US War Industry & Israel vs. Welfare of US Troops/Vets
James Petras has written an enraging article entitled “The Soaring Profits of the Military-Industrial Complex And the Soaring Costs of Military Casualties”.
Petras contends that there are two major beneficiaries of the major wars launched by the US government: one is domestic and the other is foreign.
The first is the US arms manufacturers. Their investors have been overwhelmed with profits during the past "warring" decade and a half!
The power and influence of the military-industrial complex in promoting serial wars has resulted in extraordinary rates of profit. According to a recent study by Morgan Stanley, shares in the major US arms manufacturers have risen 27,699% over the past fifty years versus 6,777% for the broader market. In the past three years alone, Raytheon has returned 124%, Northrup Grumman 114% and Lockheed Martin 149% to their investors.
The second beneficiary of so much US militarism is the Israeli regime. American troops by fighting and dying in the Middle East are weakening the “regional rivals” of Israel.
The Israeli regime is the overwhelming foreign beneficiary of the war [in Iraq], expanding its territory through its dispossession of Palestinians and positioning itself as the regional hegemon.
Israel benefited from the US invasion which destroyed Iraq, a major ally of the Palestinians; the invasion provided cover for massive Israel’s settler expansion in the Occupied Palestinian territories. In the course of its invasion and occupation Washington systematically destroyed Iraq’s armed forces and civil infrastructure, shredding its complex modern society and state. By doing so, the US occupation removed one of Israel’s major regional rivals.
Both of these entities have powerful US lobbies and they are working hard and together to keep the US in WAR MODE!!! While this WAR MODE destroys American and foreign peoples that doesn’t matter to these lobbies with their influential machinations. PROFIT AND POWER UBER ALLES, ESPECIALLY HUMAN LIVES! And if the wars, as they have been, are dismal failures, bloodbaths, quagmires, etc., it doesn’t matter to these two entities. They get their payoffs nonetheless!!!!
...The arms industry lobbyists pressure Congressional and Pentagon decision-makers to link up with the pro-Israel lobby as it promotes even deeper direct US military involvement in Syria, Iraq and Iran.
The growing ties between Israeli and US military industries reinforce their political leverage in Washington by working with liberal interventionists and neo-conservatives.
Obama’s HEALTHIER considerations to not bomb Syria or to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan “infuriate” (Petras’s word) the Israeli government as well as its lobby in the US and the “fanatical” (again, Petras’s word) supporters of Israel in Congress.
You remember Congress. The US governmental entity that has sunk to a 7% approval rating among the US citizenry. Maybe because it stopped representing us and is instead full out representing the armaments industries and Israel instead!
In terms of cost to the United States, hundreds of thousands of soldiers who had served in the war zones have sustained severe physical and mental injuries, while thousands have died directly or indirectly through an epidemic of soldier suicides. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has cost the United States trillions of dollars and counting.
In the face of rising domestic pressure to reduce the budget deficit and cut military spending, the US military-industrial complex and its Zionist accomplices are fighting to retain their share by eliminating programs designed to serve the health needs of active and retired soldiers. Soaring disability costs related to the recent wars will continue for decades. Veteran health care costs are expected to double to 15% of the defense budget in the next five years. The huge public cost of caring for soldiers and veterans means “bad news for defense stocks” according to financial analysts.
This is reason why the arms industries promote the closure of scores of Veterans Administration hospitals and a reduction in retiree benefits, using the pretext of fighting fraud, incompetence and poor quality service compared with the ‘private sector’. The same corporate warlords and lobbyists who clamor to send US troops to back to Iraq and to new wars in Syria and Ukraine, where young lives, limbs and sanity are at great risk, are also in the forefront of a fight to slash funding for the veterans’ medical care. Economists have long noted that the more dollars spent on veterans’ and military retirees’ health care, the less allocated for war materials, ships and aircraft. Today it is estimated that over $900 billion dollars will have been spent on long-term VA medical and disability services for veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That number is clearly set to rise with each new intervention.
The corporate warlords are urging Congress to increase co-pays, enrollment fees and deductibles for veterans, retirees and active duty personnel enrolled in military health insurance plans, such as Tricare, as well as limiting access to the VA.
The fight over Pentagon expenditures is a struggle over war or social justice: health services for troops and veterans versus weapons programs that fatten corporate profits for the arms industry.
As for the pro-Israel power configuration, any substantive diplomatic peace negotiations in the Middle East would end their naked land grabs, reduce or curtail new weapons transfers and undermine pretexts to sanction or attack countries, like Iran, that stand in the way of Tel Aviv’s vision of “Greater Israel”, unrivalled in the region.
Time to stop both of these craven, sociopathic, lobbying steamrollers of human destruction!
[cross-posted on open salon]