just to make money. This may sound reasonable from a business perspective, but then lobbying and other political activities by the military industrial complex is even more questionable. There is also the argument given that the military industry provides jobs.
The above examples are from the U.S. and U.K., but most if not all arms exporting nations justify and promote this trade in such ways. The geopolitical and economic costs involved are enormous, and there is therefore vested political interest in arms trading. Justifications and rationalizations to the populace will therefore be attempted in order to create a sense of legitimacy and ethical need. In that Orwellian sense, war is peace, and peace is war.
Propaganda like this is irresponsible as it involves many industries, influential politics and power play all working to making the people of a nation believe that a threat on home soil is more real that it really is. It can then be used to have the public demand or agree (or at least not effectively oppose) an increase in military spending and budgets (which we pay for in the form of taxes) while more important issues get neglected or less attention, such as health and education.
And what I’ve just learned about The American press;
Major defense contractors own CBS and NBC, two of the largest US television networks
There is absolutely no two ways about it in my oppinion;
War Really Is a Racket and I can only say how very thankful I am for America giving us at least one General I can truly respect.
“WAR IS A RACKET”
by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Major General Smedley D. Butler – USMC Retired
Please read for yourself;
While I’m still here I’d also like to thank America for giving the entire world a Michael Jackson that devoted his life to being an ambassador of both love and peace. Sadly the corporate interests of our day and age dictated by the very nature of his heart he was a threat to the profiteers that opposed him. He often wore his military stripes in his own unique way in front of a corporate media that attempted to turn him into a monster. To me he was one of the bravest men of our times and no amount of propaganda will ever take that inspiration away.
This is my tribute song to Michael, I hope you can understand?;