ISIS, wars and war profiteers

This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet the 0.01 Percent: War Profiteers

26 October 2011

Help give your local Occupy group the tools they need to fight corporate power by sharing our new video with them and posting it on your social networks.

War industry CEOs make tens of millions of dollars a year, putting them in the top 0.01 percent of income earners in the U.S.

Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush made $22.84 million last year.

Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens made $21.89 million.

Boeing CEO James McNerney: $19.4 million.

These guys use their corporations’ massive lobbying dollars to keep their job-killing gravy train rolling. Last year, their companies spent a whopping $46 million on lobbying, corrupting our politics and ensuring that their bank accounts continue to fatten at our expense. These executives are some of the main reasons why we’re wasting so much on war instead of rebuilding our own nation here at home.

Help us fight their propaganda campaign to protect their profits.

CORRECTION: Lockheed Martin’s CEO is Robert Stevens. The video refers to him as “Martin Stevens” which is incorrect.

By Ben Cowles in Britain:

Gunning for revenge … and profit

Wednesday 9th December 2015

Appalling military decisions – like the one to bomb Syria – are made all the time, writes BEN COWLES. And to understand why, just follow the money

REVENGE, as we all know, is an ugly, irrational and cruel human quality that our parents try their best to warn us against in our childhood. Yet the emotion is so deeply embedded in the reptilian part of our brains that sometimes it’s impossible to resist the urge to lash out at those who we perceived to have wronged us.

This reptilian part of the brain is one of the reasons why terrorist tactics are so morbidly effective. Terrorism’s main priority is to use fear to cause the enemy to act irrationally, and to use shock to gain the attention of the world’s media and draw those who identify with their ideology to their cause. The death toll is secondary.

The attacks in Paris, whether they were carried out under the direct orders of Isis or by a group of twisted wannabe terrorists, were carried out to play on the fears of Europeans towards our Muslim neighbours. They want to stir up religious and ethnic hatred. They want Europe to rebuild its walls and keep out Syrian and other refugees. And as illogical as it might seem, they want Britain, France, and other European states to join Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against them.

They want this because all such aggression serves to propagate their ideology as the true Muslim caliphate, and as the only safe place for true Muslims. It might sound crazy for Isis to draw in the military superpowers, for surely they cannot withstand their onslaught and “accurate” bombs, but by their twisted logic, defending their territory against the European crusaders legitimises their claim as the defenders of the faith.

So how do the Tories and the Blairites respond to this? By dragging Britain into another illegal, costly and complex war without a clear outcome — exactly what Isis wants the West to do.

The clearest lesson from the conflicts still raging in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is that you can’t bomb an ideology.

In fact we should have learnt this lesson before. The fascists lost WWII, but their ideologies linger on with the likes of neonazis, Britain First, the EDL, and, dare I say it, Ukip.

Pretty much all the major religions which have survived into the modern day were once seen as profane ideologies.

Beliefs are hard to destroy, no matter how many are burnt at the stake, thrown to the lions, or butchered in wars — barring total genocide that is.

And so the Taliban is still threatening the lives of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Saddam Hussein never had any weapons of mass destruction [in 2003], but the instability created by the failure of the US and Britain-led coalition to rebuild Iraq helped create one in the form of Isis. Who knows what is happening in Libya? Since the white guys left the media couldn’t care less about the place. The all-too-sparse accounts from Libya tell of a country fractured by competing jihadist warlords.

The so-called “war on terror” has been an utter catastrophe. It hasn’t brought democracy (or even capitalism, which is what they really mean when they invoke wars in its name) anywhere. The only thing it has succeeded in doing is creating more terrorism, more inequality, more environmental damage and more fear.

Who has benefitted from all the destruction and fear? Well, apart from terrorism itself, that would be the capitalist elite. By using fear and exaggerated terrorist threats they have justified a suppression of human rights and civil liberties which — far from keeping us safe — has served to increase their grip on power. This has resulted in a mass despondency towards the political process and encouraged a depressing individualism from which unsustainable consumerism is presented as our only escape. Terrorism is being sold to us to in order to grease the wheels of the military-industrial complex, and war is what keeps it all in motion.

Another huge benefactor from all of this is the arms trade.

“War and insecurity,” says Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), “increases demand for arms, which means more money for arms companies.”

