Australian Defence Companies Drool Over Arms Sales To Middle East Dictatorships And 'Enemies' Of Israel
It's just like the 1930s all over again. A wider world war looms, as economies crash and burn and powerful military nations move on weak states with vast energy and mineral reserves, while Australia, the US and the UK are busy flooding the world with bombs, bullets, jets, tanks and vast arsenals of new weaponry.
BushCo. recently announced some $73 billion worth of military hardware sales to Middle East "allies" and Australia's defence industry are now hankering to get their slice of this international arms race.
As this story in the Sun Herald explains, to get in the action, the Howard government will appoint its own international arms dealer to flog our "war machines" to allies and potential future enemies alike :
Defence experts said the most likely Australian-made military equipment that could be sold to Persian Gulf states included fast troop-carrying catamarans and the Bushmaster armoured vehicle.
"Australian defence firms could get a slice of the action as we have developed some excellent niche technology and equipment," said Greg Ferguson, editor of Australian Defence Magazine. "The new government unit will use the muscle and reputation of the Australian Defence Force to push the overseas sale of Australian defence products."
Professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, Hugh White, said the massive US arms deal to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and the Gulf States opened up opportunities for Australia.
"The aim of the US is to armour up these countries to contain Iran, which has a long coast on the Persian Gulf. It would be ideal for the Australian-built high-speed catamarans which could be used for military transports," he said.
Thank goodness for Iran's mullahs acting so crazy and supposedly claiming they want to "wipe" Israel off the map. Otherwise, Australia's involvement in the US effort to "armour up these countries to contain Iran" might look...well, dangerous, or even grossly irresponsible.
Nearly all the Gulf states our international arms dealer will be sent off to schmooze do not officially recognize the existence of Israel, like Hamas, and impose horrific human rights violations on their people, while jailing and torturing dissenters. Nor do most of these future arms trading partners of Australia allow fully democratic elections, even though the United States continually claims it is pressuring countries like Egypt to give its people more freedom and liberty.
But forget all that, we're talking billions of dollars of arms sales here.
The Saudis and Egyptians know that one of the best ways to get the United States to shut up about human rights and democracy is to commit to mega-billion arms deals with the US, or its arms-producing allies. Like Australia.
According to the Sun Herald, and other media reports, the Howard government has committed to pouring more than $31 billion dollars into the coffers of American defence contractors in the coming years, for transport planes, jet fighters and second-hand tanks.
The top 40 defence firms in Australia turnover $6 billion per year. At the moment, they sell $400 million worth of guns, bombs and bullets internationally. A figure that is set to rapidly escalate should our new arms dealer be able to score some of the American action in arming up all those Middle East countries.
Australia and the US had a virtual shitfit last year when it became known that China, a country of more than 1.3 billion people, had raised its annual defence spend to some $40 billion.
Australia's move to help in the mega-arming of Middle East countries is all part of the US-Israel-Sunni Middle East Alliance against Iran. In part, this is also a future front against the Russia and China, who are now tied to Iran through recent oil and natural gas deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
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