Saturday, 19 January 2008

A School for Slaughter

This week a very important protest took place outside the National Assembly to protest the militarisation of Wales.

The 4 main parties in Wales have supported £14 billion of taxpayers money being spent not on the NHS, students, pensioners, child poverty or renewable energy but on War in the form of the St Athan’s UK Military Academy.

The Academy will train not only the latest recruits to the 'war on terror' from across the UK, but foreign militaries. While paid for by our taxes, the profits from military training will pour into the coffers of the private arms companies (including cluster bomb manufacturer, Raytheon) which are involved in running the academy.

The Military Academy looks set to become Britain’s “School of the Americas” a focus for imperialist adventures abroad and counter-insurgency training. It is also the biggest ever PFI in history. Some background here.

Many people will once again wonder: Why is there always billions for war but none for vital public services?

Many will wonder at Plaid Cymru who in the past have claimed to be anti-war but slavishly support the Academy, with not a single Plaid AM, MP or Councillor publicly opposing the Military Academy. Adam Price MP says he is against war, against militarism, against privatisation - yet he supports the Academy.

In a sense, the St Athan’s Military Academy represents the nationalists “clause 4" moment. Jewish philosopher, Hannah Arrendt once spoke of the ‘banality of evil’. She was thinking of the mediocre bureaucrats who oversaw the slaughter of millions of Jews.

Today we speak of the ‘banality of Plaid’ whose so-called left wing has been silent in the face of the militarisation of Wales and the spending of billions on War.
RESPECT is proud to have been the only party in Wales to have campaigned against the Military Academy during the Welsh Assembly elections, we say:



landsker said...

The british military is currently being exposed as somewhat inept, expensive, and of little or no useful purpose.
Mostly the military serves as a cash cow to be milked by the arms manufacturers, and as an enforcement arm for English "interests".
5,000 troops in Iraq, unable to leave their base for fear of getting hurt.
Challenger tanks that cost 35 million pounds, yet are vulnerable to attack by glass bottles filled with a litre of petrol.
Jeeps and lorries that can be destroyed with roadside bombs costing just a few pounds?
Whatever weapon or tactic of war that comes from the minds of the warmongers will always be stupid and expensive, as one would expect from a collection of idle and violent bigots.

The first element of military training is to prepare the recruit to kill another human, which necessitates conditioning that recruit into believing that an Iraqui/Afghan/Irishman/German/Spaniard is a lesser human, and thus can be killed without remorse.

In Afghanistan, the british are about to be shamed and booted out for the third time.

Then there was the "war" with the Irish, who used bombs made from fertilizer and defeated the mighty british war machine.
The bomb in the city of London, if my memory serves me, cost just £32,000, yet caused £1.5 billion of damage. Asymetrical warfare!
Why are the politicians supporting this hideous and macabre enterprise?
In fairness, Jill Evans of Plaid has spoken against it, as for the rest?
Maybe we should start to "dig the dirt" on the various politicians who support this measure.
Have they accepted "donations" from any of the lobbyists?
Are they being blackmailed?

Or maybe they are just ill, and gain a perverted thrill from the idea of spending billions and billions of pounds on new ways of killing.
Money well-spent it is not.

Perhaps the money could be spent on helping the former service persons who are now suffering from alcoholism, depression and drug addiction.
Or even spent on helping the millions of Iraqui refugees and orphans, poor, desperate people whose only crime was to live above a large amount of oil.

EmmaRossculp said...

you see lots and lots of small problems. I wonder how you find the room in your mind to keep them and in the day to worry over them. The troubles I see are vast and broad, like malice in the hearts of men. The worrys you face spring from my troubles so vast.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emma, You make an interesting point. I think our aim is to bring together in one organisation all the people who are fighting all these small (and sometimes big) injustices as they are all faces of the same problem.
Also, I think that a more humane society where everyone is able to participate and wealth and power is distributed more fairly and equally would create more humane people.
Finally, I think that when we come together in common projects to change the world for the better, we - as individuals - also begin to change and begin to discover hidden talents and qualities. So much potential is left untapped in our dog-eat-dog society.
Sometimes people say, change needs to come at the individual level before we can get change at the systemic or global level. But I think this implies that the only way people can change is by withdrawing from society, human beings are social animals and by taking part in struggles and common projects to change the world, we as individuals also begin to change.
I think when talking about, for example, a group of workers taking action to secure better wages and conditions, we might talk about the "spirituality" of a strike this human, social and individual transformation that takes place when people begin to co-operate and work together.
Best wishes, Adam Johannes, Cardiff RESPECT

EmmaRossculp said...

I am no where near as motivated as you are and i really respect that. I can't seem to find the same sort of optimism as so you freely speak from. It would be nice to see some of the change you seek manifest itself in my world, i'm at your back. -Emma