An electrician’s view of world affairs
We needed an electrician. He was an ex-Marine – as they often are down here. We talked while he worked, as one does.
He was stationed in Norway during the cold war – and he and his mates came to the conclusion that the reason they were there was to prove that they were needed to be there. “The real enemy,” he said, “is behind us, because every 20 years America goes to war. It has stocks of out-of-date armaments that it needs to use up and replace. Now, of course,” he added, “things are speeding up.”
Later, he was stationed with other troops in Turkey, waiting to go into northern Iraq at the time of the first Gulf war. Down the road were US troops. Between them was the local police station. One night the police station was attacked by the PKK. Next day he and his mates went to the area from whence the attack came – and the only shells they found were the very latest advanced armaments available only to US troops. “The truth is there,” he said. “You just need to know what to look for.”
There’s only been one genuine war recently, he added. “That was the Falklands War. The rest have been manufactured.”
On G4S he said, ‘Who is surprised? Anyone involved in securing sporting events knows the problem: how are you going to get trustworthy, suitable staff available for just a couple of weeks?” He told me about a solution used by one of the major UK rugby venues (they’re big on rugby in the marines). Off-duty troops were used. A few quid in hand, travel expenses and a share of any confiscated alcohol. “To amuse ourselves,” he added, “we picked on Sky photographers and reporters. Any equipment had to be kept within so many feet of the owner. We knew who it belonged to because it was labeled. But if the owner wandered a few feet over the limit, we confiscated the equipment and didn’t let them have it back until after the game.”
I’m not commenting. I’m just reporting…