Having establsihed the notion that the fundamental motivation for war is to swell the coffers of the Military Industrial Complex, the changing face of war can be observed and interpreted, then for me the greed that is being demonstrated is scary.
Let’s take a step back. There were always human struggles, often pitching neighbour against neighbour, in the US these skirmishes involved the gun which became a survival tool through thr profiteering of the developing gun lobby. Despite evidence to the contrary gun profiteers continue to promote these as a need to survive yet logic and other international evidence points to the increased deaths because of this gun policy. This is one clear example as to how life is cheap when it comes to gun profits. But it is hard to expand gun sales on a personal level domestically, can we use more than one gun?
On a war front however it is far different. In the First World War whatever the real reason for the war, division of Africa by the rich, Europeans were killing each other. See this table at wiki, or this wiki article. The huge number of casualties in the Second World War can be seen in the same table, and details in this article.
By the end of the Second World War Europe was devastated and the Americans had stepped in as the new hegemony, their Military Industrial Complex fuelled the worlds’ wars and their government now controlled the global military. Some would claim that communists and the USSR were opposition, but I would claim that at least in the beginning communism was the fashioned enemy. Let’s try and examine some of this contention. Communism was the idealistic opposite of capitalism, that was clear. Quite simple really. The corporations provided the capital therefore they wanted the profit margins. What was in the way? The workers felt they should have the profits as they made the product. This battle for marginal profits was at the basis of the so-called communist menace. Following the Bolshevik revolution western forces attempted to destabilise the revolution funding White opposition, and generally creating a difficult climate for the Soviet Union to develop. Despite this, or maybe because of it, Stalin entrenched his grip on power, and although the Russian peoples were decimated during the Second World War there was still a communist power in the USSR. This communism did not have all the power it was cracked up to be in the western media, but it did have an important function – it provided an enemy for the MIC. As a consequence the MIC built up huge arsenals of nuclear weapoons deemed necessary to fight off this supoosed menace.
At the same time there was an actual face of war, the Secret War of the CIA, what John Stockwell called the Third World War. This was not a war on American soil, it was not a war where many Americans saw death. It was a war that was fought in the Third World. It was not a war in which the countries of the Third World were trying to amass an army to attack the US or Europe, it was simply struggles. The local people would try to build up enough strength to overcome their puppet dictators, and then in would come the MIC, together with their banking wing, and these dictators would be provided with the military hardware to continue oppressing their peoples. And the western rewards were cheap raw materials and a market for their goods among the military elites – and of course an improved standard of living in the West.
Vietnam marked a change in this. Americans died, a small proportion compared with the Vietnamese but many Americans died. And whilst the war media machine hyped up the need for military involvement, few Americans understood why they were there – most went through patriotism but when the war machine required conscription this caused domestic conflict. So even though the battlefield was continents away, part of the war was fought in the US. This was not easy for the MIC, they wanted their profits but that became more difficult as people died and Americans saw that war meant people suffered – in this case many of their own.
The MIC required that war theatres did not occur anywhere near the home front – Latin America was too close. Following Vietnam Latin America did become the Third World War yet despite Reagan’s efforts to build up fear on the home front few Americans were hurt and the profits rolled in.
Before I go on to the Middle East I want to make it clear that this is not an attack on the American people but I am pinpointing the corporatocracy, which is predominantly the US power elite. Many soldiers would be angry with me because they suffered – because their comrades-in-arms died. These soldeirs were people who had been persuaded by the corporate media, they had been told all their lives to be patriotic so when called upon they joined up. But this patriotism is based on lies. It is not based on saving the world for democracy – a noble aim, it is based on the profits of the MIC – that is the bottom line, not democracy. I want to be able to convince these soldiers that they are not fighting for what they believe in, but for corporations who are misleading them. Now these corporations are stepping aside from the use of military ideals, and are paying for mercenaries, soldiers who are being paid to fight for money – killers.
As for the American people they are no diifferent to people elsewhere in the world, such as the UK where I was born. The way people grow up in these countries they are miseducated reinforced by the corporate media to believe that their countries are generally good. When their leaders talk about democracy the people believe them. This saddens me as then the government-wing of the corporatocracy misuses the beliefs of these people to go to war to enable the profits of the MIC. This sounds so crazy, people just don’t believe it. And it is sad that they don’t because the killing will continue. It is up to people with insight to stand up and speak the truth, the way it is, the bottom line of corporatocracy, and then deal with the consequences of speaking this truth. Quite often when people are nearing this insight they walk away from the confrontation because of the consequences. This is sad because the slaughter of innocents will then continue.
Following the funding of anti-democratic forces in Latin America, the Middle East began to be seen as a profitable venue. It was already unstable with the seeding of Israel post-Second World War. The Palestinians had been ousted from their homeland so the MIC had a regular source of income to finance the Zionists and continue to oppress Palestinians. At the same time Israel could take a pop at Lebanon yielding useful income, but of course the MIC needed expansion, and enter Iran and Iraq. There had been a centuries old border dispute but that wasn’t enough so the CIA manufactured Saddam Hussein. His oppression of his own peoples together with the perceived US need to attack the Ayatollah created increased MIC finance throughout the 80s – becoming known as the Iraqgate scandal.
