Flying the Flag: Arming the World

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Flying the Flag - Arming the WorldBritain is still a world leader. Indeed it has twenty percent of a world market, second only to the United States. And this industry is considered so important by the government that it consumes almost half of all research and development funds. Strangely it produces not consumer goods that people want, but machines that hardly any of us use or want to use. Moreover, for all its' preeminence, its' future is uncertain and depends to a large degree on secret deals with some of the most corrupt and brutal regimes on Earth. One of the biggest manufacturing industries in Britain at the close of the century is ARMS.

John Pilger and David Munro look behind the political rhetoric and discover the world of international arms dealing. Won a Bronze Apple in the category of 'Domestic and International Concerns', National Educational Film & Video Festival, Oakland, California, 1995; Certificate of Honourable Mention in the 'International Relations' category, The Chris Awards (Columbus International Film Festival), Worthington, Ohio, 1995.

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Ratings: 9.26/10 from 42 users.
  • df

    It's funny they don't mention the Israeli atrocities the Army does with US arms?

  • Hardy

    They NEVER do. It's just the way it's done in the west.

    This sounds interesting... Hopefully I'll get to watching this.

  • Hardy

    A great doc. A good insight on the weapons-industry.

    War is just such a ridiculous concept if you really think about it. This world could be such a great place, and weapon-productions wont get us even an inch closer to that. I liked the point made about what Britain could pay if they used the money for the military for other things.

    I hope future generations will look at our status quo as being the past, not the present.

  • Ambricourt

    That small privileged groups of politicians, administrators innovative scientists and assembly-line workers should dedicate so much intelligence and imagination to devising more efficient means of mass killing is one of the greatest mysteries of human behavior. John Pilger shows how routine the behavior is and how mendacious are the justifications.

    Although dated, this 1994 documentary points accurately to our future. By effective public-relations rhetoric, the "poisonous snakes" have become "terrorists"; the Saudis and Indonesians have remained loyal purchasers of armaments; Saddam, having spent Iraq's oil profits in the UK and USA, has been disposed of; and in 2009 Britain's Bae weapons manufacturers sold more arms than Boeing or Lockheed.

  • Isee

    Obviously a cut-throat,brutal,evil industry.
    No wonder they create war's, only to benifit from them.

  • Zalobar

    There was a study on a large Cattle Ranch. The cowboys were shooting burrowing ground hogs on site to protect the cattle from stepping in the holes and breaking their legs. The ground hog populations kept rising. The study of their habits revealed there is only 1 matting pair (alfa pair) in a colony when they are left alone. Start shooting them and they ALL start breeding. The students wanted to have a local colony to study so they fed them but in the trees where there would be no danger to the cattle. Many colonies joined together where the food was yet had only 1 matting pair for all the colonies that joined to form 1 larger colony where the food was. The size of that colony reduced itself in population and territory to reflect the amounts and frequincy of food provided. More food more often = smaller colonies on less land. Reduced food,= more populations on more land.
    Where birth rate survivals are low or survival is threatened the populations grow. Where birth rates survival is high and standard of living is higher and more secure. Populations growth rates decline. Mother Nature?
    It only makes sense then to help elevate the standard of living for everyone to control population growth rates.
    Wars, genocide and poverty gives the opposite outcome.

  • Ambricourt

    Through inventions causing mass destruction with minimal risk to the destroyer, the twentieth century was the most murderous in history. But world population at the end of the twentieth century was higher than at the beginning. Zalobar makes an excellent point.

    But a new element has entered into weaponry - biological and chemical malformation. Wars in Vietnam and Iraq have employed chemical agents that affect human genes.

    One consequence is that grandchildren of the Vietnamese warriors who battled US-led forces are being born with deformities and disabilities. Their parents born after the war seem to have escaped biological mutations.

    But in Iraq today the children of civilians exposed to foreign-made missiles and bombs are being born with deformities.

    Have weapons been designed so that some cause immediate next-generation mutations and others delay genetic deformation until a later generation...

    Until now no species on our planet has had to deal with this consequence of weaponry and war - not even Californian ground-hogs.

  • http://twitter.com/christvbible Christ versus Bible

    The British Establishment has relied on one form of military force or another for centuries, whether as private militia or as a national army, to protect its interests which has little to do with the larger question as to whether or not the public interest is being served also. The fact that a massive military enterprise exists, encouraged by rabid nationalism, is in itself not an argument that public interest is being served. Paradoxically the presence of a national army protects the interests of a minority of stockholders who own between them the real estate of a nation's economic power but fails totally to protect the majority of those who possess little by comparison from being robbed and murdered by wars often created by a rich noblesse, the elitist body politic of the military industrial complex, who operate clandestinely within Government beyond the reach of Parliamentary supervision behind the mask of the OSA. (Read the history of the Rothschilds for an insight into how this complex worls) The arms industry is run by dark souls, a criminal fraternity of the merchant and banking class servile to the ancien regime of royals, lords, barons, earls, counts and clackerwacks, who should all be deported to an island where they can fight each with their goddam WOMD until they wipe each other out.

  • http://twitter.com/christvbible Christ versus Bible

    The concept of individuals owning large chunks of land, huge slices of the commonwealth, vast areas of industrial acitivty and trade, massive control in terms of stocks and bonds, huge areas of natural resources, is a Neanderthal concept. While the concept lives on, given credibility by the Lords and Ladies of our Legal Profession who are there to protect systems of Government which keeps the concept aloft in its spired sanctuary, so do the Neanderthals. These are the Neanderthals from the slime of the jungle who have evolved into creatures wearing ermine and fur, gold chains and diamond necklaces, all because their ancestors have bludgeoned to death generations of land dwellers and slashed their way to the top where ownership of people is a mark of progress and cultural refinment. Their history is so disgusting it makes an ant have diarrhoea

  • ChefBryn

    war makes money.

  • bluetortilla

    'War is profitable.' I think that is a gross misconception. War is nothing but destructive and weaponry is dead-end production (no grisly pun intended).
    War can establish profitable markets for the victors, but that is war as a means to an end, the end being empire or conquest.
    The weapons industry may seem trickier until you realize that the nations buying weapons are using them on the same people that the manufacturing nations would also like to see under control, or when the nation provides too big of a bonanza to risk losing a stake in. Only when there is a shift away from these mutually 'beneficial' arms sales relations do we hear protests or see yesterday's 'ally' become today's 'bloody dictator.'
    It was General Butler who said that 'war is a racket' and talked about ways to make war less profitable. But rackets don't last, which is why every one of us ought to be gravely concerned. The stakes in war will inevitably grow higher and higher, leading to the second use of the atomic bomb. After that, unless we get rid of atomic weaponry all together, we have little chance of survival as a species.
    IOW I believe that if we don't evolve beyond war then this will not only be the end of the line for homo sapiens, but also the vast majority of life on earth as we know it now.

  • John Doherty

    1994. Really "Top Documentary" ought to show an advisory at the start of these "dated" documentaries. Doubtless they are an excellent source of historical fact, if I may be so bold, but should not be viewed as the current state of affairs. Nevertheless an excellent expose.

  • Poths

    !?!?!?! What has changed!? The personnel only. In place of Thatcher we have Cameron by way of Blair, warmongers all, committed to the arms trade. This documentary is a source of present day fact.