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By 1978 it [East Timor] was approaching genocidal levels. The Church and other sources estimated about two hundred thousand people killed. The US backed it all the way: the US provided 90% of the arms. Right after the invasion arm shipments were stepped up. When the Indonesians actually began to run out of arms in 1978, the Carter administration moved in and increased arms sales. And other western countries did the same. Professor Noam Chomsky
Indonesia was supposed to be in this new [post-war] world order granted a kind of nominal independence … In Indonesia there were essentially three forces: one was President Sukarno, the leader of the nationalists movement who was an independent nationalist and therefore already unacceptable, then there was a mass-based popular party – the Indonesian communist party, which was needless to say totally unacceptable, and thirdly there was the army which more or less shared US aims. Noam Chomsky, MOMA 16th November 1992 lecture on East Timor
The CIA began to support right-wing parties – that didn’t work. They supported an insurrection in 1957/58 – that was put down. The US then turned to a classic technique for overthrowing civilian government – one that’s used over and over again – namely, cut off any aid or assistance or support to the government but maintain, even increase, military aid. ibid.
1965 and then Suharto took over and then came this huge bloodbath … The biggest bloodbath since the holocaust. ibid.
East Timor: The silence began in December 1975 with the Indonesian invasion: from then on there’s a sharp decline in coverage – it reaches zero, zero literally in the United States and Canada, in 1978 which is the year in which the atrocities peaked, and in which in fact Jimmy Carter took some time off from his sermons about human rights to increase US aid to Indonesia because they were actually running out of arms in the war against this tiny country. ibid.
Britain stepped up its military sales to Indonesia. ibid.
The invasion was carried out with US arms which by treaty with Indonesia can only be used for self-defence. The United States secretly expressed the hope that the invasion would be carried out quickly … sending new arms under the cover of the embargo. Noam Chomsky, Dorothy lecture September 1999, ‘Sovereignty and World Order’
These people are either too superstitiously religious, or too cowardly for arms; they either can not or dare not defend; their property is open to anyone who has the courage to attack them ... The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves. Thomas Paine, article Pennsylvania Magazine July 1775, ‘Thoughts on Defensive War’, signed A Lover of Peace and attributed to Paine
I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists. Mikhail Kalashnikov
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. US Constitution 2nd Amendment
Foreign economies as well as our own are now mainly dependent on the scope of continued arms spending in this country. Magazine of Wall Street 1951
Here’s what we can do to change the world right now to a better ride: take all of that money we spend on weapons and defence each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, and not one human being excluded, and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, in peace. I believe that God left certain drugs growing naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution. Bill Hicks, Revelations, Dominion Theatre London
I’m so sick of arming the world and then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms. You know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries then we go and blow the shit out of them. We’re like the bullies of the world. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane throwing the pistol at the sheep herder’s feet. ibid.
Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule. William Shakespeare, Richard Duke of York IV viii 61, Hastings
To be, or not to be – that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? – To die – to sleep –
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die – to sleep –
To sleep! Perchance to dream. Aye, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office...’ William Shakespeare, Hamlet, III i 56-73
One of the charges at the time of course was that in some way I must have known because I had been the chancellor, because I had been the foreign secretary, because I had been the prime minister. And therefore I must have known what was going on, but I didn’t. John Major, response to Scott Inquiry into Arms Sales to Iraq
Senator Levin, you and other Democrats in the Congress have voiced fears that you simply don’t have enough for the large increases in defense that the Pentagon is seeking, especially for missile defense. Does this sort of thing convince you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defense spending? Donald Rumsfeld berating Senator Carl Levin, then Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, evening of 9/11
In 2011 the US sold an astonishing 78% of the world’s arms. Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States X: Bush & Obama: Age of Terror, 2012
British society had embraced the arms race. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain 1500 B.C. – 43 A.D. Channel 4 2003
Tribal warfare, human sacrifice, this was a savage land for sure. ibid.
His factory on the Tyne became Britain’s largest manufacturer of guns and warships. With the profits of war Armstrong built his very own stately home ... In 1887 he became Baron Armstrong. Jeremy Paxman, The Victorians: Having It All, BBC 2009
However strong your armies may be, you will always need the favour of the inhabitants to the possession of a province. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince ch III
The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms – you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow. ibid.
Above all else, be armed. ibid.
For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against. ibid.
For a Prince is exposed to two dangers, from within in respect of his subjects, from without in respect of foreign powers. Against the latter he will defend himself with good arms and good allies, and if he have good arms he will always have good allies. ibid.
In two other sections, the report exposes the central government hypocrisy – that arms to Iraq were carefully restricted throughout the period. First, all sorts of weaponry, often of the most lethal kind, got to Iraq from Britain through ‘diversionary routes’, chiefly through Jordan. Arms sales from Britain to Jordan were 3,000 percent (about £500 million) higher in the 1980s than in the 1970s. This had nothing to do with the expansion of the Jordanian armed forces, which were actually contracting in the 1980s. Almost all the extra weaponry went on to Iraq, and there were other conduits too: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Portugal, Singapore, Austria.
Secondly, the ‘restricted’ policy became much less restricted for Iraq after the ceasefire of 1988. The entire British government was tempted by the honeypot which was opened up by Saddam Hussein as he expanded his vast armed forces after the peace treaty with Iran in 1988. The guidelines were changed to liberate a whole new category of defence sales, and no one was told about it. Paul Foot, Armed And Dangerous