As we continue to be regaled on all the news shows and across the Web with news of the Israeli depredations in Gaza--today Israeli mortar shells fell near a UN school killing at least 30 Palestinians, wounding many more, and staining the streets with blood--as we continue to be buffeted by this news, not to mention our own ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, let's reflect for a moment on what all this war does for American business.
Why is there any doubt, brothers and sisters, that business just loves war? Any war. Anywhere. Whenever. It's all good because it fattens the coffers of the US arms industry. You'll be pleased to know that the US once again leads the world in the sale of arms, after momentarily giving up its crown to the Russians. In 2007 it pocketed over $32 billion in worldwide sales, triple what the sales were when the vile little pretender in White House (for only another 14 days, God be praised) was installed into the presidency he had stolen in 2000. Figures are not all in for 2008, but they will include $12.5 billion in sales to Iraq alone.
Among the many other fictions that grease the American war machine, the arms trade is supposed to avoid countries guilty of gross human rights violations. Fat chance that is happening. (Hell, it that were true, US arms dealers would not be able to sell the US weaponry.) According to Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst for the Center for Defense Information (CDI), “The Bush administration has demonstrated a willingness to provide weapons and military training to weak and failing states and countries that have been repeatedly criticized by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations, lack of democracy and even support of terrorism.”
The CDI report is bad enough, but if you want more bad news, a collection of sobering facts about arms can also be found at the Global Issues website. What good can possibly be said about this wretched business? The entire trade is a "major cause for suffering." It is also "a major cause of human rights abuses."
It eats us up from the inside, like a swarm of loathsome parasites. "Some governments [ours in the US being one] spend more on military expenditure than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined." Think anything is going to change in 2009?