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Source: (consider it) Thread: No Whisky Priests here
Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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In one of the darkest episodes of the comedy show Yes Minister , the Honourable Jim Hacker MP struggles with the ethics of informing the PM of the fact that British arms were being sold to terrorists. In the end, he elects to do the wrong thing, burying the knowledge via an application of what was called in the show the Rhodesia Solution - that is, telling the PM, so that his own arse was covered, but sharing the knowledge in a way that the PM could easily misunderstand its significance.

Anyway, most of you probably know all this (if you don't, the episode is well worth watching ). But you won't find any whisky priests in the government of my country, which just proudly announced plans to make Australia one of the biggest arms exporters in the world.

Why not? What, if anything, has changed? I suppose one could argue, as Sir Humphrey memorably did in the above episode, that once a government has done all in its power to ensure that the arms are not being sold to the wrong people, than it has done all that can reasonably be done. Fair enough - Mal Turnbull is not announcing plans to sell directly to terrorists. But it doesn't take a particularly insightful person to realise that arms will end up in the hands of those who can afford to purchase them - whether they are "goodies" or "baddies" (terms which are relative and contextual anyway). As Tim Costello argues in this story, the Syrian conflict would have ended ages some time ago if the parties were not continuously being supplied with arms.

The arms my government is proudly going to export are going to end up being used to maim and kill people - as that is what arms do. They will not be used primarily to defend this nation state, which I would argue is a legitimate and moral purpose for arms to exist - rather, they will be sold to other parties to do as they wish with them. And why is this not only something not to feel deep shame about, but something that should be boasted about so brazenly? Because ... the economy. That is all the state is about now, after all - making the world safe for the market to exploit.

[Mad]

--------------------
So don't ever call me lucky
You don't know what I done, what it was, who I lost, or what it cost me
- A B Original: I C U

----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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Meanwhile, the UK government has just increased arms sales to Turkey and Saudi Arabia [Mad]
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Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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The thing of it is, once one sells arms to an "approved" customer, where do they go subsequently on the international arms bazaar? Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

On a media reference, I recommend the good but flawed film Lord of War. It nicely captures the moral bankruptcy of arms dealing.

I once had a (very surprisingly) candid conversation with an arms guy. He described product demonstrations that were unspeakably revolting in what they would do to a body.

As an historical observation, before 1938, Czechoslovakia was one of the largest (per capita) arms producers in the world. And, for the German military, it wasn't Sudetenland that was attractive - it was the Skoda works.

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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DK, I would take my comedic cue on this announcement from The Hollow Men or Utopia, rather than the almost competent machinations of the British Civil Service in Yes Minister.

I agree with you concerning the morality, but this has all the hallmarks of another 'announceable'.

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Human

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
The thing of it is, once one sells arms to an "approved" customer, where do they go subsequently on the international arms bazaar? Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

On a media reference, I recommend the good but flawed film Lord of War. It nicely captures the moral bankruptcy of arms dealing.

I once had a (very surprisingly) candid conversation with an arms guy. He described product demonstrations that were unspeakably revolting in what they would do to a body.

As an historical observation, before 1938, Czechoslovakia was one of the largest (per capita) arms producers in the world. And, for the German military, it wasn't Sudetenland that was attractive - it was the Skoda works.

And that was in the days before the 1950's Skoda Octavia, a lethal weapon disguised as a car if ever there were one, even worse than a Porsche 356.

As to your first paragraph, normally a vendor country would tie up the use to which a weapon could be put, and almost as certainly rule out sale to a non-approved third party.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
The thing of it is, once one sells arms to an "approved" customer, where do they go subsequently on the international arms bazaar? Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

On a media reference, I recommend the good but flawed film Lord of War. It nicely captures the moral bankruptcy of arms dealing.

I once had a (very surprisingly) candid conversation with an arms guy. He described product demonstrations that were unspeakably revolting in what they would do to a body.

As an historical observation, before 1938, Czechoslovakia was one of the largest (per capita) arms producers in the world. And, for the German military, it wasn't Sudetenland that was attractive - it was the Skoda works.

