a small island nation


Imagine a small island nation in a stable region of the world with very little in the way of natural resources. External borders are not in dispute, the closest nations are a sea-ride away and all are 'friendly'.

Why would such a nation throw a lot of money at defence?

Perhaps it’s paranoid. A peaceable small island nation (with very few resources) is not an obvious target for invasion or attack.

Or then again, perhaps it isn’t peaceable. If a country makes itself a lot of enemies it might well also need to make sure it could ward them off. With guns and tanks and high-tech fighter planes. A Trident missile might be useful.

The UK throws a lot of money at ‘defence’. Nearly $1 billion of taxpayers’ money is thrown at NATO, for a start. That's more than the total GDP of Indonesia - another island nation, incidentally. (But it has 4 times our population and a lot of highly coveted resources).



"Most of the money I make on the [Nespresso] commercials I spend keeping a satellite over the border of North and South Sudan to keep an eye on Omar al-Bashir [the Sudanese dictator charged with war crimes at The Hague]. Then he puts out a statement saying that I'm spying on him and how would I like it if a camera was following me everywhere I went and I go 'well welcome to my life Mr War Criminal'. I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that's fair."
George Clooney

Well, don't we admire the super-hero?

There are many mega-issues. One is certainly Sudan, but it’s far from being the only one. In deciding which mega- issues we put our weight behind, there’s one question that needs answering before any others:

gaza hit by more explosive power than hiroshima

A few days before he was killed trying to disarm an unexploded Israeli missile, Hazem Abu Murad, the head of Gaza’s bomb squad, estimated that Israel had dropped between eighteen to twenty thousand tons of explosives on Gaza since 7 July.

If Abu Murad’s estimate is right, then the explosive power Israel has fired on Gaza by land, sea and air so far is roughly equivalent to one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945.

the reaction is genocidal

The Zionist project from its very beginning was having as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians in it possible. The means for achieving it have changed with time. In 1948, the major effort to achieve it was attempted when half of the country’s indigenous people were expelled. More sophisticated means were used afterwards; military rule, discriminatory legislation and small scale ethnic cleansing operations. In Gaza all these means proved useless and therefore the idea was to ghettoize Gaza and hope that this would separate its people from Palestine.

gaza: the economic cost

- Almost 10% of Gaza's factories have been put out of action (Palestinian Federation of Industries)
- Most other industrial plants have halted production during the conflict, causing losses estimated at more than $70m (Union of Palestinian industries)
- About 42,000 acres of croplands have sustained substantial direct damage and half of Gaza's poultry stock has been lost (FAO)
- More than 9% of the annual fishing catch was lost between 9 July and 10 August (FAO)
- Unemployment likely to increase from the prewar rate of 40% (Gaza-based economist Omar Shaban)

the laughing stock of the lobbying act

Large corporates and trade bodies have the spending power for an experienced internal team and an expensive agency - and the connections that come with that. This gives them hugely disproportionate influence over policy. The meetings recorded in these diaries are the tip of the iceberg. There are also meetings with special advisers and others that go unreported.



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