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NITA: We're Not The 51st State Of Anything

Not Important? Think Again
20 September 2002
Sanders Research Associates

“We’re not the 51st state of anything.”

- British Prime Minster “Tony” Blair at Labour Party Congress

He is right of course. British citizens cannot vote in American elections. Citizens can.

America tightens its grip on Britain

The news that the Carlyle Group’s bid for the research arm of the UK Ministry of Defence has beaten the competition has been greeted outside defence circles by a deafening silence. Appropriately for Blair’s Cool Britannia, this armaments enterprise is cutely named QinetiQ, the Qs of which are weirdly reminiscent of the CIA’s tech venture capital firm In-Q-Tel. The announcement of Carlyle’s successful bid was greeted with relief in some circles that the award had gone to an American firm. This is risible – to whom else would it have gone to, a Russian company? Absent from any of the discussion that we have seen is a serious examination of the principle of public private partnership applied willy-nilly to defence. Of course when you have largely ceded your freedom in the first place, what is there to discuss?,6903,792196,00.html

As part of the wholesale Americanisation of the country, the UK MoD has selected the American Joint Strike Fighter to replace its aging Sea Harriers aboard two planned spanking new aircraft carriers in 2012. As the Guardian article below points out, however, the Sea Harriers will be phased out between 2004 and 2006, saving £109 million. This commendable parsimony is achieved by, apparently, stripping Britain of the means to ensure her own air defence in the interim, a gap to be filled, according to the Guardian, by who else but the US?,3604,802212,00.html

Echoes of Rome indeed…cheap weapons that don’t work

It is possible to chronicle the decline of the Roman Empire archaeologically in the record of her troops’ equipment. As the Empire decayed weapons and armour became cheaper and shoddier. It has even been said that soldiers began wearing clay helmets, i.e. flowerpots. In contemporary Britain, satrapy of Washington, the privatisation of the Royal Ordnance Factories has yielded bitter fruit in the form of the SA80, also known as “the rifle that falls apart.”,3604,808713,00.html

And for that matter, expensive weapons that don’t work

Washington equips its soldiers with poorly conceived and dangerous equipment too.

The Ministry of Lies …

Jude Wanniski, to his lasting credit, is one of the few investment professionals to have the courage to call a spade a spade and a lie a lie. One of the biggest lies fostered by the US and British governments to justify first their bombing of Iraq and now an invasion has been that “Saddam gassed his own people.” The gassing canard has always been delivered as if it were gas too, that is to say freely and widely. War College professor and former CIA analyst Stephen Pelletière pointed out the inaccuracy of the Iraqi gassing story years ago in his book Iraq and the International Oil System. Now the CIA has backed well off claims that thousands of Kurds were killed at Halabja. Indeed, a read of their conclusions shows that gas was used in the context of fighting against Iran during the Iraq-Iran War.

Also questionable is the casus belli of the “original” Bush Gulf War, the basis for which was a presumed Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia. As Wanniski points out, the evidence of this was fabricated in the form of knowingly misattributed Iraqi armour deployments.

If this all seems a bit too pat after having been told for years what a “monster” Saddam Hussein is, then buy a copy of Harpers. In the current issue, you will find a blistering analysis of American strategic thinking (if that is the word for it) by David Armstrong entitled Dick Cheney’s Song of America. Read that and then decide for yourself. Who is kidding who here?

A Malaysian oil cargo in a French ship attacked off Yemen? Just fancy that!

The holing of the French-owned tanker Limburg off the Yemeni coast last weekend was immediately compared to the attack on the USS Cole in Aden harbour. Indeed, it sounds similar to the Cole if reports of a small boat speeding toward it a few moments before the blast are true. We are more interested in the fact that it was a Malaysian cargo on board a French ship. Prime minister Mahathir of Malaysia made comments on Islamic unity (or rather the lack thereof) and the use of oil as a weapon on October 3. France of course, is France, the country the Pentagon loves to hate.


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