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The American people do not have an appetite for war and the suffering it causes.  The same cannot be said about those who directly benefit when tensions rise and the likelihood of war increases.  The arms industry and their associated lobby are firmly on board with the idea that adding another disastrous imperial venture to the already overloaded table of lost wars and failed rearguard actions would be a good thing.

 

“Experts predict as many as a million people could die if the current tensions lead to a full-blown war. Millions more would become refugees across the Middle East, while working families across the U.S. would bear the brunt of our casualties.

But there is one set of people who stand to benefit from the escalation of the conflict: CEOs of major U.S. military contractors.

This was evident in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official on January 2. As soon as the news reached financial markets, these companies’ share prices spiked.

Wall Street traders know that a war with Iran would mean more lucrative contracts for U.S. weapons makers. Since top executives get much of their compensation in the form of stock, they benefit personally when the value of their company’s stock goes up.

I took a look at the stock holdings of the CEOs at the top five Pentagon contractors (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman).

Using the most recent available data, I calculated that these five executives held company stock worth approximately $319 million just before the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani. By the stock market’s closing bell the following day, the value of their combined shares had increased to $326 million.

War profiteering is nothing new. Back in 2006, during the height of the Iraq War, I analyzed CEO pay at the 34 corporations that were the top military contractors at that time. I found that their pay had jumped considerably after the September 11 attacks.

Between 2001 and 2005, military contractor CEO pay jumped 108 percent on average, compared to a 6 percent increase for their counterparts at other large U.S. companies.

Congress needs to take action to prevent a catastrophic war on Iran. De-escalating the current tensions is the most immediate priority.”

The negligent spreading ‘peace & democracy’ in foreign lands is a supremely profitable venture.

Funny how that works.

 

 

Recovering the past for oppressed nations is vitally important in reestablishing their national identity. Chile is renewing efforts to understand what happened during the 1973 coup and how their democratic government was overthrown and replaced by a vicious dictatorship.

Chile is launching its first investigation into the death of President Salvador Allende, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head during an attack on the presidential palace.

“Allende’s death, during the bloody US-backed coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power on September 11, 1973, had until now been ruled a suicide.

The investigation is part of an investigation into hundreds of complaints of human rights abuses during Pinochet’s 1973-1990 rule.

Beatriz Pedrals, a prosecutor in the appellate court in Santiago, said on Thursday that she had decided to investigate 726 deaths that had never previously been explored, including Allende’s.”

When will our western ‘dirty skeletons’ see the light of day and finally be allowed to make an impression on the mind of the public. Are we not as citizens of a democratic society obliged to know what is done in our name?

“Allende became Chile’s first socialist president when he came to power in 1970 after winning a narrow
election victory. But his ascent to power was not welcomed by all.

Conservatives in Chile and Washington feared his attempts to pave “a Chilean way toward Socialism” – including the nationalisation of US mining interests – would usher in a pro-Soviet communist government.

Henry Kissinger, US secretary of state under then president Richard Nixon, made quite clear what US intentions were after Allende’s election.

The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves … I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people,” Kissinger said at the time.”

This is not unusual, I mean look at the election of Hamas in 2006 in Palestine. Promptly ignored by the western powers because the people of Palestine had chosen, not the candidate backed by the West, but rather a candidate that they thought would better represent their will. This is an important lesson to learn in our history; we talk a great deal about freedom and democracy, but will not abide buy it when it goes against our preferred set of economic and political interests.

Allende was found dead in the presidential palace as soldiers supporting the coup closed in and warplanes bombed the building.

An official autopsy ruled that he had committed suicide, although the results have long been questioned by some politicians and human rights groups.

Osvaldo Andrade, the president of Allende’s Socialist Party, applauded the decision to investigate.
“Truth and justice remains a pending subject in Chile and whatever is done so that the truth comes out will always be well received by us,” Andrade said.

“There remains a deficit of truth and a deficit of justice in Chile and we hope that the deficit becomes ever more small.”
Pinochet governed as a dictator until March 11, 1990, and died in 2006.”

The repression of a society, torture, murder and disappearances in Chile were welcomed by the West. Hopefully this inquest will discover more of the tale so the people of Chile will know the forces that sent their society into a savage tailspin for decades, and more importantly to reinforce who was responsible for such actions.

The Swiss, being sensible, have denied the US and France’s requests to shut down WikiLeaks.

“The site’s new Swiss registrar, Switch, today said there was “no reason” why it should be forced offline, despite demands from France and the US. Switch is a non-profit registrar set up by the Swiss government for all 1.5 million Swiss .ch domain names.”

Pretty embarrassing, but hardly surprising, when the “land of the free and home of the brave” do their utmost to destroy the very lifeblood democracies thrive on, namely information.  Hey of course, it is ‘sensitive state information’.   You can find it on google now, perhaps like other state apparatus google should be censored as well.  Back in the ‘home of the brave’ the censorship is not so obvious:

“The reassurances [from the Swiss] come just hours after eBay-owned PayPal, the primary donation channel to WikiLeaks, terminated its links with the site, citing “illegal activity”. France yesterday added to US calls for all companies and organisations to terminate their relationship with WikiLeaks following the release of 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables.”

Of course, you target the infrastructure that keeps WikiLeaks afloat.  The Americans, let their poor die in natural disasters (Katrina anyone?), but watch the organization and money being spent when an attack on the elite happens.  The response to Wikileaks is a case study in who has the power in the US and who is really driving that national agenda.

It makes one wonder, with all the furor, what is still classified and quietly festering in the background on a hard drive somewhere of actions that our governments take in our name.

The George Orwell quotations are being dusted off again and rightfully so – consider…

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

This quote prefaces the video, also released on WikiLeaks, of the American Army gunning down men and children while in Iraq.  Does anyone, anymore have the gall anymore to say “why do they hate us?”

 

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