Money to Explode 123

All previous experience indicates that the latest expert estimate of the money spent by the UK on bombing Libya – up to £1.75 billion – will prove in time to be an underestimate.

Yesterday saw the heaviest NATO attack of the entire war, on the very centre of Sirte, leading thousands of civilians to try to flee. They are largely unable to do so because of a cordon of checkpoints set up by their attackers, slowing movement to a standstill and very occasional crawl. This massive bombing was coordinated with what we must now call the Libyan government – the former TNC. That a military action by NATO rationalised as protecting civilians from the Libyan government, ends up with a far greater bombardment of civilians on behalf of a different Libyan government, is too terrible to call ironic. NATO’s mandate to “protect civilians” from the UN actually expires on Friday, so all this week we will see a massive crescendo in NATO bombing of towns before that deadline.

But let us put that cost to the UK in context. The whole world economy is being shaken, and the livelihoods of billions damaged, by the problems of French banks having to write off Greek debt. If as expected Greece repudiates 50% of its debt, the capital written off by French banks will be in sterling approximately £4 billion. The £1.75 billion would make a big hole in that. I am certainly not suggesting that money should have been given to Greece instead of blowing up Libya, I am merely pointing out that this is a significant amount of money to waste in terms of global capital sums.

Remember we did not have that £1,75 billion – we borrowed it from the banks, adding to the international debt crisis and your and my tax burden for the rest of our lives, and our children after us. And remember the UK contributed under 25% of the NATO effort in Libya – total wasted will be pushing £10 billion.

NATO members are at the absolute heart of the world financial crisis. The colossal squandering of incredible – and in some cases unaccountable – sums in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are fundamental to the lack of fiscal control in these economies. Not a single media pundit has mentioned it.

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123 thoughts on “Money to Explode

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  • mary

    I am heading over to Bethnal Green to see this exhibition of sculptures by May Ayres.
    ..”We think the Price is Worth it”, is entitled for the then Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who opined that the lives of half a million Iraqi children, were just that, on “60 Minutes” (12th May 1996.) The response is a figure beyond despair, her face in her hands (46 cm high) a figure visitors to Iraq over the years, know so well – so helplessly.

    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, QC., has a special place. He is kneeling, hands clasped, in immaculate black dress dinner suit, white shirt and bow tie. Appropriately, two faced, one pious, smug, the other manic, demonic. He kneels on a wasteland of bodies, faces, despairing, reposed, bewildered, entombed, enwombed – dead.
    Behind him, from an ancient iron stairwell, fixed to the hewn stones, silent witness to near two centuries, hangs a noose.
    The title is: ” … and by the way. God Bless you all …”..

    God’s Wars – a review –
    “God’s Wars”, her first solo exhibition since 1985, in a historic East London church: “presents meditations on war and peace, selected from her ‘War of Aggression’ series, which has been created out of anger over the last seven years.”

  • John Goss

    Thanks Mary. It’s disgusting. I’ve posted it on Facebook. I’m going to send my MP the link.

  • ingo

    The only word that needs adding to this emasculating killing machine that is NATO these days is the word obscene, the true meaning of it, hellishly obscene.

    We have some belicose fundamentalist radical capitalists, who care nothing about the world they set their children in, as long as they can make money from misery, whether its the arms traders who suck life out economies, or the trader dreaming of another recession, hurting other economies as much as possible.

    Some of you pointed to the right direction to take, this country needs taken by the scruff of the neck and shaking, until, just as the sculptures of May Ayres depict in their raw reality and emotional welling, the head comes off.

    I like the idea of not voting, to end the piss take that is postal voting, an open invitation to fraud to any tribal community, the lack of ID required at the voting booth, voter apathy and disinterest in all things political are indications as to how such a campaing could succeed, add to this a few words about pensions that are frizzled away, savings that are loosing in value, earning nothing, and you might find yourself with a few million supporters.

    I will try my best to go and see that exhibition it sounds harrowing and accusing, intriguing and raw. Ta for the links Mary, you’re a star.

  • John Goss

    I’m having trouble posting a link about whether the world trade centres were hit by hologram planes and not real ones. I tried twice to post the link but I think it must be a hologram link.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray,
    I am waiting to see your thoughts about yesterday’s Dispatches where Tony Blair’s dirty business links have been scrutinised.

  • Osama bin Laden

    Let me just respond to the 911 topic by stating that none or you filthy conspiracy nuts should look down on John for believing in holograms.