But throughout the post-Second World-War period the MIC had learnt that the Middle East was fair game. And they were now ready to finance their new toys – precision bombing, a hugely profitable war product. Now this product had so many advantages for acceptability. Delivering the bomb was unlikely to cause hardship to the allies, and the design in theory was to target a specific military objective. It was not supposed to kill people. And of course who was going to know? Only the Middle East countries themselves. Here is the theory. There is a war in which precise bombs are used, very few people die, morally (in terms of the particular lies propogated) the allies feel good, and there is another feelgood factor. The huge profits made by the MIC trickle down in part, and there is economic prosperity. It’s a complete win situation, except …. for the Iraqis who die. But there aren’t many who die – precision bombing so small numbers die.
So then there is a media debate about numbers of deaths and casualties. A polite man in a suit stands up and says a low figure. A hawkish man in a uniform laughs at him, and says a ridiculously-low number. Then a leftie stands up and says the truth, but this number is so high no-one believes the leftie. After all it is our government who is fighting the war, it is our people, we couldn’t be so nasty. OK there was Hiroshima – but that was the only way the Japanese could have been stopped. They were suicidal maniacs, surely Gore Vidal was wrong – surely the Japanese had not been seeking terms of surrender.
So at the moment the allies are in the Middle East – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. The war expenditure is phenomenal, and the war budget appears untouchable – as can be seen by deficit row in the US recently where war expenditure was off the table. Based on the insight that the war economy is integral to the maintaining of the corporatocracy, it would not be on the table – government expenditure cannot be allowed to eat into the profits of the corporations. Economically the military corporations are thriving despite what is happening to the American people. More people are pointing at the power of the corporatocracy, but for most people the recession and the state of the economy is blamed upon government.
But the MIC has expanded its purview. Now it is looking at profiting from reconstruction. In Iraq the allies have control of the government, there are reconstruction projects required to try to bring some sense of normalcy to the mess the allies have created of Iraqi society. So we have the corporations profitting from the weapons of war and the spoils of war. But it doesn’t stop there.
Halliburton for example also sells soldiers, private armies. The more soldiers sent to the Middle East the greater the risk of a backlash back home. But if the soldiers based there are mercenaries, then they are choosing to be there for profit. No risk of backlash back home. On top of that there is the problem of the Geneva Convention, how war is conducted. In this documentary about the conduct of soldiers there was an outcry about Abu Gharib. Soldiers were encouraged to break the Geneva Convention, but when such conduct became politically hot these soldiers were sacrificed and imprisoned. At least Donald Vance, a whistleblower mercenary, is standing up (whatever his agenda) and pointing to Donald Rumsfeld as the source of this torture (clip taken from Democracy Now 11/08/11). Usually there is no such problem with mercenaries. What convention do these mercenaries subscribe to? And who really cares? After all it is not the allies who are being tortured.
So how can I sum up the changing face of war? The impact of war is being distanced from the peoples back home whilst the profits from war are increasing. Not only this but the profits from the war are being diversified with the corporations taking a holistic approach. They supply the weapons that destroy these unfortunate societies, then they profit from the reconstruction, and they provide the mercenaries that oppress the people after the war.
With such a callous way for corporations to make a profit, with such a complete lack of caring for the life of these Middle Eastern peoples, is there any wonder that there is a response such as 9/11 creating the new communists “War on Terror”? How will history view our governments’ devestation of countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, whilst companies used their government puppets to enable huge corporate profits. Pirates on the high seas appear small potatoes to these faceless corporate men whose greed is responsible for so much death.
OK let’s look at some figures to back up such a callous insight, that the war is conducted to provide corporate profits.
Here is some more info on the ongoing costs of war in Iraq from Nation of Change, and here is an Alternet view of the costs of war since 9/11- costs in America and the Middle East.
How does such a process continue? Will I ever become a General in a position to decide on whether we go to war? Of course not, I am not of the right mindset. Does Halliburton make demands that they need more profit, do they send corporate execs to Washington to lobby for war? No hear this.
In this changing face of war the whole process of the procreation of war for profits is neatly packaged. There is an ongoing security agenda building up fear in the homeland, this fear focusses on some global event in a far-off land. It is recognised that there is potential for profit, and slowly build up the fears of the home peoples that there is a danger in or from this far-off land. Eventually this media indoctrination leads to some form of invasion where it is then presented that there is minimal damage from war. Corporations move in to profit from the devestation of war through reconstruction and security contracts, and we wait for the process to start again. And the deaths of people in this far-off land are huge but in the homeland ever-decreasing. How do we break this cycle? Whilst the western peoples are not evil people their lack of discernment concerning the actions of their governments is the cause of the problem. They allow their governments to do this. Fortunately the corporatocracy is beginning to oppress their own peoples through their greed in taking bank profits. Austerity measures are beginning to elicit angry responses from the people as they watch their standrad of living fall whilst banks pay themselves huge bonuses. In the end by default maybe this will put an end to the corporate wars for profit?