Put merchants of death out of business

By David Cronin - New Europe 6-12 March 2011. Over the past few years I have developed an unhealthy obsession with the arms industry.

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In a prescient report published in November last, the Dutch Campaign Against the Arms Trade cited Libya as one of the clearest cases where EU governments attach greater importance to “export promotion” than to ethical considerations when licensing the arms trade. When Gaddafi was the West’s favourite bogeyman in the mid-1980s, the European Community imposed an arms embargo on Libya. But as soon as it was lifted in 2004, arms exporters scrambled to do business with their new buddies. The British trade association Defence Manufacturers Association rhapsodised in 2005 about how Libya was a “relatively sophisticated customer with a political will to procure equipment”. The “relatively sophisticated” Gaddafi could be persuaded to be anything: one British deal to supply an elite brigade in Libya’s army was worth €100 million.

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http://dvcronin.blogspot.com/2011/03/put-merchants-of-death-out-of-business.html