Posts Tagged ‘industry’

Canada to Ditch Troubled F-35s?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Canadian’s are facing austerity cuts across the board – wage freezes, slashed funding, and major reforms to pensions – yet the Conservatives seem hellbent on acquiring some fancy new planes for $9 billion. Or is it $10 billion now, or more?

Where are their priorities? With the pressing needs of Canadians, or with getting their kickbacks from the Defense Industry?

As CBC revealed yesterday, these jets don’t even meet the necessary requirements for jets in the Great White North. Way to drop the ball, Tories. (more…)

Sue Terrorist Backers Today, War-Profiteers Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Insurer Lloyd’s of London filed a suit this month seeking $215 million claiming that al Qaeda was directly funded by Saudi groups who, in turn, should cover the costs for insurance claims paid out.

The suit was withdrawn today, with speculation it will be refiled in a friendlier court. That, or maybe Lloyd’s bank account just gained a few zeroes.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s the precedent that is most fascinating. If you can hold someone accountable for funding terrorism, then someone might be held liable for the most costly form of terrorism ever inflicted on humankind – war!

Take, as an example, the fear and suffering caused by America’s policy of long distance murder – using remote controlled planes to bomb anyone deemed to be a threat. Right now, the thousands upon thousands of innocent deaths are simply being dismissed as casualties of war.

But get some evidence together – like ‘MADE IN THE USA’ on a piece of shrapnel embedded in some child’s brain – and you’ve got yourself a lawsuit!

All it will take is for one of these international death-dealing corporations, like Boeing or BAE, to be shaken down for a few billion of their war-profits. Then, no doubt, countless other ambitious litigators will set their sites on all of the world’s major arms dealing giants.

It will be glorious! Like a class action suit – the Military Industrial Complex vs. the Human Race – and the result will take away one of the financial incentives behind the drive to war.

Go on with your lawsuit, Lloyd’s of London. You may end up striking a major blow for the peace movement.

Take the Money Out of Building Weapons

Friday, September 16th, 2011

In Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain and many other nations, civilians are being violently subjugated by their governments. The western media will sometimes report on these quashed uprisings, but a pressing question usually remains unasked – where do these tyrants get their modern weaponry?

For the most part, the tools of dissident suppression – rifles, tanks, bombs and gunships – aren’t being made domestically. Instead, they’re being imported from any of the world’s international arms dealers, most of whom will transact with anyone that has the cash.

Of course, corner any of the corporations that build these weapons, or any of the politicians who deal with despots, and it is unlikely they will admit any wrongdoings. I mean, come on, who could possibly have conceived that an armor plated vehicle with bulletproof tires and a mounted Gatling gun might be used for human rights violations.

But why would you expect anything other than crooks and cronies running the arms business? When there is billions of dollars changing hands, you just know it’s going to attract all kinds of scumbags.

And that brings us to a simple solution to this problem. In fact, this idea has so much potential that it wouldn’t just prevent the Defense Industry from arming tyrants, it would actually eliminate one of the primary reasons we even have war on earth.

Enough building it up. Here’s the proposal:

A 100% tax on all profits earned from manufacturing the weapons of war.

BLAM! Take that, Military Industrial Complex. You can design and sell all the weapons you want, but don’t expect any more lucrative deals. Now we’ll see if “building democracy”, “fighting terrorists”, and “protecting civilians” is really all that important to the war-mongers when there’s far fewer profits to be made.

The Internet – Building Peace in a War Zone

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of the first steps in the peace building process is to open up the channels of communication. This is what social media has been doing in Afghanistan, bridging the gap between NATO forces and the Taliban.

Following a 20-hour Taliban-led assault on a NATO base in Kabul, the two adversaries turned their battle into a war of words via – what else – Twitter!

While what the two parties specifically discussed won’t garner any Nobel Peace prizes, the simple act of communicating is still a positive thing.  Just talking to someone can put a face on a formerly faceless foe. And anything that helps to re-humanize an enemy, even if only slightly, is another step towards resolving this conflict.

So keep venting on Twitter, guys. It’s far less costly than resorting to violence.

NATO – Beheading Civilians and Supporting Jihadists?