  • mike

    Both the BBC and Al Jazeera are desperate to show that a) the NTC, as the “legitimate” Government, is winning and b) the war is a war of liberation. There are clearly quite a few people in Libya who don’t want to be liberated! Or maybe they just don’t like the people in the NTC and their NATO backers?

    Yesterday on Radio 4, we had several spokesmen for the NTC boasting about how they were all in favour of establishing a free-market economy. The plot thinnens, methinks.

    Liberating what, and for whom?

    Once again, can we ask: How many civilians have died for the sake of oil and “reconstruction”? And to think there are Lib Dems in Government at the heart of this — the guys who were squawking about the horror of Iraq just a few years ago.

  • DonnyDarko

    What NATO has been doing to civilians makes the Nazi bombing of Guernica look like a NATO humanitarian mission.Guess we can rewrite history completely now.It’s worrying tho’… the under-reporting of what the Govt doesn’t want you to hear.
    Do our airmen in the RAF truly believe they are protecting civilians ? There hasn’t been a peep of discontent from our armed forces.Guess they are happy being the bully and the US’s attack dog.
    Goebbels would certainly be a happy little camper in Cameron’s cabinet.

  • John Goss

    OBL, if theories were never investigated, the truth would never emerge. There are thousands of respectable professionals who believe the towers were brought down by controlled explosions. You’re not against investigation are you?
    Here’s another theory that’s just occurred to me, having watched Gaddafi’s supply of Semtex to the IRA (ITV 1) and Tony Blair’s world-wide business interests (Channel 4). Until now I could not understand why Tony Blair helped broker a peace deal in Northern Ireland when he does nothing but cause havoc, mayhem and death in the rest of the world. The answer to my mind is fear for his own life. He knew that the IRA had huge amounts of Semtex and in the past that prime ministers were targets, for example, Mrs Thatcher in the Brighton Hotel bombing, John Major in the Downing Street attack. So he went over and cuddled up to Gaddafi to stop him sending more Semtex and got the IRA to decommission weapons. It was not because he had any interest in peace as such, he just feared for his life. He admits he does not go to Palestine more often for security reasons. He is a coward. To call him a peace envoy is worse than giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Sadat and Begin.

  • Dan Ellis

    Mary, I think you’ll find the “Terrifying NATO cluster bombing” video is actually an arms dump exploding, at least that’s the opinion of many who’ve commented on the YouTube page. Cluster bombs look rather different. NATO have done some really horrible things in Libya of course, but I really don’t think this video is evidence of cluster bomb usage.

  • Aaron Anonymous

    John, Gadaffi’s support for the IRA was long over by the time Blair appeared on the scene, and wasn’t all that significant compared to their other sources of funding and materiel anyway. I don’t think the IRA had anything to do with Blair and Gadaffi. Much more to do with getting Gadaffi to give up his WMD programs so Libya’s people would be defenceless when NATO chose to pounce.

  • John Goss

    Aaron Anonymous. Good point about WMDs. But Blair would not want the arms gifts back between Libya and the IRA, and it is quite clear that the IRA already had substantial quantities of Semtex anyway, despite the biggest cargo being intercepted, so I am still of the opinion that peace for the sake of peace was not Blair’s objective in NI, so much as security for his own skin in Downing Street.

  • Pee

    What chance of turning round the views of my MP (Gorgeous George!)on ANY combat weapons never mind cluster bombs. I have contacted him about use of drones – operated joy-stick style from the USA (including by RAF pilots) – being unacceptable. He replied by saying that their use is line with international humanitarian law!

  • mary

    I watched the start of Miliband’s speech to the Labour conference. Just after he said that he was not Blair and was not Brown, BOTH GREAT PRIME MINISTERS,!!! the links went down on Sky and BBC. Serves him right. An ambitious career politician and a twerp in my book. I switched off and went out to enjoy the glorious weather.

    PS When he smiles he looks like someone from Wallace and Grommit. Most unfortunate.

  • Pee

    Oops, sorry John Goss….I was referring to George Osborne!! Makes sense to you now, I’m sure!! Apologies to George Galloway.

  • John Goss

    Mary, I’ve been looking at footage of cluster bombs, and ammunition dump explosions. Neither fit the bill perfectly as far as I can see, but I would err on the side of ammunition dump. Look from about 3 minutes 15 seconds into this video.
    We don’t know what weapons NATO forces are deploying.

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