Thursday, 9 October 2008

War Games in Wales: Talkin' World War III Blues

Fighter jets, infantry troops, destroyers and submarines have all converged on Wales for the biggest military exercise of all time. The whole of Wales has been designated a flying zone for the exercise which will provide coordinated training for all three UK Armed Services, plus forces from eight allied nations. Huge sections of our coastline have been taken over by the military.

Where is the outrage? Where are the 'lefty' Welsh politicians speaking out? (Other than us) Who is speaking out?

The MoD claim: "The two-week exercise – codenamed Joint Warrior – is designed to recreate a scenario in which Britain and other sovereign nations go to war against a “state-sponsored terrorist movement” – using a vast array of lethal modern weapons."

So is Britain to take up arms against America? Or has the Ministry of 'Defence' declared war on itself?

If we cut through the spin, it is clear that the aim of this exercise is to train British troops to wage war against another country. With the 'war on terror; spiralling into countries as diverse as Pakistan and Somalia, and threats against Iran, the exercise could be more than just training for the continued subjugation of the Afghan and Iraqi people, but also the dress rehearsal for another imperialist adventure.

Britain is already locked into at least two imperialist adventures opposed by the majority of citizens in Britain, the silence of the Welsh political class over these war games is sickening, but not unexpected. With a million dead in Iraq and still counting since 2003, we need to demand - at the very least - for a moratorium on any military exercises in Wales while British troops are involved in occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and an end to the military training of Iraqi militia here.

The Welsh Assembly is totally complicit in the British Military Industrial Complex: First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan - infamously - refused to oppose the Iraq War and is an apologist for Raytheon, a big company directly involved in war crimes. While not a single AM has unequivocally spoken out over the building of the Military Academy at St Athan, the biggest PFI in history.

The Academy will make a profit by training - not only the crack troops of British imperialism - but soldiers from any despotic regime allied to the West prepared to fork out the cash. Any Welsh politician who claims to be on the left should grasp that basic working class solidarity with those on the receiving end of Britain's imperialist adventures means opposing the Academy tooth-and-nail.

Adam Johannes, anti-war activist and Left Alternative member

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