And that was in the days before the 1950's Skoda Octavia, a lethal weapon disguised as a car if ever there were one, even worse than a Porsche 356.

As to your first paragraph, normally a vendor country would tie up the use to which a weapon could be put, and almost as certainly rule out sale to a non-approved third party.

This is monitored?

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Errr...this may be due to too much TV, but I had the impression that arms dealers don't necessarily worry about laws, or how their merchandise is used.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:

As to your first paragraph, normally a vendor country would tie up the use to which a weapon could be put, and almost as certainly rule out sale to a non-approved third party.

Are you trying to miss the point?

--------------------
So don't ever call me lucky
You don't know what I done, what it was, who I lost, or what it cost me
- A B Original: I C U

----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

quote:
I never thought that I would be
Fighting fascists in the Southern Sea
I saw one today and in his hand
Was a weapon that was made in Birmingham

Billy Bragg - Island of No Return (referencing the Falklands War)

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Forward the New Republic

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by jacobsen:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
The thing of it is, once one sells arms to an "approved" customer, where do they go subsequently on the international arms bazaar? Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

On a media reference, I recommend the good but flawed film Lord of War. It nicely captures the moral bankruptcy of arms dealing.

I once had a (very surprisingly) candid conversation with an arms guy. He described product demonstrations that were unspeakably revolting in what they would do to a body.

As an historical observation, before 1938, Czechoslovakia was one of the largest (per capita) arms producers in the world. And, for the German military, it wasn't Sudetenland that was attractive - it was the Skoda works.

And that was in the days before the 1950's Skoda Octavia, a lethal weapon disguised as a car if ever there were one, even worse than a Porsche 356.

As to your first paragraph, normally a vendor country would tie up the use to which a weapon could be put, and almost as certainly rule out sale to a non-approved third party.

This is monitored?
Depends what you're selling. If its an apache helicopter gunship that you've sold to say Turkey then you can stop it turning up in Congo. Quite apart from anything else it would be obvious where it came from.

Some bullets/rifles? Yes monitored, but far more difficult to control.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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Actually, you can't stop it turning up in the Congo, if it's being flown by Turkish pilots as part of a Turkish military campaign, just as we can't stop UK-manufactured munitions from being dropped by Saudi planes onto Yemeni heads.

There's no button we can press to stop a bomb exploding except the one on the manufacturing conveyor belt.

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Forward the New Republic

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Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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Here in Canada we had a scandal (of sorts) regarding the sale of armed personnel carriers to our ally Saudi Arabia when it was revealed that they were likely(?) or possibly(?) to be used against their own citizens. Raucous questions about the export license until everyone went back to sleep. We can't even monitor ourselves, let alone where merchandise might end up after sale.

[ 29. January 2018, 10:17: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Actually, you can't stop it turning up in the Congo, if it's being flown by Turkish pilots as part of a Turkish military campaign, just as we can't stop UK-manufactured munitions from being dropped by Saudi planes onto Yemeni heads.

There's no button we can press to stop a bomb exploding except the one on the manufacturing conveyor belt.

That's a different question though - I was answering "is the sale of arms from second party countries to third party countries monitored?"

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Errr...this may be due to too much TV, but I had the impression that arms dealers don't necessarily worry about laws, or how their merchandise is used.

Definitely too much TV. The main UK arms dealer (in fact, the largest in the world by some reckonings) is BAE Systems, a massive company which builds airplanes, submarines, etc for the UK armed forces as well as for allied nations (e.g. Saudi Arabia and India). Other companies involved in the trade include Rolls Royce, Vesper Thorneycroft and GKN. These aren't shady, fly-by-night operations with a tenuous relationship to the law, they're some of the mainstays of the UK manufacturing industry.

Virtually every new vehicle or weapon created for our armed forces is designed with one eye on future export sales. And why not - if we're allied to a country then their defence is in our interests.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Actually, you can't stop it turning up in the Congo, if it's being flown by Turkish pilots as part of a Turkish military campaign, just as we can't stop UK-manufactured munitions from being dropped by Saudi planes onto Yemeni heads.

