Monday, August 07, 2006

The Weapons Business

An article in the Jordan Times a few days ago disturbed me. It was about Israel’s weapon industry, and the gist of it was that their $3 billion a year business will probably be hurt because of their aggression in Lebanon. The supposed misfortune has nothing to do with the question of the morality or legitimacy of the war, but rather that there are two obvious failings in their weapons systems. The first is that with over 7,000–odd sorties by the air force into Lebanon, the Israelis were unable to accomplish the goal of destroying Hezbollah bases. The second is that the heavy civilian casualties in Lebanon have tarnished the Israeli reputation that their weapon systems are ‘precise.’ (Whatever ‘precise’ means when it comes to exploding bombs and missiles.)

Thus far the success of Israeli arms sales was based on the fact that their weapons are battle tested! A truly distasteful implication is in the phrase ‘battle tested weapons;’ sort of like surgical strike or collateral damage or friendly fire. As a human being I abhor the dispassionate claim that Israeli weapons, tested on Palestinian and Lebanese people, aren’t as effective as they were supposed to be. Someone should explain this to the wounded and dead Palestinian and Lebanese. I must now infer that newer, more deadly weapons must be tested if Israel’s highly profitable industry is to survive - weapons that will kill more people, or kill and maim more people more precisely.
ASH

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