Proving this in its latest annual report, British arms company Chemring says it is “well-positioned to benefit from any sustained increase in demand as a result of the conflict in the Middle East.” The report cheerily reminds its investors that the company will be looking to take advantage of increased military spending in both Asia and the Middle East wherever possible.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) around 2 per cent of British and Northern Irish GDP is spent on the military each year, which is how much Nato members are asked to spend on defence each year. That would put the total figure spent on Britain’s military somewhere in the realm of £36 billion.

Smith reminds us that “the UK maintains the sixth largest military budget in the world, which of course means a lot of money for the arms companies that provide the weapons.”

These companies don’t just supply the British military but a whole host of dictatorships and human rights abusers.

The British government, acting as the middleman, strikes up contracts between the arms company and a despotic regime. Some recent customers include the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Myanmar, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Oman … the list goes on.

One problem with clients like these is that they are prone to corruption, and can’t always be relied upon to pay.

However, thanks to a government department known as UK Export Finance, this risk is underwritten by the taxpayer. It’s good to know your taxes aren’t being wasted on hospitals, local councils, welfare, the unemployed and immigrants, isn’t it?

The relationship between the government and the arms trade is not purely economic. CAAT asserts that the arms trade “enjoys a huge influence of in the corridors of power” due to its close governmental links with both the London arms fair (DSEI) and the UK Trade and Investment’s Defence and Security Operation, which was set up purely to promote British defence companies worldwide. “The last ADS dinner — the ADS is the trade body for arms companies — was attended by over 40 MPs from across all sides.” Also in attendance was BBC Radio 2 journalist Jeremy Vine, who was reportedly paid a five-figure fee for a speech.

Unbelievably, Rupert Murdoch’s own Sky News last year reported that a single Tornado bombing mission costs the British public purse around £1 million. Getting their sums from a Ministry of Defence military report from 2010, Sky News admitted their sums were pretty dodgy, but of course, they made no mention of the civilians (or even the “terrorists”) on the other end of bombs.

So, while we face austerity and increased cuts to welfare, while junior doctors are given a rotten deal and the NHS is put under increased pressure, while workers are attacked for daring to raise their voice in protest, while refugees, Muslims, migrants and those who oppose war are demonised by the mainstream media, and our human rights and freedom of information acts are in the hands of the most cretinous government of our lifetimes, David Cameron, the Tories and their Blairite supporters will have their war.

Syria is to be destroyed and the arms trade, subsided by the taxpayer, will have their profits.

Ben Cowles is a freelance journalist who tweets at @Cowlesz.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: GROUND WAR WITH ISIS WOULD COST 100 U.S. LIVES A MONTH Along with over 500 injured and a price tag of $10 billion a month. [NYT]

15 thoughts on “ISIS, wars and war profiteers

  1. On marches with Bertrand Russel against the bomb quarter of a million marched and nothing much happened the 15 of the 15 run the planet, politicians are all part of this racket globally and the human race are either not part of the equation and those who are the voting public are to brain controlled to comprehend they are all part of the evil.even the well educated do not get it.
    These blogs have long suggested what the article is about and still the public do not get it why? they are now so controlled they have become stupid.


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  3. This is a good article. However, donwreford: I am a voter so please don’t
    put me in the same category as those “brain controlled”! We all should be
    careful not to “paint everyone with the same brushstroke”!


      • The set up of those who are to be voted for are all part of the front that have no intention other than not what their policy is but their own agenda, here in Australia teachers, police and so on are declining in wages or wages are pegged but the cost of living is constantly rising, the politicians here having voted in a one and a half per cent wage rise, the ex treasurer Hockey who stated whilst in office ” to keep up just get a better paid job” these jobs are not their as they have been exported, also the negotiating system to arrange pay with bosses its obvious you are in a compromised situation and cannot negotiate as its not a level playing field.
        What is wrong withe capitalism is someone like Abbott whom has endlessly stated we are a decent society! decency is a constant utterance and was directed recently to the Islamic religion? as we are a superior religion meaning Christianity! only a few months ago the Liberal party stated it was OK to be a bigot? the hypocrisy within the system is rife, by the way Hockey who stated ” the age of entitlement is over” as may well know he had a salary as treasurer approaching half a million dollars PA as a pension, now he is a ambassador with a income of $400 thousand dollars, he will be getting just under one million dollars PA from taxpayers, this guy was preaching to get rid of entitlements? this is what is wrong globally? the politicians can not be trusted nor do we no right to not vote here, the political global situation today is not to be trusted nor are most who are the voting public.


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