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February 21, 2007

Is This the War Boom at Last?
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

Via Faiz Shakir at ThinkProgress, a story about Gulf states looking at the security situation around them and "re-arming for the first time in fifteen years."  Boy, there's progress for you.  US manufacturers, we're told, stand to take the lion's share of the contracts (which is either an interesting commentary on the reality of our ties with Gulf regimes, the amount of concessionary financing we're willing to provide, or the quality of our weaponry -- you decide). 

How ironic that this won't happen fast enough to benefit the Administration in the current political cycle.  If only these governments had known a couple years ago how bad things would get, they could've ordered ahead.  Some key contracts to plants in, say, Ohio really would've been useful last year.

On the other hand, I know anecdotally of at least one Midwest defense-related plant whose local union members passed an anti-war resolution -- against the advice of their national union -- back when the war began.


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The war boom has been ongoing--and probably will accelerate. It's the American way. The idea behind getting more people into corporate stocks was to increase their support for profitable war.

The oil wars are paying off big time to corporations. Wartime annual profits have increased dramatically in three years from their previous levels (2002 to 2005): Top five US banks, up 82%; top five armaments, up 108%; top three oil, up 340% (!!!). Exxon Mobil, for example, enjoys quarterly profits of almost ten billion dollars; that's $107 million per day, or $1,250 per second!!!

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

"I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

"I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."

Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1939

As long as they are buying US arms it’s right!!! An example of classic recycling of armaments (that we love to ignore) coupled with a bleak outlook of another possible cold war/arms race (that we refuse to admit).

I have been to UAE. They have the money to do it and the know-how. Dig THIS: every police car in the city of Dubai is a BMW and it’s the only city I’ve been to that has streets lined in gold (the Gold Souk).
The UAE can simultaneously protect our ports, employ our manufacturers, arm our enemies, and ‘fuel’ our oil dependency. Conflict of interest, you say? I’m impressed. And very scared.

I am taken to the introduction of Why We Fight and (republican) President Eisenhower’s farewell to the nation (experts pasted below).

Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961.

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

(…….and later in the speech)

"Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war-as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years-I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.
Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road."

I find it ironic that this Blog - DemocracyArsenal is now praising the growth in armaments throughout the Middle East as a "war boom" side-benefit for
U.S. industry. I guess we should take heart that the " Arsenal of Democracy" will provide as many missiles, guns and defense systems that are wanted: We'll just make more.....

On a more somber note: the saber rattling and "chaos" threats for the Middle East neighbor hood (promised (almost gleefully) by Pres. Bush if the US is " defeated") has apparently convinced the local rulers to beef up their arsenals or better yet: - local rulers dont have a lot of confidence in the US Iraqi Strategy and want to be ready for the Regional Conflict War that's coming before the end of his term.

Byron G: ummmm, SARCASM features prominently in this post? If the overall tone didn't clue you in, the sympathetic commentary about anti-war resolutions should have. I know, I know, sarcasm is generally an inappropriate emotion for public discourse. But it is rather common in the blogosphere.

Take the Pledge

All Presidential Candidates should make pledges like those below. If they refuse, then you should refuse to vote for them.

1. No More Oil Wars.

2. Work for independence from foreign oil on day one.

3. No more wars for corporate profit.

4. No more secret deals for $4 per gallon gas.

5. No more Chicken Hawks promoting wars of choice when they themselves avoided combat.

6. Make government green--if you can't make what you have the most control over green, I don't care about your plans to make the country green.

7. No more torture.

8. No more lying about torture.

9. No more re-defining torture.

10. No more drunken hunting.

11. No more secret deals with big corporations to divide up the spoils before the war even starts.

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