There's no button we can press to stop a bomb exploding except the one on the manufacturing conveyor belt.

That's a different question though - I was answering "is the sale of arms from second party countries to third party countries monitored?"
It is, tbf, an allied question though. We say 'these weapons should only be used in the legitimate defence of your country' when in reality, we don't actually give a shit who the bullets end up in as long as the cash keeps rolling in.

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Forward the New Republic

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
Beyond the "point of purchase" there is no guarantee that your merchandise will not end up killing you. Good luck with that.

quote:
I never thought that I would be
Fighting fascists in the Southern Sea
I saw one today and in his hand
Was a weapon that was made in Birmingham

Billy Bragg - Island of No Return (referencing the Falklands War)

Reminds me...

"...a nipponized bit of the old sixth avenue el..."

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Allied nations: Saudi Arabia.

I keep seeing action movie plots in my imagination. The returning soldier comes back home after the war and shoots the CEO of the company who's gun he saw in the hands of the enemy, maybe shoots the whole family. If they can trace and force the licensing of computer operating systems (anyone read Microsoft's end user agreements?), why can they not do it with easy to locate things like aircraft, drones and rocket launchers?

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Stetson
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# 9597

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JOKE EXPLAINED

^^ In case the reference in that poem is too obscure(and I'm not sure I would have gotten it if I hadn't had footnotes the first time), all the historical figures mentioned said something equivalent to(and in Sherman's case it was word for word) War Is Hell.

The "nipponized bit of etc" refers to metal from the New York subway that was later sold to Japan and made into bullets.

[ 29. January 2018, 14:23: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Allied nations: Saudi Arabia.

I keep seeing action movie plots in my imagination. The returning soldier comes back home after the war and shoots the CEO of the company who's gun he saw in the hands of the enemy, maybe shoots the whole family. If they can trace and force the licensing of computer operating systems (anyone read Microsoft's end user agreements?), why can they not do it with easy to locate things like aircraft, drones and rocket launchers?

If you have your computer n a totally isolated environment I'm sure Microsoft would have great difficulty tracking it down. But that's not what people do. They go on the internet and within nano-seconds their URL and its physical location are known to anyone who cares to look.

Drones, RPGs, AK47s and other nasty stuff can be hidden for years. If you have a quarry to spare I'm sure you could hide an air force.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
If you have a quarry to spare I'm sure you could hide an air force.

Who needs a quarry? A few thousand square yards of camouflage netting would do the job just as well.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
If you have a quarry to spare I'm sure you could hide an air force.

Who needs a quarry? A few thousand square yards of camouflage netting would do the job just as well.
Just remember to remind everyone to turn their FitBit off.

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Forward the New Republic

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JonahMan
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# 12126

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The main UK arms dealer (in fact, the largest in the world by some reckonings) is BAE Systems,... These aren't shady, fly-by-night operations with a tenuous relationship to the law,


I expect that's why they were fined £288m in 2010 arising from corruption charges.

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Thank God for the aged
And old age itself, and illness and the grave
For when you're old, or ill and particularly in the coffin
It's no trouble to behave

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Ahh yes, that fitbit thing. It's all shits and giggles until somebody shells your secret base, isn't it now?

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Human

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

Virtually every new vehicle or weapon created for our armed forces is designed with one eye on future export sales. And why not - if we're allied to a country then their defence is in our interests.

I guess allies would never turn on each other.

Except when they do.

As one of the characters in the episode I referenced in the OP states, either you are selling arms or you aren't. If you are, then they will find their way into the hands of those who can A) afford them, and B) want to use them. If anyone here thinks that some kind of guarantee at the point of sale ensures that only the "goodies" (and let's face it - not only are allies not always goodies, but sometimes we aren't even goodies. Shocking, isn't it?) will get to use them - well, I have this great bridge I would love to sell you.

Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral. And not only does my government contain no whisky priests on this issue, but recently the Opposition had little of any moral value to say about it either. Anthony Albanese, Labor front bencher who waxes lyrical about nuclear disarmament from time to time, simply opined meekly that it was all very well to sell arms, but the government should also be selling cars and other shit.

