Won’t Somebody Please Think of the War Profiteers?

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

Posted by Sharon Miller, CODEPINK San Francisco intern

As the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan approaches, and as the deficit-cutting debate heats up, the rich and powerful in the US have taken an opportunity to throw themselves a massive pity party. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show has documented a small fragment of their grievances here. Something that he didn’t mention is that war profiteers, also known as “defense contractors,” have some grievances of their own: the so-called congressional super-committee, which has been tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in spending cuts in order to reduce the national deficit, might not reach an agreement on what to cut. If that happens, a procedure known as sequestration could take effect, triggering $1.2 trillion in cuts across the board—including $600 billion from the Pentagon budget.

War profiteers are in a panic over the prospect of losing $600 billion in funding, and have voiced their concerns:

Here's what Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), had to say about the matter:
Defense has been cut into the bone, and we cannot have that continue. As far as defense is concerned, the cuts have been taken that could be absorbed.

This is no joke, people: if defense spending is cut any further, we might not be able to afford to keep fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—or start any new ones. And we can’t have that, can we? Just listen to this dire warning from Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing:
If we had additional cuts of $600 billion ... I would question whether or not we will have a fighting force that's capable, or an industrial base left.

In other words, the war industry needs to be given billions of US taxpayer dollars each year, so that the US can remain in a state of perpetual war. And perpetual war is precisely what is required to continue lining the pockets of war profiteers!

Don’t believe me? Just ask industry lobbyists themselves. Actually, you don’t even need to ask them; just check out the website Second To None:
American leadership in aerospace and defense is being threatened by forces in Congress and the administration. The security of our troops, our technological future and our economic stability are all at risk. We must preserve jobs across the nation that keep our nation strong. Join us and act now before it is too late.

Well, thanks for the reminder, Second to None! If it hadn’t been for your slick website, I might have forgotten that terrorists want to destroy America, and that lining the pockets of war profiteers is the only thing standing between the United States of America and another 9/11.  It’s a good thing you’re not being too subtle about it, or else Congress might reduce your funding back to the level it was at in 2007!

Or not. Here’s what Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) had to say about the prospect of these horrific threats to war industry profit margins:
When we had our first meeting the chairman asked, "Well, what do we think about defense spending?" and I said, "I'm off of the committee if we're gonna talk about further defense spending [cuts]."

Well, that’s a relief! Now that we know both parties on the super-committee have strong ties to the “defense” industry, you can definitely rest assured that you’ll still be able to profit from war, greed, and corruption, while the rest of us—you know, the American people you’re so passionate about “defending”—are suffering.

That is, unless the people come together to defend their healthcare, education, infrastructure, and job opportunities from devastating cuts, stand up to corporate greed, and demand that the super-committee bring our war dollars home!

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