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Libya’s Rebel Commander Abdel Hakim Belhaj – the one who led the Gaddafi-ousting coup in Tripoli -  has something of a questionable reputation. If he weren’t the head of the NATO-backed rebellion, he’d likely sit on one of America’s terrorist watch lists.

The former head of a jihad organization with ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban, Belhaj recently told the NY Times that he was tortured and imprisoned for 6 years by the CIA. Whoops! Well, no hard feelings, right?

Still, Belhaj’s bombshell pales compared to that dropped by Former US Congressman Walter Fauntroy, who claims to have witnessed NATO forces storming small villages late at night, beheading and butchering the residents in a campaign of fear.

These allegations surfaced yesterday, and the story has all but dematerialized, which makes it seem unfounded. Maybe Congressman Fauntroy is just getting his affairs in order before releasing the video he shot.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m positive the vast majority filling the ranks of NATO – and the military in general – are very good people. But NATO is just another face of the Military Industrial Complex. And this makes it something to be mistrusted and heavily scrutinized.

Consistently, wars are sold to the public for one reason or another – to protect civilians, to defeat terrorists, to ensure freedom – but they always end up being about money and power.

See, there’s tons of money in manufacturing the tools of war, and there’s plenty more moola to rebuild nations, so that’s reason enough for some business people to want to stir up the pot.

But armed conflict goes deeper.

For one, multinational corporations get to divvy up the juicy resources from the vanquished nations. They can also use the opportunity to privatize anything useful from the public commons. On top of this, the successful invaders get to pick the new leaders, like this Belhaj goon, who could end up selling out their own people to foreign interests.

Hey! Here’s an idea! Why not open up the war machine to transparency?

If what the defense industry people are doing is so entirely just, then let everyone see what happens in a war zone. Show us how much it’s costing, and what is being done on a day to day basis. Film the atrocities, and see if the public can stomach what is being done in their name.

No? Can’t do it? Well then, the whole stinking thing is a RACKET!!!

9/11 – A Legacy of Terror

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

If you’re like me, then you’ve already grown weary from the plethora of 9/11 stories that have surfaced for the 10th anniversary. So I’ll keep this one brief.

Terrorists win when the response they provoke does more damage than the initial attack. In this sense, America has lost, and is continuing to lose badly, ever since September 11, 2001.

Just look at what is happening in New York this weekend – security stops everywhere, fully automatic weapons menacing the street corners, an entire city on edge – it’s a veritable police state. That ain’t freedom, nor is it a state of being worth protecting.

And look at what the American military has been doing in response to the attacks: trillion dollar wars costing millions of lives, campaigns of terror all around the world, and an economy that is threatening to collapse.

All this from a single event, albeit a high profile one. And, apart from some superficial changes,  America is no more secure than they were a decade ago.

So what happens the next time a bomb goes off… will American’s withdraw even deeper into their shell, selling off any remaining liberties in a desperate bid for the illusion of more security?

Or will the US population finally learn from their decade long folly see that the most effective way to deal with terrorists is with defiance – simply ignore them as best you can and go on living life to the fullest.

End of Israel’s Atrocities?

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Later this month, it is expected that the United Nations will vote in Palestine as a new member nation, based on the 1967 borders. When this happens, Israel’s current occupation of Palestinian land will be officially illegal in the eyes of the international community.

In preparation, Israel’s military – the IDF – has been handing out tear gas and stun grenades to civilians, anticipating the coming demonstrations from the newly freed Palestinians. But what they should really be preparing for are the economic sanctions coming from the rest of the world in response to Israel’s decades long record of human rights violations.

For example, a recently leaked cable exposes the IDF’s willingness to use ‘harsh measures’ upon peaceful Palestinian protestors. Another story reveals how the State of Israel consistently tortures confessions from Palestinian children, as if that’s going to earn them any love from the world.

Sure, Israel still has the support of the US and its taxpayers, who, over the past 10 years, have subsidized every 5-person Israeli family the staggering sum of $200,000. And, of course, the US has been urging the UN to stall the upcoming vote, not that the UN intends on listening.