Now - I am not surprised that politicians no longer feel that they have any kind of moral role at all anymore, because it's the economy, stupid. I may not be surprised, but I can still be disappointed and ashamed. Politicians from both major parties down here have managed to make me feel those emotions many times over the last 20 odd years.

--------------------
So don't ever call me lucky
You don't know what I done, what it was, who I lost, or what it cost me
- A B Original: I C U

----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:

Now - I am not surprised that politicians no longer feel that they have any kind of moral role at all anymore, because it's the economy, stupid. I may not be surprised, but I can still be disappointed and ashamed. Politicians from both major parties down here have managed to make me feel those emotions many times over the last 20 odd years.

What really pisses me off when politicians blab off about how many jobs depend on arms manufacturing is that these are very expensive jobs because of the nature of the product. Comparatively the workers aren't paid that much more but tanks, military aircraft and the brand-new aircraft carriers without aircraft all cost a fortune (and if the rest of the shiny kit is anything like the Navy's latest frigates they won't bloody well work either).

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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RdrEmCofE
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# 17511

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I left the RN by registering my objection to having to maintain weapons being used to train Argentinian, Iraqy and Iranean personnel. I was told "These are our allies, we have sold weapons to them, we must train them in their use". I said The RN trained Japanese Officer cohorts between WW1 and WW2, and look what they did with the training they received from us.

After I had left as a conscientious objector we had wars with Iraq and Argentina with Iran becoming effectively an enemy state when the Shah was deposed, where weapons manufactured in the UK, with better specifications than those issued to our own forces, were used against us.

Sweden has a sensible weapons development policy. They will not sell their weapons to anyone else. Neither do they release information on the performance of them.

The UK not only sells its weapons abroad allowing them to be analyzed and evaluated but often , as was the case with Argentinian Frigates, better ones than the UK government was willing to supply to our own forces.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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My father-in-law was trained to use an anti-submarine gun, originally commissioned from Armstrongs by the Japanese navy, but impounded on the outbreak of war with the er, Japanese.

So it goes.

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Forward the New Republic

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Dave W.
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# 8765

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Sweden has a sensible weapons development policy. They will not sell their weapons to anyone else. Neither do they release information on the performance of them.

Despite Peaceful Reputation, Sweden is a Major Weapons Exporter to Human Rights Abusers
Third largest arms exporter per capita, after Israel and Russia.

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Sweden has a sensible weapons development policy. They will not sell their weapons to anyone else. Neither do they release information on the performance of them.

Despite Peaceful Reputation, Sweden is a Major Weapons Exporter to Human Rights Abusers
Third largest arms exporter per capita, after Israel and Russia.

One of the theories about the assassination of Olaf Palme is that he was murdered in retaliation for blocking a shipment of weapons to some overseas buyers(Kurds? Iranians?) Not saying that's the gospel truth, as there actually seems to be little solid proof for ANY of the theories around his death.

One thing that the DemNow headline alludes to is the noticable fact that nations which simply supply the weapons for conflicts, rather than actually fight the conflicts, almost never suffer any damage to their reputation.

Someone earlier mentioned Canada's on-again-off-again arms-deal with Saudi Arabia. As far as I can tell, the only people complaining about this are Canadian anti-war activists. Other than that, I don't think I've ever seen Canada mentioned in any international coverage of Saudi Arabia's human-rights abuses and war crimes.

And I'd be willing to bet that less that 1 in 10 Canadians know that Canada supplied some of the uranium used in the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, even though that is probably the most talked-about bombing in history, and there are commemorations of the event held all over the world every year.

Long and the short, if you're someone who worries that their country might be getting a bad reputation by participating in the global arms trade, you can rest easy. No. One. Gives. A. Fuck.

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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betjemaniac
Shipmate
# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:


Sweden has a sensible weapons development policy. They will not sell their weapons to anyone else. Neither do they release information on the performance of them.

The UK not only sells its weapons abroad allowing them to be analyzed and evaluated but often , as was the case with Argentinian Frigates, better ones than the UK government was willing to supply to our own forces.

