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War and what (who) it is good for!

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Turk, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Turk

    Turk Rookie

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    Wednesday 02 August 2006

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket
    fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and
    are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Only the dead, said Plato, have seen the end of war. As true as
    this may be, it does beg the question: why? Why is there so much
    conflict in the world? Why are there so many wars? Ethnic and
    religious tensions have been casus belli since time out of mind, to be
    sure. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War
    ruptured a framework that held for almost fifty years, bringing about
    a series of conflicts that are understandable in hindsight.

    There is a simpler answer, however, one that lands right in our
    back yard here in America. Why so much war? Because war is a
    profitable enterprise. George W. Bush and his people can hold forth
    about the wonders of democracy and peace, and can condemn worldwide
    violence in solemn tones. Until the United States stops being the
    world's largest arms dealer, these words from our government
    absolutely reek of hypocrisy.

    Mr. Bush and his people did not invent this phenomenon, of course.
    The United States has been selling hundreds of billions of dollars
    worth of weapons to the world for decades. In the aftermath of
    September 11, however, American arms dealing kicked into an even
    higher gear. The Bush administration, in 2003, delivered arms to 18 of
    25 nations now engaged in active conflicts. 13 of those nations have
    been defined as "undemocratic" by the State Department, but still
    received $2.7 billion in American weaponry.

    One example is Uzbekistan, a nation with an astonishingly
    deplorable record of human rights violations. Thousands of people have
    been imprisoned and tortured for purely political reasons, and
    hundreds more have been killed. Still, that nation received $37
    million in weapons from the United States between 2001 and 2003.

    In 2002, the United States sold almost $50 million in missile
    technologies to Bahrain. In the same year, the United States sold
    hundreds of millions of dollars worth of missile technology, rocket
    launchers, tank ammunition, fighter jets and attack helicopters to
    Egypt. The United States has sold millions of dollars worth of weapons
    to both India and Pakistan, two nations that have been on the brink of
    war for years. This list goes on and on.

    Analyze the list of the top twenty companies that profit most from
    global arms sales, and you will see American companies taking up
    thirteen of those spots, including the top three: Lockheed Martin,
    Boeing and Northrop Grumman. These arms dealers act in concert with
    the Department of Defense; they exist as a sixth ring of the Pentagon.

    The Associated Press reported last week that business for the arms
    industry is, to make a bad pun, booming. "Northrop Grumman, the
    world's largest shipbuilder and America's third-largest military
    contractor," reported the AP, "said second-quarter earnings rose 17
    per cent, as operating profit at its systems and information
    technology units overcame a decline at the company's ships division.
    Raytheon Co., the fifth-largest defense contractor, reported
    second-quarter net income jumped 54 per cent, buoyed by strong
    military equipment sales."

    Beyond the missiles and the tanks and the warplanes, there is the
    small-arms industry. This is, comprehensively, far more deadly than
    the large-arms sales being made. A report by the American Academy of
    Arts and Sciences describes the deadly situation:

    Since the end of the cold war, from the Balkans to East Timor and
    throughout Africa, the world has witnessed an outbreak of ethnic,
    religious and sectarian conflict characterized by routine massacre of
    civilians. More than 100 conflicts have erupted since 1990, about
    twice the number for previous decades. These wars have killed more
    than five million people, devastated entire geographic regions, and
    left tens of millions of refugees and orphans. Little of the
    destruction was inflicted by the tanks, artillery or aircraft usually
    associated with modern warfare; rather most was carried out with
    pistols, machine guns and grenades. However beneficial the end of the
    cold war has been in other respects, it has let loose a global deluge
    of surplus weapons into a setting in which the risk of local conflict
    appears to have grown markedly.

    The Federation of American Scientists prepared a report some years
    ago detailing the vast amounts of small arms delivered to the world by
    the United States. "In addition to sales of newly-manufactured
    weapons," read the report, "the Pentagon gives away or sells at deep
    discount the vast oversupply of small/light weapons that it has in its
    post cold-war inventory. Most of this surplus is dispensed through the
    Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. Originally only the
    southern-tier members of NATO were cleared to receive EDA, but
    following the 1991 Gulf war, many Middle Eastern and North African
    states were added; anti-narcotics aid provisions expanded EDA
    eligibility to include South American and Caribbean countries; and the
    "Partnership for Peace" program made most Central and Eastern European
    governments eligible for free surplus arms."

    "Around 1995," continued the report, "large-scale grants and sales
    of small/light arms began occurring. In the past few years (1995 -
    early 1998), over 300,000 rifles, pistols, machine guns and grenade
    launchers have been offered up, including: 158,000 M16A1 assault
    rifles (principally to Bosnia, Israel, Philippines); 124,815 M14
    rifles (principally to the Baltics and Taiwan); 26,780 pistols
    (principally to Philippines, Morocco, Chile, Bahrain; 1,740 machine
    guns (principally to Morocco, Bosnia); and 10,570 grenade launchers
    (principally to Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Morocco)."

    We hear so often that this is a dangerous world. It is arguable
    that the world might be significantly less dangerous if the United
    States chose to stop lathering the planet with weapons. Much has been
    made, especially recently, about the billions of dollars in weapons
    sales offered to Israel by America. This is but the tip of the iceberg.

    It is, at bottom, all about profit. We sell the weapons, which
    create warfare, which justifies our incredibly expensive war-making
    capabilities when we have to go in and fight against the people who
    bought our weapons or procured them from a third party. This does not
    make the world safer, but only reinforces the permanent state of peril
    we find ourselves in. Meanwhile, a few people get paid handsomely.

    In the end, it is worthwhile to remember that whenever you see
    George W. Bush talking about winning the "War on Terror," you are
    looking at the largest arms dealer on the planet. We can pursue
    cease-fire agreements, we can topple violent regimes, but until we
    stop loading up the planet with the means to kill, only the dead will
    see the end of war.

    William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally
    bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't
    Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.
  2. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    Is that the noble cause?

    As an aside, it should be noted that the African continent is now thoroughly distributed with AK47s from the former republic. Once bankrupt, a superpower is forced to sell these assets to pay for subsistence. We could be a few years away from just such a dilemma ourselves at the current pace of deficit spending we are seeing. Another legacy of our overblown, out of control military industrial complex.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  3. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap Rookie

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    Where's Harry on this one?

    I believe we should all be allowed to own a gun for defense purposes, however, the knowledge that our gun companies make so much money from this carnage has made me decide that the world is far better off without the damn things, Americans included.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the 60's there was a sociology book a lot of us read, called the "Military Industrial Complex" by C. Wright Mills, for me it had a profound view on how I viewed the military and war. Profiteering is a dirty word, but a reality in corporate america involved with any type of military contracts.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2005
  5. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would love to see the elimination of "all weapons" yea right :singing: try doing it.

    Human beings have been killing each other since time began and will do so until the end of time, they will always find a weapon to do it with be it a club, a rock, a gun or a nuke.

    It isn't a Gun that causes wars, mostly it is the animal instinct to be "in power" and the big thing is "RELIGION" the Gods cause more problems than they solve, Jesus, God, Allah, and all the reast of them, they are Sadistic Bastards.

    What kind loving creator would start a civilization that in order for that civilization to survive they would be forced to "Eat Each Other".

    Guns are here to stay, if you don't want some piece of sh!t climbing through your bedroom window and raping your wife you better buy one. (because he will have one)
    :bricks:

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