Friday, August 19, 2011

The Real War Crime

Guest post by Anne Lavoie

Consider this: Lockheed Martin, GE, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Boeing are giant, wealthy corporations who have made most of their profits from war profiteering. Their wealth has come to them from a carefully laid out strategy conducted over many years, but the biggest payoff of all is close at hand  - fire sale prices on almost every public institution in our country, in every state and within the federal government due to the policy of Austerity. Hard to believe, but Endless Wars are simply not enough for these corporate Godzillas.
To get the full picture, realize that several of these corporations have deliberately and insidiously branched out from war/defense profiteering to becoming involved in nearly every public service the governments at federal and local levels provide, positioned to greedily benefit financially. They are wealthy enough to not just to have bought our federal government, but soon will be able to buy the states and anything else they want at bargain basement prices. The world is their oyster.
First they positioned themselves in the defense industry to profit from war. They then used their war profits, made from our tax dollars, to pay legislators to fund more spending on war equipment and supplies. Then they set up their corporate factories in nearly every Congressional district to influence the politicians with jobs and campaign contributions, again using money made from war profits, funded by our tax dollars. Then they had the audacity to use the same recycled tax dollars to get out of paying taxes on their profits, writing legislation and paying off our legislators to pass it, giving them tax breaks, loopholes, incentives, and refunds. They paid legislators to encourage and vote for war paid for with our tax dollars going to them, and gained more contracts to profit from those wars. We are now at the point where the country is nearly bankrupt from borrowing money for wars and paying for all the related ancillary costs to our society.  Even our Social Security funds went to them to pay for their wars.
They have not just stolen our democracy, they have stolen the wealth of the nation through endless wars conducted for their benefit. They didn't even have to fire a shot, not directly at us anyway. They let the 'enemies' do that, then made money with every shot fired, every tank blown up, every missile fired - more and more money for them as we replace equipment and supplies, not to mention the fallen soldiers themselves. Those war dead and all their suffering survivors are testament that theirs has been the cruelest, most hideous, and most selfish crime - death and destruction for corporate greed and power. A true war crime if there ever was one.
When you actually steal a precious Democracy and nearly crash a national economy, it is WAR in my book. A one-sided one that we have lost and they have won. These corporations are eager and waiting for the collapse of America so they can buy it up at bargain basement prices, then go on to the rest of the world to do the same. They want it all, and will get it, if we let them and if our paid-off government gives it to them.
Now consider this: Even individually these corporations are far and away wealthier than our entire country, because our country is $14 trillion in debt and mounting fast. Have you seen THEIR balance sheet? That's where our tax dollars went, so really those are our companies. They used OUR capital to make profits, profits that they don't believe in paying taxes on to save the nation. The Banksters are doing the same thing. Getting essentially free money and loaning it out at a profit. We all want that deal!
So I have a solution, and I don't care if it brings howls of derision. It is not to try to tax them. It is to nationalize all the war profiteering corporations, in the interest of National Security, of course. For once, let the government take on private wealth, not private debt, to save the nation. Then we can end the wars, liquidate their assets, resolve the debt immediately, and start over. If that doesn't do it, the banks can be next.
All's fair in love and war. This is War. And my dream. Don't wake me up!


Valerie said...

Great essay, Anne! LOVE your idea!

Of course, these huge corporations are some of the biggest Free Traders in the country. One of the worst down sides of Free Trade is that companies whose assets are nationalised now have the power now to take those countries to Court, sue them through the World Bank and demand compensation.

Thanks for your clear explanation of how insidious the road to corporate power has been in keeping these companies rich at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Like this idea, but it's like belling the cat. Who will be the first congressional mouse to stand up?

chipsher24 said...

You, KG, sound like Ron Paul.

chipsher24 said...

Sorry. Anne, it's a brilliant piece and proposition you've written. But truth be told, you have the very same sentiments as Ron Paul when it comes to this unspeakable subject. "Wait, my son/daughter/father/mother/sister/brother didn't die heroically but instead, for corporate profit?" Tough pill to swallow, but one that must be dispensed nonetheless if this country is ever to find dispensation.

Neil Gillespie said...

Thanks Anne, great piece that connects the dots. Its all about the wars, the military empire, and the banksters extracting our wealth and stealing our democracy. By comparison the others issues are just a distraction.

The Chinese don’t have military wars around the world. Instead they make business deals with nations to build big infrastructure projects or obtain raw materials. Its a major underreported story. Ironic that a so-called communist country is beating us at the free-trade capitalist game.

Denis Neville said...

Karen in her comment to Charles Blow in today’s NY Times, “Another hopeful moment: [Obama] bought ‘Brave New World’ at a trendy bookstore called the Bunch of Grapes.”


Bernard, Brave New World’s main character, talking with Lenina, asks,

“Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?” he asks.

“I don’t know that you mean. I am free, free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”

He laughed, “Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ We have been giving the children that at five. But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else’s way.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated.

Kat said...

Yes Anne, war is a racket. But you know, these corps have also found the welfare state is a racket. I believe it was under Clinton that a lot of these conmen started getting contracts to administer welfare programs (i.e. make it excruciatingly difficult to qualify and hope that recipient gives up trying). Ain't public/private partnerships great!

Karen Garcia said...

I was aiming for sarcasm with my comment. I guess it missed the mark if you were left with the impression I thought "Brave New World" was actually a hopeful novel. Actually, it is good the prez is reading it rather than, say, an advance copy of Dick Cheney's memoir from hell.
I was kidding about the bikes. Actually, my son informs me there is a whole hierarchy of bikers: grungy mountain bikers are never, ever to be compared with the elite street bikers showing off their expensive toys. I know nothing!

Anne Lavoie said...

Our American corporations might end up NOT having the last laugh, but America will be the victim too, again.

I can see the possibility that someday, when all those mega-corps get a firm foothold in China, China will cut them off at the knees and appropriate/nationalize all their equipment, technology, supplies, and buildings.

I'm not sure what would cause that to happen, but it would be a great opportunity for them, to have all that foreign wealth sitting on their nationally owned lands. Maybe the possibility of default in America would push them over the edge? Or too many military threats from America?

I admit I have an admiration for how China always keeps the interest of the entire nation first. They look at the whole picture, not just one part, such as military opportunities. They have been buying up vital resources around the world while we waste TRILLIONS in wars. There is not doubt in my mind who is smarter, and wiser.

If it ever occurs that China nationalizes foreign corporations, the demand of course will be for America to declare war with China. I don't even want to peer into that scenario, but I bet China has.

Neil Gillespie said...

"Mah deah, there is much more money to be made in the destruction of civilization than in building it up." - Rhett Butler’s famous line in Gone With the Wind, when Scarlet asks him how he has managed to do so well during the Civil War.

Thanks to the Catherine Austin Fitts Solari blog