In reverse order, you mean destroyers rather than frigates. As someone else who has served in the RN, *including on the relevant Type 42 destroyers* I'm all agog on the "better ones than the UK government was willing to supply to our own forces" bit - can't wait for you to give the chapter and verse on how...

Moving on to Sweden, I've used Swedish weaponry in the British armed forces - indeed, since you mention the Falklands, you'll be aware of the Royal Marines' extensive use in that conflict of the Carl Gustav 84mm...

More up to date, overseas users of Swedish fighter aircraft include South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

--------------------
And is it true? For if it is....

Posts: 1481 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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I'm sure that we can all come up with similar examples, but it comes to mind because someone above mentioned Armstrong. At the east side of Queen's Park in Toronto there are cannon captured from the Russians in the Crimean war, manufactured by Armstrong. Gotta love it.
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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:

Long and the short, if you're someone who worries that their country might be getting a bad reputation by participating in the global arms trade, you can rest easy. No. One. Gives. A. Fuck.

And it takes too long to figure out for many that do care. People like their protests simple. Add in an extra step and people's attention fades and they wander awa...

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

So any country that doesn't have the necessary skills, resources or finance to design and build all its own weaponry doesn't get to defend itself?

And where does it stop? Is it immoral to sell a radar system to another country? What if they then install that radar system on their warships - does it count as selling arms then?

Besides which, the upshot of your position would be that global military spending would increase massively. Instead of having, say, a tried and tested design of missile that several different countries buy from one supplier (e.g. the French Excocet or American Harpoon missiles, each currently in use by about 30 different countries worldwide) every single country would have to research, design and build their own missiles independently. That's a lot of R&D money that could be better spent elsewhere.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:

Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

Generally speaking, states do not attempt to stand alone against all comers. They sign mutual defense treaties with their "friends".

So suppose I am a state that wishes to defend myself against an aggressor, and I have a firm ally in the neighbouring state. Suppose I make a really good gun, and they make a sucky gun that jams all the time. Wouldn't I rather have an ally with functional weapons? Wouldn't I rather sell my guns to him so that he was a more useful ally? I think I would.

Now, obviously I'd be concerned at some level that he might take my shiny new guns and decide to invade me, or that he might have some dodgy quartermasters or ministers of procurement that would ship truckloads of my shiny guns to some third party that wanted to oppose my interests, or whatever. And the shinier and more revolutionary the weapons system in question was, the more I'd be concerned about it getting into the hands of people who were not my friends.

But in general, that's the tradeoff. Having allies with good weapons is good for me, so long as they remain my allies.

Posts: 5026 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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War and arms are great business. Consider: corporations develop very expensive weapons which they sell to governments at great profit. The governments encourage selling the same weapons to other countries of offset the cost. Governments then use the weapons to change the governments, minds and priorities of other countries to aid corporations. It's all great for business.

This is a current article by a fringe outlet, but it says the same things as older articles by news outfits that people other than trumpy trust.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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My question is: Has the Australian Government done its market research? Is there really an under-supplied sector of the arms market for Australia to corner?

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Human

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

So any country that doesn't have the necessary skills, resources or finance to design and build all its own weaponry doesn't get to defend itself?

And where does it stop? Is it immoral to sell a radar system to another country? What if they then install that radar system on their warships - does it count as selling arms then?

Besides which, the upshot of your position would be that global military spending would increase massively. Instead of having, say, a tried and tested design of missile that several different countries buy from one supplier (e.g. the French Excocet or American Harpoon missiles, each currently in use by about 30 different countries worldwide) every single country would have to research, design and build their own missiles independently. That's a lot of R&D money that could be better spent elsewhere.

I wouldn't go as far as DN; you'd have to propounded pacifism I think which would also make the manufacture immoral. However, I think there is a potential for arms manufacture and sale to present fewer moral questions - and therefore appeal more - to some people than others, and if you're less inclined to feel uneasy about making your living from war, you're also possibly less inclined to worry as much about the exact ways in which those weapons are used - hence even BAE having had 'issues'.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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IIRC, BAE had 'issues' regarding bribes and backhanders, rather than how the weapons they were bribing state officials (in multiple countries on four continents) to procure were actually used.

