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An Exemplary Action

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A couple of posts ago I posted the excellent poem by Gil Scott-Heron Work For Peace. That piece talks about what we all know, that the military and the finance sectors work together whenever it suits them.

However, at the moment there seems to be an interesting little schism in the UK which could cause Defence Minister Liam Fox to resign. The Government (which is little more than a cheerleader for the financial sector) wants to cut funding to the armed forces and Fox is up in arms about it (pun intended). The UK currently is the 3rd highest funded army in the world.

Rank, Country, Military Expenditure, 2009 and GDP, 2008:

1 United States 663,255,000,000 4.3%
2 China 98,800,000,000 2.0%
3 United Kingdom 69,271,000,000 2.5%
4 France 67,316,000,000 2.3%
5 Russian Federation 61,000,000,000 3.5%
6 Germany 48,022,000,000 1.3%
7 Japan 46,859,000,000 0.9%
8 Saudi Arabia 39,257,000,000 8.2%
9 Italy 37,427,000,000 1.7%
10 India 36,600,000,000 2.6%

The government wants cuts, it says, in order to clear up the mess made by the financial sector (without actually punishing the financial sector for making the mess in the first place of course). However, the army's position was hinted at by a former general who in one little statement revealed much about the mentality that leads to murderous military ventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

In response the proposed cuts, General Sir Richard Dannet a former head of the UK army said this ...

"I think that if the UK wants a significant role in the world, it has to have some significant means of power projection."

Power projection. This is of course what gangsters the world over do -- if you want to be taken seriously, you occasionally have to make an example of someone.

Chomsky called this "performing an exemplary action" and it is one of the most convincing real reasons (as opposed to the fake ones like WMD etc) for the invasions still going on and being planned.

Personally, I think that any cuts that inhibit the ability of the UK to "project power on the international stage" aka "bomb people" or "perform an exemplary action" would be a bonus.

Unfortunately I am not sure that we will see this. They still intend to push ahead with new generation nukes etc and I would expect to see a climb down on this with all the predictable "won't put the nation's security at risk" type quotes. After that, the government will get quickly back to inflicting death by a thousand cuts on all non-military services in the UK.


Scotland's Michael Greenwell has worked, at various times, as a university tutor, a barman, a DJ ("not a very good one," he clarifies), an office lackey, supermarket worker, president of a small charity, a researcher, a librarian, a volunteer worker in Nepal during the civil war there, and "some other things that were too tedious to mention." Nowadays, he explains, "I am always in (more...)
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