Crisis, but not for war profiteers

By Mike Blanchfield, Canwest News Service in Canada:

Recession won’t slow military spending: MacKay

Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

OTTAWA — The global economic downturn won't prevent the Canadian Forces from spending $60 billion on new equipment, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the defence industry elite on Wednesday.

As he reiterated the Conservative government‘s ambitious spending plans for new military hardware — planes, ships and armoured vehicles — MacKay touted military contracts as a major stimulus for jobs in Canadian communities during hard economic times.

This is extreme Right voodoo economics (to quote United States President G. H. W. Bush just for once), Mr MacKay. Of course, the money going to the war profiteers now, will not go to other economic activities. Which will suffer, costing probably a lot more jobs than there will be in the war profiteers‘ corporations.

“The funding will be there, I assure you. It’s locked in,” MacKay told an audience of hundreds of industry and military representatives attending Canada’s largest security and defence trade show.

Yeah right. Unlike other funding, which actually benefits people instead of killing them, and which is not “locked in”.

Earlier this week, the finance minister said Canada’s deficit this year would soar to $50 billion, beyond the $34 billion in his most recent budget.

The report of MacKay’s speech continues, noting that he spoke about “the sustainable economic benefits” of throwing taxpayers’ money into the bottomless pit of war profiteering. Yeah right. MacKay is stealing the language of pro environment economists. However, the only thing “green” about wars is some of the military uniforms. Armed forces are destructive from an environmental viewpoint; even more so in ruinous wars.

MacKay said the government’s long-term defence strategy would grow this year’s $19-billion annual defence budget to $30 billion by 2027. Over that time, that will mean close to $490 billion in defence spending, including $60 billion on new equipment.

If Conservatives are still in power by 2027, then it may turn out even worse. And, oh yeah, cut the hypocritical cant about “defence”; as Canadian soldiers are not dying while stopping foreign armies from occupying Canada, but for pipelines thousands of miles away in Afghanistan.

That means [United States] American defence giants such as Boeing and Lockeed [sic; Lockheed] Martin, who have received more than $1.5 billion in contracts in the last 18 months must now spend that much money in Canada, he said.

How would Boeing, Lockheed, and other US war profiteers respond if McKay would ever try to make that pious wish reality, not just propaganda words? They will say that it is against “free enterprise” for big corporations; to which Mr MacKay and his party themselves subscribe.

The president needs to ban Lockheed Martin and all other government contractors that get more than half their revenues from government from engaging in any political activities at all. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for this lobbying: here.

5 thoughts on “Crisis, but not for war profiteers

  1. Iraqis detain 5 US contractors in Baghdad

    Associated Press Writer

    US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,311

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi authorities have detained five U.S. contractors in connection with the death of another American contractor in Baghdad, officials said Sunday, in what could be the first case of Americans facing local justice under a joint security pact that took effect this year.

    The body of Jim Kitterman, who was reportedly bound, blindfolded and stabbed, was found in his car last month in the protected Green Zone where his small construction company was based.

    It was an unprecedented slaying in the sprawling district and occurred at a time when blast walls are coming down and Iraqi forces are assuming greater control of their own security.

    U.S Embassy spokesman James Fennell confirmed that five Americans are in Iraqi custody but said no formal charges have been filed so he couldn’t provide further details about the detention.

    Embassy officials have visited the men to make sure they’re being given their rights in accordance with Iraqi law, Fennell said, adding “the men appeared well.”

    He said FBI agents were present during a search of the men’s quarters at the request if Iraqi authorities who are handling the investigation.

    Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal, a senior Iraqi Interior Ministry official, said the detained Americans were from the same company, but he declined to give more details because the investigation is ongoing.

    Although Americans and others have been killed in rocket or mortar attacks in the Green Zone, Kitterman was believed to be the first American ever assassinated there since the protected area was established after the city fell to U.S. forces in April 2003.

    Iraq assumed control of the Green Zone on Jan. 1 under a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, taking primary responsibility from the Americans for searching vehicles and checking identity papers as entry checkpoints.

    The Iraqis have begun removing some of the protective blast falls around the Green Zone – part of a campaign to restore a sense of normalcy as violence in the city has waned.

    Violence, however, continues.

    A rocket or mortar slammed into the Green Zone Sunday morning but no casualties were reported, according to the U.S. military.

    The attack came just over two weeks after American was killed when a rocket struck the sprawling area that houses the U.S. Embassy and much of the Iraqi government.

    Associated Press Writer Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report.


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