UK-headquartered global arms behemoth BAE Systems is in the news again this morning, as reports indicate that US anti-corruption investigators are gathering evidence against the firm despite stalwart obstructionism by the British Government. BAE has been dogged for most of its history by allegations that the company - in …
USA 0 - UK 1
We outbribed America, oh how the dollar has fallen.
Why is Prince Bandar getting different treatment from...
...the Natwest/Enron Three, who got no protection at all from Nutter Blair's government?
Look, I know the answer is obvious, because career politicians combined with the military-industrial complex are a very dangerous combination, but ...
If only the USA was as dilligent at turning it's investigative eye inwards.
Though it was spoken over 40 years ago this little gem of wisdom is as relevant now as ever..
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
President, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Just a pity that since then, on both sides of the Atlantic, the citizenry is being dumbed-down to the point of idiocy.
Coincidence or Design? You decide.
Re: If only...
Yeah, but what did Eisenhower know about the military, or of a society directed wholly towards a military goal?
Coincidence or Design?
If Orwell hadn't written 1984, would the tendency towards totalitarianism have had the imagination to make Ignorance into Strength? Was 1984 less a warning, more a blueprint?
I'm thinking Orwell was only extrapolating from already-visible trends, and we should heed the warning.
I certainly hope your comment was supposed to be sarcastic, as Eisenhower was a former US general, who just happened to have played a major part in defeating a "society directed wholly towards a military goal". Shame that the US almost became one itself in trying to defeat the subsequent red menace ...
Well done those Feds...
I, for one, am glad that America picked up the torch on this one. I was surprised and disgusted by the Government's decision to ignore what was clearly turning into a serious case against BAE. I hope they get what's coming to them...
Why is prince bandar treated differently....
because Natwest 3 were British citizens and I don't think prince Bandar has a British passport ;) yet....
I think our UK->US extraction policy allows the US to take a British citizen to trial without supplying evidence to a British court (not sure?) as was documented infamously in the recent Natwest case.
I also suspect that the US is much more willing to investigate wrong-doings by foreign companies that it's own crop of massive industries.
Meanwhile, in the real world
I very much doubt that there has ever been a government contract placed in Africa or the Middle East without substantial kickbacks - either in brown paper envelopes or disguised as 'consultancy' or 'introducer fee' - to government players. So, if you want to conduct international business you have two choices:
(a) bite the bullet and pay up with a smile; or
(b) operate only in those areas of the world where such payments are unnecessary (if not, perhaps, unknown) - i.e. UK, Germany, parts of Scandinavia, North America and Australasia.
Why is Prince Bandar treated differently from Enron?
Because Enron wasn't a separate country with large stocks of oil *and* large stocks of modern weaponry (most of which the US and UK have sold them). In other words, economic and military reasons for not doing it. Ethical reasons don't figure anywhere in dealings with the Middle East, given that there isn't any government out there which doesn't sanction discrimination, imprisonment without trial and torture.
The story behind the story
The USA has a long relationship with Saudi which can be described as "delicate". Many strange things have happened, most notable perhaps being that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when all internal air flights were stopped, several planes were scouring the continent with passenger lists composed mainly of arabic names and removing those individuals from the country. Topically, the problem is to keep the Saudi oil running, and the dollar as its essential currency of exchange. If either of these falters, the shit will hit the fan at a rate of knots.
The USA therefore wants to have a secure hand navigating the tricky shoals. The last thing it needs is the ship's cat's paw on the tiller. It has now noticed the cat, and is wondering just how long it has been there. It suspects that decades of its selling military hardware to the Saudis has created a momentum in the ruling Saudi circles that is not necessarily vectored the right way. In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, it has the worm up its ass.
What you will see is not necessarily what you will get - Blissett's Iron Law of IT. I expect BAE Systems to fall to the Carlyle Group. I therefore make BAE stock a recommended BUY.
Those "modern weapons", what happens
when they go for a prolonged time without spare parts? How often does those fighter jets need replacement parts before they get as deadly for the pilot, as for his target?
If the world stopped shipping spare parts, and ammo, to the middle east, I still think the world would become a better place.
I know, I'll just get my coat.
@Those "modern weapons",
Yeah, and then they stop shipping us oil and nothing works.
Bottom line is that things like this get hushed-up because too many people in power make too much money and stay in power to rock the boat.
The only people who want to rock the boat are those in the water but those actually in the boat have oars and will do anything to stay in the boat.
Sadly this takes place at all levels of society. Think about your own work place, how many incompetent managers do you have to report to because they have influence at a higher level.
Mostly we get angry because these guys are better at corrupt politics then we are. We kick a ball with our friends in the park, they are playing in the Champions League. Of course we'er mad.
"Bottom line is that things like this get hushed-up because too many people in power make too much money and stay in power to rock the boat.
The only people who want to rock the boat are those in the water but those actually in the boat have oars and will do anything to stay in the boat."
I think your analogy is making me seasick.
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