We are constantly told that “we” in the noble West are far better than “them” in the rest of the world. It’s a myth that is reinforced regularly by dehumanising the Arab world and simplifying “terrorism”. So what about this?
The United States maintained its role as the leading supplier of weapons to the developing world in 2006, followed by Russia and Britain, according to a Congressional study to be released Monday. Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia were the top buyers.
The global arms market is highly competitive, with manufacturing nations seeking both to increase profits and to expand political influence through weapons sales to developing nations, which reached nearly $28.8 billion in 2006.
That sales total was a slight drop from the 2005 figure of $31.8 billion, a trend explained by the strain of rising fuel prices that prompted many developing states — except those that produce oil — to choose upgrading current arsenals over buying new weapons.
The Burmese junta currently shooting unarmed protestors received a cynical plea for restraint from the Israel government on Sept. 29. According to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, the Israeli foreign ministry announced “Israel is concerned by the situation in Myanmar, and urges the government to demonstrate restraint and refrain from harming demonstrators.” The article ended by pointing out that “Israel denies selling weapons to Burma or Myanmar.” (Ha’aretz, Sept. 29)
Not true, according to a March 1, 2000 report in the authoritative British publication Jane’s Intelligence Review by William Ashton. The article, titled “Myanmar and Israel develop military pact,” details how Israeli companies and the Israeli government have been supplying and developing weapons for the Burmese regime, and sharing intelligence.
These reports must be the work of jihadist news sources.