Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Promoting Peace and Pacifism, of Course

From a continental super-state with only 60-75.000 deployable troops, we see the role weapons and military equipment manufacturing has when you fancy yourself to be all “peaced out”: it’s a racket.

In a bizarre twist to the Greek debt crisis, France and Germany are pressing Greece to buy their gunboats and warplanes, even as they urge it to cut public spending and curb its deficit.

It also makes one reflect on the turbulence and complaints evident over the European complaints that EADS was unfairly eliminated from competition with Boeing when it came to a tanker contract for the US Air Force: when was the last time you heard of any foreign manufacturer being able to bid for a large scale contract for the French military? I mean, what is that justification that they always use when people ask why the Rafale even exists?
France is pushing to sell six frigates, 15 helicopters and up to 40 top-of-the-range Rafale fighter aircraft.

Greek and French officials said President Nicolas Sarkozy was personally involved and had broached the matter when Papandreou visited France last month to seek support in the financial crisis.


The Greeks were so sensitive to Sarkozy's concerns that they announced on the day Papandreou went to Paris that they would go ahead with buying six Fremm frigates worth 2.5 billion euros ($3.38 billion), despite their budget woes.

The ships are made by the state-controlled shipyard DCNS, which is a quarter owned by defense electronics group Thales and may have to lay workers off in the downturn.
Speaking of overpriced rubbish:
The Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation, is a more distant and vastly dearer prospect. There is no published price, but each costs over $100 million, plus weapons.

Germany is meanwhile pressing Athens to pay for a diesel-electric submarine from ThyssenKrupp, of which it refused to take delivery in 2006 because the craft listed during sea trials following a disputed refurbishment in Kiel.
Further from my bulging “bigoted idiot” file, comes this "daddy drinks because you cry" rationale behind why this should get shoved through right now:
Asked whether big European suppliers were using the crisis to press arms sales on Athens, he said: "This has always been the case with these countries. It is not because of the crisis, there is no link."
As in “it’s what those kind of people are like”, not what they say or do.


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