Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Why do we need an arms trade at all?

NOW is the season for festivals, commemorations, celebrations and autumn tints.

NOW is the season for festivals, commemorations, celebrations and autumn tints.

Trees and gardens, hedges and rivers transform and for a while we might wish to linger just a few days more in the sun.

This year, however, we are surrounded by elections and news of wars and extreme politics.

For months there has been public uncertainty and distrust, twisting facts and figures.

Now, after the relief of Rio, we appear to be about to enter months if not a few years of this.

The voices of those attempting to flee horror and dislocation, the images of dead bodies and terrified children, the political games and lies and false promises and now the attacks on those who have arrived on the scene to deliver aid; we need to do more than hope and pray.

What are the questions we should ask, is there a real role for us in other people’s wars, what justifications might religion devise and is there a common factor in such scenes of slaughter?

A very obvious response is to spend time finding out why there is such a thriving arms industry. What is the state of the arms trade?

The major questions are obvious; what controls exist, how do they work, why do they fail?

Are we as aware as we need to be of the fact that current conflicts focus on civilians, use terror and torture as weapons?

As individuals we must surely ask more questions about the state we are in regarding the manufacture and supply of arms and never forget that for the children this will influence their thinking for the rest of their lives.

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