Saturday, June 28, 2008

Peace sells but who's buying?

From the Socialism Or Your Money Back blog

They are Islamic Fundamentalists, not big on democracy, have WMDs and are getting more. Another war on the cards then? No - it's called buisness and the people in question are Britain's staunch allies: the House of Saud.

"A controversial deal with Saudi Arabia catapulted Britain to the top of the world arms export league last year, as UK firms won a record £10bn in orders from overseas, official figures show.

The figure amounts to a third of all worldwide export orders for military equipment, ministers and arms companies reported. An essentially political, government-to-government contract - the sale of 72 Eurofighter/Typhoon aircraft, for £4.4bn, to the Saudis - accounted for Britain's number one position, the figures make clear.

The Ministry of Defence says the terms of the contract - called Salam, Arabic for peace - and the total expenditure involved are confidential. But officials make it clear that when upkeep, spares and training were included, the deal could amount to £20bn spread over many years. The figures last year were also boosted by orders placed by Oman and Trinidad and Tobago for patrol boats.

The companies involved - chiefly BAE Systems and the VT Group - were praised by the trade minister, Digby Jones.

"As demonstrated by this outstanding export performance, the UK has a first-class defence industry, with some of the world's most technologically sophisticated companies," he said.
From here

A trade minister praising sophisticated killing machines and a contract called "Peace"...? Orwell, anyone?

Graham C Taylor

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