I'd like to think they cared about the final destination of their munitions, but I'm not convinced on this. It seems to me that profits for the company and bonuses for the sales force are what really matters.

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Forward the New Republic

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Evensong
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# 14696

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I often wonder if the reason the USA is so involved in international politics and warfare is that it is necessary to support its economy....

And then you think, are they actively involved in diatribe with places like North Korea to make America Great Again?

#madness

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a theological scrapbook

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I often wonder if the reason the USA is so involved in international politics and warfare is that it is necessary to support its economy....

Um, isn't that what's meant by the term Military-industrial complex?

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:

Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

Generally speaking, states do not attempt to stand alone against all comers. They sign mutual defense treaties with their "friends".

So suppose I am a state that wishes to defend myself against an aggressor, and I have a firm ally in the neighbouring state. Suppose I make a really good gun, and they make a sucky gun that jams all the time. Wouldn't I rather have an ally with functional weapons? Wouldn't I rather sell my guns to him so that he was a more useful ally? I think I would.

Now, obviously I'd be concerned at some level that he might take my shiny new guns and decide to invade me, or that he might have some dodgy quartermasters or ministers of procurement that would ship truckloads of my shiny guns to some third party that wanted to oppose my interests, or whatever. And the shinier and more revolutionary the weapons system in question was, the more I'd be concerned about it getting into the hands of people who were not my friends.

But in general, that's the tradeoff. Having allies with good weapons is good for me, so long as they remain my allies.

I guess this is what the experience of 'mansplaining' must be like. Although I have no idea of your gender.

As many of us still say around here: 'Der!"

The equivalent round your way might be "No shit, Captain Obvious!"

Posts: 2958 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

So any country that doesn't have the necessary skills, resources or finance to design and build all its own weaponry doesn't get to defend itself?

Sure. That's what I said.
When you made that straw man did you leave enough aside for the Israelites to make bricks? Because otherwise, Pharaoh is gonna be piissssed ...
quote:
And where does it stop? Is it immoral to sell a radar system to another country? What if they then install that radar system on their warships - does it count as selling arms then?

Besides which, the upshot of your position would be that global military spending would increase massively. Instead of having, say, a tried and tested design of missile that several different countries buy from one supplier (e.g. the French Excocet or American Harpoon missiles, each currently in use by about 30 different countries worldwide) every single country would have to research, design and build their own missiles independently. That's a lot of R&D money that could be better spent elsewhere.

And now that straw man has been pushed over the edge of a slippery slope. [Disappointed]

--------------------
So don't ever call me lucky
You don't know what I done, what it was, who I lost, or what it cost me
- A B Original: I C U

----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2958 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
Manufacturing arms is necessary if a state is going to be able to even begin to defend itself. Selling arms is immoral.

So any country that doesn't have the necessary skills, resources or finance to design and build all its own weaponry doesn't get to defend itself?

Sure. That's what I said.
When you made that straw man did you leave enough aside for the Israelites to make bricks? Because otherwise, Pharaoh is gonna be piissssed ...

Straw man? It's the logical conclusion of exactly what you said. If no-one sells arms (because to do so is immoral) then that means no-one can buy them. If no-one can buy them then that means every country has to research, design and manufacture them on its own. If a country can't do so for any reason then it won't be able to effectively defend itself.

The only way that's a strawman is if when you said "selling arms is immoral" you didn't mean "nobody should sell arms". In which case the problem is with your poor communication more than anything else.

quote:
quote:
And where does it stop? Is it immoral to sell a radar system to another country? What if they then install that radar system on their warships - does it count as selling arms then?

Besides which, the upshot of your position would be that global military spending would increase massively. Instead of having, say, a tried and tested design of missile that several different countries buy from one supplier (e.g. the French Excocet or American Harpoon missiles, each currently in use by about 30 different countries worldwide) every single country would have to research, design and build their own missiles independently. That's a lot of R&D money that could be better spent elsewhere.

