Dad's Army Hits Jordan: Where Do Arms Dealers, Prince Andrew and the "Axis of Evil" Mingle? Andrew Gilligan Finds Them All at a Trade Fair. (Features)

By Gilligan, Andrew | New Statesman (1996), October 28, 2002 | Go to article overview

Dad's Army Hits Jordan: Where Do Arms Dealers, Prince Andrew and the "Axis of Evil" Mingle? Andrew Gilligan Finds Them All at a Trade Fair. (Features)


Gilligan, Andrew, New Statesman (1996)


The Tomahawk cruise missile salesman watched as a group of Iraqis, in identikit Ba'ath Party uniforms and Saddam moustaches, wandered past his marketing pavilion. "Have they dropped by the stand yet?" I asked, innocently. "No, sir," said the man, giving the single-forefinger gesture to the retreating Iraqis.

Welcome to Amman, Jordan, and to the Special Operations Forces Exhibition (Sofex). Even for a trade famously unfastidious about the people it mixes with, this was an unusually inclusive occasion. Apart from North Korea, every single member of President Bush's "axis of evil", "states of concern" and "sponsors of terrorism" clubs was down at Sofex, chequebookinpocket. Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan and Iraq - they all sent official delegations to see, and possibly to buy. On the other side were the sellers: Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia- and, biggest of all, Britain.

The juxtapositions were weird, to say the least. The cruise missile salesman face to face with the people his missiles will almost certainly soon be fired at. Prince Andrew, head of the British delegation, in the same hospitality tent as Saddam Hussein's cousin. Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, at the same drinks reception with the fractionally less well-known British defence procurement minister, Lord Bach. Jordan's ruler, King Abdullah, an engaging figure in combat gear, clamberingup the sides of tanks man altogether better-received performance than that of our own dreary royal.

Britain's reaction to the Iraqi presence was, I am happy to report, in the finest traditions of Whitehall sang-froid. From Prince Andrew down, senior members of the UK delegation simply pretended that they did not exist. This masterful tactic survived even physical contact with the said Iraqis - when a group of them barged into the edge of the Prince's party as he left the hall occupied by a Jordanian defence company, KADDB. ("It's the Iraqis, Sir," said one of Andrew's handlers. "Oh God, the Iraqis!" said the Prince, and looked quickly in the opposite direction.) After the incident, which was witnessed by a colleague, the prince's press secretary gamely denied that an official Iraqi delegation was even present at the fair. This line became a little trickier to sustain when it emerged that Iraq was listed as an official attendee on Sofex's own website.

Never mind, even the Ministry of Defence could not dispute that the British stand existed. It took up an entire corner of the main exhibition hall, complete with a little stage on which people in military uniform acted brief playlets about rescuing hostages, storming buildings, capturing terrorists and all the other things made possible by the excellent products of Britain's world-class defence industry. Bizarrely, the performers were serving members of the British army seconded to the "defence demonstrationteam", travelling the world's trade fairs for Queen, country and the balance of payments. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Dad's Army Hits Jordan: Where Do Arms Dealers, Prince Andrew and the "Axis of Evil" Mingle? Andrew Gilligan Finds Them All at a Trade Fair. (Features)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.