Friday, July 30, 2010

Peace, Pacifism, and Arms Trading

The European Commission is setting up a witch-hunting panel looking at the “impropriety” of Greece and Spain buying naval vessels at a time like this.

As EU officials are packing their holiday suitcases in Brussels, prosecutors in Germany, Portugal and Greece are on to a hot summer, tracing the complex trails of bribes and side-contracts to the German submarines each of the southern countries signed up for at a price of over €1billion.

The EU hypocrisy of allowing Greek and Portuguese governments allocate huge parts of their budget for questionable defence purchases, while they are being pressed for austerity measures to cap their deficit, already made headlines such as "The submarine deals that helped sink Greece" in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.
Oh really? While the article does volunteer an explanation and the identities of the sellers, they’re months late.
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.
They made political and monetary support of the Greek financial sector contingent upon it, calling the subsidy-cum-aid and blend it in with the “offsets” which are meant to function as a “buy European” clause for government contracts. Okay, fine. There’s more than one problem there, but they eventually mutates into a good-old-fashioned dirty dealing contracts which make arguments about conditional aid AND the Airbus v. Boeing deal seem venal.
"These contracts totally violate the EU's internal market competition rules," Portuguese Socialist MEP Ana Gomes told this website. "They are contracts negotiated among companies with government favouring and in total disregard of the competition rules. There are plenty of reasons why the European Commission should investigate, and make it an exemplary case to deter such behaviour from now on from any member state."
What’s hilari9ous about the whole thing is that we’re talking about arms sales from states such as Germany where 70% of the population opposes the pittance of a German force in Afghanistan, and a Superstate that fantasizes about it’s peaceful and pacifizing nature. In reality, they want someone else to take their risks of securing their space for them, and sell them the weapons to do it with. When that doesn’t work, they also want to sell them to one another as well.

But use them? Never!

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