Control Arms

© Giovanni Diffidenti/Oxfam

The annual military spending in the world is 975,000,000,000 dollars.
The turnover of the top 100 companies in the field (excluding China) is 236,000,000,000 dollars.
In a year 8 million fire arms are produced. In a year half a million people die from fire arms.

The United States accounts for almost half of world expenditure.
The percentage of civil victims in armed conflict has reached 95% and to a great extent itís the children who die. If the United States construct half the arms in the world and if most of the dead are civilians, how many children are killed by American bombs?

If the result, the war dividend, is the death of civilians, then being a soldier has become a safe career.

A soldier is armed to protect himself not to fight. The civilian is undefended. Itís normal that they get the worst outcome. And if a civilian is bombed from on high, he has no chance. This is the United States tradition: Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq, and so on.

But even here at home in the second world war with tons of bombs on the cities and scores of thousands of dead never recorded (why?): Turin, Rome, Naples, Treviso, Genoa, Florence, Milan (Iím publishing a photo of the children killed there in the school of Gorla) .


Anyway the Pentagon is continuing to move forward with its 127,000,000,000 dollar project called: ďFuture Combat SystemsĒ to construct robot soldiers. Amnesty International, together with Oxfam and IANSA 2 years ago started their Controlarms Campaign. It is working towards an international treaty on the sale of light arms, to be approved at the United Nations summit on 26 June 2006 in New York. Since the campaign started they have been collecting signatures and photos on

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:30 AM in | Comments (12)
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How WTO could accepts rules limiting medicine exports to poor countries? WBR LeoP

Posted by: Marina | January 30, 2007 11:00 PM

the tragedy that befell italy during world war 2
is virtually unknown and very covered up. my great grandmother was killed by american bombers in the abruzzo after italy had surrendered. if the iranian president can be faulted on his knowledge of nazi history we in america are brainwashed to never know any other point of view. to americans all italians are in the mafia, arabs are terrorists, hispanics are gangsters and germans are nazis. the sordid history of bombing civilian targets in asymetrical warfare is nothing short of genocide and terrorism. the war criminals and the media that covers up these crimes should be brought to justice.

Posted by: roberto di scipio | June 12, 2006 05:28 PM

Is Your Entire Country On Crack?

Speaking as a Canadian who is fond of judicious language, I feel that this situation deserves careful and measured thought. So let me just open with:

Is your entire f*cking country on crack??? Are all you Americans out of your cotton picking minds??? Are you completely freaking delusional? Homicidal? Psychotic? Have you lost any shred of a moral compass? WHAT IN THE NAME OF JESUS H. CHRIST ON A CRUTCH IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!!!

Let me offer up one small datum which may completely change the equation for you: According to the CIA (If they have any credibility left.) Iran is at least five years away from a nuclear weapon.

Five years.

Five years is time for diplomacy to accomplish a hell of a lot.

I would also point out that the Atomic Energy Commission, various other international bodies and other inspections have essentially found no sign that Iran is even working on a nuclear weapon.

The only actual evidence that Iran has anything close to nuclear weapons technology is blueprints *that the CIA gave to them!*

Have you all forgotten that the evidence on Iraq was spectacularly wrong? Have you all ignored the fact that it was fabricated? Why then are we going down the exact same road of stage managed, fabricated pseudo-evidence and wild-ass hysteria?

What is wrong with you people?

This entire crisis has been manufactured, and has been years in the making.

Stop and think back five years. What did we have five years ago? A moderate reformist Iranian government making overtures to the United States, rebuilding its relationship with Europe, liberalizing its society, and modernizing its economy.

9/11 comes along, the Iranians are overflowing with sympathy. Mass candlelit vigils are held in Tehran. Iran offers aid and cooperation.

Iran hates the Taliban who have executed Iranian diplomats and massacred Afghan Shiites. Iran hates Saddam Hussein. Iran hates Al Qaeda which is a Sunni Fundamentalist organization which declares Shiites infidels and subhuman.

Iran shares its intelligence with America - they even arrested Taliban members and handed them over to US custody.

So we've got the Iranian spring; things are finally going to sort out.

