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Economical with truth

One doesn't have to be Noam Chomsky to recognise that the "West" has a circular logic to it, one that has been cruelly exposed this week, during the G8 summit, and the scandal involving massive kickbacks for armaments.

The West - according to Tony Blair in his recent Economist article - is fighting a battle against forces that want to destroy our way of life and oppose our core values of democracy, and freedom. That's why, for example, we're in Iraq, hemorrhaging badly.

However, the West isn't based on democracy or freedom. Tony Blair, asked, beside a smirking George Bush, the other day, at the G8, about an ongoing corruption scandal linking money for weapons systems, said he couldn't have allowed the corruption investigation to proceed, as this was a matter of "national security." Though we in the West "elect" governments into power, once they are in power, they prosecute wars, destabilise foreign regimes, and support the global arms trade - and cannot be held to account (their sole claim to democratic legitimacy) - for security reasons.

What does Tony Blair mean by speaking of his concerns over global warming and African debt relief, when his support for the arms industry, and war, is one of the major destabilising forces in Africa, and on the environment? Or is basing an advanced Western country's economy on weapons an ethical, green idea, really?

The world these powers are mapping out for us is one of ever-increasing horror - a competitive market system based on regional conflict, sales of weapons, degraded natural ecosystems and resources, and mass suffering for the world's poor. We're going to need a real democracy to rise up and oppose this system.
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