And now that straw man has been pushed over the edge of a slippery slope. [Disappointed]
It's only a slippery slope if you believe that most countries wouldn't want their armed forces to be kitted out with the best gear possible. Or if you think researching, designing and building weapons isn't that expensive, I suppose.

Seriously, what do you think would happen if all arms trading was stopped? Do you think most of the countries in the world would just shrug and accept that they'll have to make do with what they already have?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
If a country can't do so for any reason then it won't be able to effectively defend itself.

Here is the flaw in your logic.

There is another road we could go down.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 9131 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
If a country can't do so for any reason then it won't be able to effectively defend itself.

Here is the flaw in your logic.

There is another road we could go down.

I can think of two possibilities, both of which have fairly major flaws.

  1. Those countries that can afford to build weapons agree to defend the ones that can't. Flaw: a handful of rich countries dominate the rest of the world to an even greater extent than is currently the case.
  2. Everybody in the world agrees to be friends with everyone else for the rest of time. Flaw: never going to happen.


--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:

As many of us still say around here: 'Der!"

The equivalent round your way might be "No shit, Captain Obvious!"

Well, yes, of course it's obvious.

Perhaps you could go into a little more detail about why you think this obvious, rational behaviour is immoral?

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
If a country can't do so for any reason then it won't be able to effectively defend itself.

Here is the flaw in your logic.

There is another road we could go down.

I can think of two possibilities, both of which have fairly major flaws.

  1. Those countries that can afford to build weapons agree to defend the ones that can't. Flaw: a handful of rich countries dominate the rest of the world to an even greater extent than is currently the case.
  2. Everybody in the world agrees to be friends with everyone else for the rest of time. Flaw: never going to happen.

Well, yes. But they are not flaws in logic. You presented tooling up as the only option. It is not.

And while your two additional options present their own problems, I'm going to suggest that your initial mono-option presents a bigger, more existential, problem than anything else we could choose to do.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 9131 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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Marvin - what Doc Tor said. You are right, though, I am communicating poorly, as I misidentified your logical fallacy. Your first response to me was not a straw man, but was as Doc Tor has made clear a false dilemma.

And your second is absolutely a slippery slope, because you are suggesting an extreme consequence of what I'm proposing rather than dealing with it on its own merits.

LC - as I said before your completely unnecessary explanation of something everybody already knows, allies can turn on each other. Plus, again as I and others had already said, the one selling arms cannot control their destination. Just because I sell them to my allies - or whoever are my allies today - they may end up in the hands of people who I do not believe should have access to them.

The only way to ensure arms produced in my country are only used to defend my country is not to sell them.

--------------------
So don't ever call me lucky
You don't know what I done, what it was, who I lost, or what it cost me
- A B Original: I C U

----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Well, yes. But they are not flaws in logic. You presented tooling up as the only option. It is not.

When it comes to issues such as national defence, a bad option may as well be no option at all.

quote:
And while your two additional options present their own problems, I'm going to suggest that your initial mono-option presents a bigger, more existential, problem than anything else we could choose to do.
For whom?

My argument is based around the assumption that the vast majority of countries view having armed forces that are capable of providing a viable defence against any attackers as a high - even overriding - priority. From that assumption it follows that if the country cannot buy off-the-shelf weapons from elsewhere it will have to research, design and manufacture its own.

If you want to challenge my initial assumption then that's fine, but have you got anything better than "wouldn't it be nice if we all got along" to do it with?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
And your second is absolutely a slippery slope, because you are suggesting an extreme consequence of what I'm proposing rather than dealing with it on its own merits.

Your proposal is that nobody sell arms to anyone outside their own country. Is that right? If so, it follows as night follows day that every country will have to research, develop and manufacture its own weapons if it doesn't want to either be in the pocket of a bigger country or without viable armed forces.

That's not an extreme consequence, it's the most realistic outcome of your proposal. In the real world, anyway - in some fantasy world where everyone automatically becomes friends if they don't have anything to fight each other with the results may be different.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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