When weapons are to be tested, the Gazas become the casualty

Published: 30 November, 2012 07:32 IST | Arindam Chaudhari |

War has always been a tool to display a nation's military might. It is very easy to deceive the world during a war and to shift global focus from the actual objectives

War has always been a tool to display a nation’s military might. It is very easy to deceive the world during a war and to shift global focus from the actual objectives. When the United States invades Afghanistan or Iraq, the spotlight is shrewdly thrown on perspectives like terrorism or removing a tyrant. The majority never notice the underlying reason behind the invasion — to spur the global weapons trade market! Wars give opportunities to developed countries to test and showcase newly developed weapons.

Arms trade is a huge business and it is expanding — with the leading player being the US that invariably warrants rabid marketing and promotion for economic viability. Yes, that’s the word — there are no better promotional strategies for weapons than live demonstrations. And what can be a better opportunity to display the might of weapons to potential buyers than during a war? The desperation of US arms manufacturers to test new weapons is evident from the fact that US alone has more than 44 arms manufacturing companies with a combined sales of more than $200 billion!

The same kind of weapon propaganda goes on unabated in the Gaza Strip, where Israel acts as a testing agent for US arms companies. Israel’s bid to engineer the usage of experimental weapons in Gaza is gaining momentum. A new weapon is a shell containing white phosphorous, which causes terrible injuries. Under law, phosphorous is considered as a chemical weapon when used against civilians - yet, Israel is using it, despite having come under an extensive barrage of criticism.

It must be mentioned here that the arms that Israel uses are either imported directly from the US or are developed by independent American arms manufacturers or are built within Israel by a company, which invariably has stakes in/from a parent US weapon maker.

In the same light, Uncle Sam’s adventure in Iraq was a mission designed to set up a living laboratory inside the country to test America’s weaponry improvement. Whenever the US and other nations are ready with a fleet of new weapons, they create an Iraq, Afghanistan, or even a Gaza. War today has morphed into a testing ground for weapons, from where the great arms trade begins! It all started decades ago… and continues as Gaza burns! 

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