Source: John Pilger
On 13 September, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs opens in London, backed by the British government. On 8 September, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a preview entitled “Middle East: A vast market for UK defence and security companies”. The host was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major investor in cluster bombs. According to Amnesty international, the victims of cluster bombs are 98 per cent civilians and 30 per cent children. The Royal Bank of Scotland has received £20 million in public money. The blurb for the bank’s arms party reads: “The Middle East is one of the regions with the greatest number of opportunities for UK defence and security companies. Saudi Arabia… is the world’s top defence importer, having spent $56bn in 2009… a very worthwhile region to target.”
Such are the Cameron government’s priorities following the great “humanitarian” victory in Libya. As Margaret Thatcher once declared: “Rejoice!” And as the bankers and arms merchants raise their glasses, let us not forget the heroic RAF pilots who made Libya ours again by incinerating countless “pro Gaddafi elements” in their homes and cots and clinics, and the unsung stalwarts of the British drone industry at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire who, before and after lunch, provide the information for drone targets so that Hellfire missiles can flatten homes and suck the air out of lungs, a specialty. And cheers to QuinetiQ’s drone testing site at Aberporth and at UAV Engines Limited in Lichfield.