But the US is waning as the world’s superpower, and without their giant ally overseas to protect them, Israel is fast finding itself alone, surrounded by enemies while facing a huge upswell of dissension from within.

It won’t be long until the State of Israel has no choice but to capitulate to mounting pressure from the globe, forever ceasing their crimes against humanity. What a glorious day this will be for the world’s peace movement.

When Terrorists Win

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

(These sirens are damned annoying. How does one opt out?)

Bin Laden sought to destroy America by bankrupting it. With a wavering economy and foreign debt broaching $15 Trillion, it seems the United States may have succumb to the deceased Face of Terror’s devious plan.

This is precisely how the terrorists win – by provoking a response from society that ultimately does far greater harm than the initial attack.

Unfortunately, as the decade long failure known as the War on Terror can attest, there is little we can do to directly prevent terrorism. For as long as humans are free, some might choose to hurt other people for whatever stupid reason.

But that doesn’t mean we should give up our liberties. Especially not for a predominantly trivial threat, like terrorism, which kills about the same number of people as bathtubs.

Instead of running for the hills every time some bad guy says boo, we can just accept that getting-exploded-by-some-ideological-douchebag is just one more item in a long list of things that can kill us.

This way, we’ll have more energy to focus towards a broader approach to terrorism, attacking the underlying social issues, like poverty, which foster violent extremism.

Surveillance State Protects the Status Quo

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Monday’s analysis of Glenn Greenwald’s poignant think piece noted how the money-wasting domestic spying and security system we’ve been creating is used not to prevent terrorism, but rather, to stifle dissent and keep protesters under wraps.

Following on that note, today Sarah Jaffe added her voice to the growing list of names – many of whom she quotes in her article – who feel the surveillance state is being used to protect the interests of the ultra-rich.

“As a global protest movement rises and spreads within the US,” writes Jaffe, “expect surveillance tactics honed in the ‘war on terror’ to be used in the defense of wealth.”

Have no doubt – the powers that be are trying to set up some sort of big brother network. Many of the people involved don’t see the real threat it poses. But some of them do, because they plan to use this growing police state to try and stop the great social revolution which has already begun.

But humanity WILL NOT be so easily enslaved. Resourceful and clever, humans will always find ways to beat the system. The more the ruling powers try to crack down, the more people will be drawn together.

Things might get scary as this global struggle comes to a head. But when all is said and done, a democratic and prosperous world of peace will be in our hands.

Defense Industry is Decade’s Biggest Scam – Greenwald

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Outspoken author Glenn Greenwald put out a provocative piece today called The Decade’s Greatest Scam which outlines the absurdity of spending billions of dollars to fight terrorism – a threat that kills the same number of people who die drowning in a bathtub each year.

Greenwald says these industries are exploiting the people’s irrational fear as a for-profit business:

Exaggerating, manipulating and exploiting the Terrorist threat for profit and power has been the biggest scam of the decade; only Wall Street’s ability to make the Government prop it up and profit from the crisis it created at the expense of everyone else can compete for that title.

Nothing has altered the mindset of the American citizenry more than a decade’s worth of fear-mongering. So compelling is fear-based propaganda, so beholden are our government institutions to these private Security State factions, and so unaccountable is the power bestowed by these programs, that even a full decade after the only Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, its growth continues more or less unabated.

The author also points out how most of these new security measures will ultimately be used not for protection against terrorism, but rather, as tools used to subdue uprisings and keep the people down:

The Security State has little to do with addressing ostensible Terrorist threats, it has much to do with targeting perceived domestic and political threats, especially threats brought about by social unrest from austerity and the growing wealth gap.

The prime aim of the growing Surveillance State is to impose domestic order, preserve prevailing economic prerogatives and stifle dissent and anticipated unrest.

The Western World has been fighting the war on terror for ten years, costing tremendous amounts of blood and treasure, not to mention liberty and freedom.

And what has been the result? Death and chaos.

If we really want more security in our world, maybe it’s time to try something else besides wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on the tools of war.

How about investing some of these funds into programs that alleviate poverty and strengthen communities? Then we’ll see which method works better to stabilize societies, resolve conflicts and build a peaceful planet.