As I mentioned my gf in the intro to my last article, I feel it proper to do the same in the intro to this one. She actually had no problem with the last article. One of the things I still love this wonderful woman for. She is open minded and always willing to discuss, not argue. We help each other evolve intellectually, mentally and emotionally. She remains the absolute best woman I have ever been involved with. Best woman I have ever met, as far as I know. So if anyone got the impression there was any form of conflict or dissension between us, that was my own error in poor wording. She has me completely- mind, body and soul. Nobody can compete with her.
For a number of years, the US has been selling weapons to other countries. Most notably and controversially Saudi Arabia and Israel. Each of whom are committing genocide in their own respects with the weapons we sell them.
Put that aside for a moment and consider the major claim used to promote these sales when presented to Americans. The major claim is that it creates jobs and makes money.
Comparisons. I’ll agree that it creates some jobs. Know what else creates jobs? Building and repairing highways and streets. Public infrastructure. We could provide child care to low income (or all) children and that would create jobs. I already wrote an article on how universal healthcare would create many thousands of living wage jobs while saving and improving lives. Each of these things would make our everyday lives safer from real threats, not imaginary threats.
What they do not have in common with building weapons? None of them kill people directly. Instead they improve lives, save lives and would create jobs across the entire country. Each one also has a cumulative effect of increasing disposable income in some way.
In fact, so much of building weapons has been automated that the number of jobs it creates is rather negligible. The number of people who can claim to be a new hire for such jobs is anecdotal. So much so that I have never personally spoken with anyone that has been hired to one of those jobs. Those are legacy jobs. Same people or families that worked them 30 years ago are the ones doing so now. Possibly even fewer. Far fewer jobs in health care or highway repair and construction even could be automated at this time.
Public cost, corporate profit. Now, as far as making money is concerned, that is with massive sleight of hand. The truth is that selling weapons costs the US money. At least, for you and I. Not for the military contractors, of course.
The ultimate fact is that the US gives other countries over $90 billion per year on average. Many of those countries use part of that money to buy weapons from us. You know, that’s what we call humanitarian aid. Not all the money comes back to us from those countries, though. Part of the money goes straight into the bank accounts of the corrupt leaders of those countries.
Yet to give countries that money, we have to remove that money from our own societal support programs such as infrastructure, education, disease prevention, etc.
In any case, the money we give other countries is borrowed. Which drives up the national debt. Then we have to pay interest on those loans. The total interest on the national debt for 2018 is expected to be over $494 Billion. So, to see the real effect on our economy, we must combine the interest plus the actual loan amount from our own working economy. So that is over $580 Billion removed from our economy on an annual basis. No, not all of that is a result of weapons sales but that is all money we pay in and get nothing in return for.
On top of that, the last tax bill gave a tax cut to corporations and the rich. That equates to unknown $billions more removed from the economy. Where does the money go? Corporate coffers. Stock dividends. Just announce the chance of another war, another invasion and watch what happens with weapons contractor stock prices within hours.
The problems with arms sales do not end there.
Safety? Another reason arms sales are promoted to the public is the claim that this makes us safer. If it makes us so safe, why is our military budget increasing by tens of $billions every single year? Why haven’t we ended any conflict we have entered in 17 years? Why has the “war on terror” resulted in increased terror attacks and massive social/economic disruption in Europe? Think they feel safer?
Marketing. The biggest problem with arms sales is how to maintain and expand future sales. Like any business, arms must be marketed. If a market does not exist, the producer must create a need or the perception of that need. So that means promoting fear. If a company wants to sell mouthwash, they convince you that bad breath is harmful to your social interactions. If they want to sell weapons, they must convince you that you are in mortal danger every minute of every day.
Multiple threats. There cannot be only one threat. One threat can be neutralized and compensated for. No, there must be numerous threats coming from all directions. There must be a continuous flow of money to thwart that threat. Diplomacy will not ease the threat, only force will do it. The level of force must be always increasing. The type of threat must vary so the populace is in fear at all times, in all ways. It does not matter if the threat comes from Syria, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Mexico, South America or your next door neighbor.
“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.” Orwell nailed it when he portrayed the threat changing overnight and most of the populace never noticed. We have no shortage of options being considered for the next conflict.
Syria. Just this week a Russian jet was shot down and 15 crew members killed. Which happened because Israeli jets were hiding behind the Russian bomber to avoid anti-aircraft measures. Israel has not been attacked or even threatened. In response, Russia agreed to send previous generation missile defense weapons to Syria, where this occurred. A DEFENSIVE system which cannot even be used aggressively. Yet the US claims this to be a sign of Russian aggression.
Iran. Iran is assisting Syria to defeat ISIS. Israel and the US claim this to be a sign of Iranian aggression. How does that equate to a threat to the US? It doesn’t. A threat to Israel is NOT a threat against us. Israel has never assisted the US in any economic or military method. They have no resources of their own which are of benefit to the US. Yet if they can be used as a rationale for further US aggression with the warmonger cult members bleating right along, that’s what will happen.
Venezuela. Venezuela is a threat to us how? Our government focuses on and threatens the country because of their Social Democratic government. We hear claims of economic disruption in Venezuela which began with US sanctions imposed because American oil companies objected to the nationalization of the oil industry in their own country. Does anyone from either party object to talk of military intervention against the Venezuelan government?
China. China is hard to abbreviate into one paragraph. They are the largest trading partner to most of the world at this point. Which makes them a threat to the oligarchy who resent such success. Could we simply stop trading with them? Of course but then how would we portray them as a global threat and sell weapons through fear? The economic consequences would be immediate and devastating. To us. For China, not so much as we account for only 4% of their GDP. China is expanding trade into numerous countries and offering loans for infrastructure development to enable that trade. This is portrayed as a threat in such places as Africa, where the US has armed forces in over 50 regions. China has no significant armed forces there but lots of money. Venezuela, whom China loaned $5 billion to develop their oil industry while we threaten invasion. The South China Sea, where the US calls their defensive maritime development to be aggressive. North Korea, where China promotes diplomatic and denuclearization efforts while the US issues more threats and continues highly expensive war games on the border.
Any one of these and more could easily be inflated by one false flag event into a large scale military conflict, justifying the never ending increase of the US “defense” budget, which I have attacked numerous times. Yet none of these countries pose any form of military threat to the US, any more than have Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan or any other country we have done massive harm to, either directly or indirectly.
As long as we have “threats”, the MIC will continue making money stolen from our own society. The elderly, the sick, the indigent. Money spent on bombs while school children go hungry and freeze from lack of heat, citizens drink poisoned water, roads and bridges collapse, cities flood and forests burn to ash.
But hey. Jobs, right?