No glory in arms trading as 'remembrance'

By staff writers
November 12, 2014

Despite, or perhaps because of, its history of war profiteering, the arms industry has only been too happy to exploit the legacy of those who have died in conflicts and to brazenly associate itself with their annual memorials, write Andrew Smith and Matthew Burnett-Stuart of Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Writing for No Glory in War (http://noglory.org/), which has sought alternative ways of remembering the First World War, and Red Pepper magazine (http://www.redpepper.org.uk), they point out that Lockheed Martin and BAE are just two of the arms companies that the Royal British Legion has co-opted to sponsor red poppy events.

In 2012, a newspaper investigation forced the then president of the Legion, Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, to resign over allegations that former commanders were using their connections to lobby on behalf of arms companies.

Kiszely himself told an undercover reporter, who was pretending to work for a South Korean arms company, that the annual Remembrance Day ceremony was a "tremendous networking opportunity" before boasting of the access it gave him to powerful people.

The Arming All Sides project (http://armingallsides.on-the-record.org.uk) exposes the hidden history of World War One. It tells of how a global network of arms companies fuelled war by selling a new generation of advanced weapons to anyone who would pay for them.

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