Contradictions of Western Society

There are two events that are receiving attention this week which highlight the absurdity of our western society.

In New Hampshire, Department of Treasury police were conducting the seizure of the couple’s place of business. ATF agents were surrounding the home of Ed and Elaine Brown, a couple who are refusing to pay income taxes they believe they are not constitutionally required to pay.

Meanwhile, over in the UK, the contrast could not be greater, with an example that has come to light. In order to win contracts to sell US$80 billion in weaponry to the Saudi Government, the British government has paid more than US$2 billion in bribes (from British taxpayer funds, of course) to adopted Bush family member, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

BAE, the jewel in the British capitalist crown, has paid Bandar Bush $1bn for services rendered. BAe is one of the few companies with a market guaranteed by the state. It is also one of the few companies that British politicians will prostrate themselves for, pleading with states like India and Pakistan to purchase its most deadly weapons. It made a record $1.2bn worth of profit last year. You will find it hanging out from time to time in the hangar-like Excel, an enormous building in Custom House in the East End, where it auctions its means of destruction. It is the largest defense contractor in Europe, fourth largest in the world. Its recent subversion of the British legal system with the assistance of New Labour minister Lord Goldsmith had to be a virtually unanimous, mammalian action in concert by the highest echelons of the state. So, it is unsurprising to discover that one of the things uncovered in the course of the Al-Yamamah enquiry was that huge bribes were paid to Bandar under ten years of New Labour rule, with the full knowledge of MoD officials, and that Lord Goldsmith was fully aware of “government complicity” and sought to cover it up by stopping SFO enquiries. Since the British state has chosen to maintain a warfare state since decolonisation, which is far more important in its functions than the NHS or social security, its relationship with arms companies – and in particular – BAe is cherished. And since the Saudi elite has long-standing ties to the British ruling class, you can understand why it would be important for the warfare state to keep it well-supplied.

As a reminder of Lord Goldsmith’s impeccable credentials, this is the same Lord Goldsmith that Blair leaned on to tell him the Iraq invasion would be legal.

Tony Blair chipped in to clarify what he means when he refers to British national interests.

Tony Blair has warned that an investigation into a …£40 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia would lead to the “complete wreckage” of vital British national interests.

So the next time you hear reference to national security or national interests, you can be confident it has to do with the padding of someone’s bank account. It just goes to show that in our utopian Western society, any crime is forgivable so long as it is perpetrated on a big enough scale.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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