And what happens? The Bush administration rebuffs every Iranian overture and does its best to instigate a cold war. Afghanistan is invaded, and suddenly, the Iranians are looking at American troops and allies on their eastern border. Then Iraq is invaded, and American troops and allies on their western border. Then bases and treaties in Uzbekistan, and whoops, there's more American troops and allies on the northern border. The Persian Gulf is filled with American warships and carrier fleets.

Now the Iranians are surrounded. And the tough talk is constant. Iran is part of the 'Axis of Evil' and Americans tell each other "Baghdad, humph, real men go to Tehran." Essentially, America has been threatening military action against Iran for the last five years, and has surrounded the country on every side with troops, bases and allies.

American aircraft invade Iranian airspace regularly, American special forces undertake operations inside Iran and Americans regularly accuse Iranians of interference in Iraq.

Dick Cheney pontificates about Israel bombing Iran *after he has just handed over to Israel the long range bombers and bunker busting bombs* required to do the job.

Meanwhile, the United States undertakes economic warfare against Iran, interfering with its business dealings with third party countries, trying to scuttle a pipeline deal with India, and it goes on and on. The hysteria about the Iranians nuclear program is just more of the same.

Now how in God's Bloody Name do you think the Iranians are going to respond to that. Should they concede the nuclear program, abandon their pipeline project? If so, its not going to do them any good. America will just seek more concessions. Each surrender will be met by new demands. This isn't hard to figure out. It's exactly what Bush did with Iraq.

Perhaps overtures, good will gestures, trying to act like a peaceful nation. Did all those things, doesn't matter. The Bush administration is still on a collision course.

So, the Mullahs are concerned that they're faced with a homicidal crazy state, the Iranian people are scared. When people are scared and faced with an aggressive warmongering power which keeps threatening to attack them, continually trespasses on its borders and is undertaking economic warfare... who the hell are they going to elect? Ahminajad may be a crazy bastard, but you assholes, you utter assholes did every thing you could to elect him short of donating 50,000 Diebold machines and mailing his party the trapdoor codes.

So, having pursued a psychotically aggressive course, you've backed Iran into a corner, and engineered a regime which refuses to back further.

And *you* are the victims in all this? *You* are the ones under threat? It's *self defense*????

And of course, you goofily believe that you can just bomb or nuke Iran with impunity?

Holy Microeconomic Theory Batman! Iran's nuclear facilities are distributed across the country and in hardened sites near population centers. So any strike that cripples a significant portion of Iran's nuclear capacity will inevitably be so large and kill so many people that its going to be tantamount to inviting full scale war.

Think about that. Iran is 70 million people, an area five times the size of Iraq, not disemboweled by 12 years of sanctions and air raids. On the other side of the coin, America's ground army is busted and tied down in Iraq. There's no troops to throw at a major Iranian military force, so you have to hope that bombing will do the trick. The occupation forces in Iraq are in occupation and not territorial defense mode. And Iraq is 65% Shiites who are probably not going to be happy that you're blowing up their brother Shiites. Meanwhile, the Strait of Hormuz is so narrow that sinking one supertanker will block it indefinitely, and Iran borders the straight on three sides. Block Hormuz and any naval groups inside the Persian Gulf are trapped there. Any naval groups outside the Persian Gulf are trapped outside. Forget about any oil coming out of the Persian Gulf from Iraq, Kuwait, Quatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Think about what

In short its so appallingly stupid and colossally risky, that I can see why your idiots in charge might consider using nuclear weapons. But throw a few nukes around and see how the rest of the world reacts? Every dirt-wad country is going to be mortgaging the Presidential palace to get its own nuclear deterrent from Pakistan or North Korea. How do you feel about the Indonesian Bomb, the Malaysian Bomb, the Thai Bomb, the Myanmar Bomb, the Algerian Bomb, the Saudi Bomb, the Egyptian Bomb, the Brazilian Bomb, the Argentine Bomb, the Venezuelan Bomb, the Cuban Bomb, the Japanese Bomb, the Canadian frigging Bomb. You are no longer trustworthy. North Korea, always borderline psychotic is going to be mondo difficult to deal with. You've just guaranteed yourself a full fledged nuclear arms race, balls to the wall with both Russia and China, and quite possibly Europe.

And of course there's no guarantee that the rest of the world will allow this. Do you want an armed standoff with the Russians. Suppose they 'loan' their finest interceptor jets, pilots and radar systems to the Iranians... Do you want to meet *that* on a bombing raid? And if you do meet *that* what are you going to do when half your planes are blasted out of the skies conducting an illegal raid on civilian populations in a foreign country? Cry? Send a harsh note?

Launch a first strike?

What happens if the Chinese decide to hold Taiwan and South Korea hostage? What do you do? Back off Iran or sell out East Asia?

Hell, in that kind of standoff, someone sneezes and its not going to matter who launched a first strike.

Or would you like an economic standoff, say with Europe, or with Japan and China. Suppose that the Europeans or Chinese decide "screw the worldwide depression, you assholes are just too dangerous to have around." Trillions of dollars get dumped on the market, loans get called in, the bottom drops out of your dollar, its thousand per cent inflation and no manufacturing base and your own trade embargoes. So much for America.

I mean, its morally wrong, its stupid on every level. And yet here you are discussing why maybe you should get out in front of the Republicans on this, or planning your surrender to Bush. Why are you even discussing this?

What is wrong with America?

Posted by: need to read this | June 5, 2006 08:51 PM

Among the instructions given to the pilots the day before, the Gen. Eysenower said: ...And if you have to destroy the Coliseum, do it!
The day after, 1600 planes went to leave their bombs on the roofs of Rome. Like they did it in many other towns...Just to force the italian gov. to decide not to stay with germans.
- Why people don't talk about that? Ask Grillo.
Because, the towns distroyed has been done by our allies! Some times is better not to have friends.
Then, like they are doing now, they sent to us all the surpluses to save their face. Like they are doing now with other countries to save their image.

Posted by: blisco jaio | June 5, 2006 10:16 AM

War is always brutal, and must be refused. I can't understand why the most people are crying shame by victims in the civilian population, THAT'S WAR! There are not intelligent bombs and intelligent bullets. People go to war to kill other people, called "enemy". That's horrible.We must say NO to every war everywhere and always!
PS) Prince: I've never read the text from the letter too.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | June 4, 2006 03:11 PM

this is so sad, I dont really know enought to make a proper comment, but its got me thinking


Posted by: natasha drooney | June 3, 2006 02:41 AM

aboliamo la vendita di pistole ad acqua

Posted by: andrea salazar | June 2, 2006 10:22 PM

The book "White Male Privilege" details Lynn Swann's experience with racism.

Posted by: Mark Rosenkranz | June 2, 2006 10:14 PM

My mom was near Gorla and Precotto when that bombardment happened and she later saw all the corpses.
You guys don't want to know what she told me about that.
What I want to say is that atrocities were made from both ends and what we usually know is only what the enemy did.
Whoever talks about what happened on this side of the fence would be either a Nazi or a Commie.
By the way: anybody knows what was written in the letter that Amadinejad wrote to Bush?
Maybe I missed it but I don't recall having read any of that text anywhere.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | June 2, 2006 06:09 PM

I am considering how many of us knew these numbers? Where these can be read in a daily environment? Any place where we can adv these numbers? Any newspaper willing to donate space for these news? If we could have TV, news and radio in a certain day ALL reporting the same news we may hope to have an impact on media and thus to people. Only people pressure will bring these things to an end.

Posted by: Andrea Zaliani | June 2, 2006 12:58 PM

I am considering how many of us knew these numbers? Where these can be read in a daily environment? Any place where we can adv these numbers? Any newspaper willing to donate space for these news? If we could have TV, news and radio in a certain day ALL reporting the same news we may hope to have an impact on media and thus to people. Only people pressure will bring these things to an end.

Posted by: Andrea Zaliani | June 2, 2006 12:58 PM

gosh! if all this money were spent to create new source of energy instead of using oil and petrol and polluting the world, and feed the hungry ,may be we wouldn,t have war in the first place and children would have a better place to live

Posted by: eva kulnura | June 2, 2006 12:23 PM

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