Matthew Rothschild / The Progressive – 2008-04-10 21:46:51
WASHINGTON (March 30, 2008) — I’ve been joking the last few years that if you invested in military stocks on January 20, 2001, you’d be sitting pretty right now.
Well, now I’ve got some more evidence to back up that not-so-funny joke.
Since the Iraq War began, aerospace and defense industry stocks have more than doubled.
General Dynamics did even better than that.
Its stock has tripled.
Banking on its Abrams tanks and Stryker troop transports, General Dynamics gobbled up $2.35 billion “in war revenue last year,” according to Bloomberg News.
“The war has been a huge benefit to almost all contractors,” William Hartung of the New America Foundation told Bloomberg.
War profiteering is not news, I suppose. But it is disgusting. And those who are profiting from the war are Bush and Cheney’s cronies in the corporate boardrooms. For them, war is not a bloody tragedy, it’s a golden opportunity. Bush’s “base” is doing just fine.
Almost 100 years ago, back in 1911, Fighting Bob La Follette, the pioneer of the Progressive movement and founder of the magazine I’m working for, opposed US intervention in Mexico and asked a crucial question:
“Have we come to this point, that patriotism, valor, and life and death are openly made the pawns of Wall Street’s politicians, to be moved about as suits the greater profits of Wall Street’s master spirits?”
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.
La Follette also said, in January 1917, “If our nation manufactured its own munitions in its own factories at cost, it would take the private profit out of war, and the war traders out of American politics.’
Alas, the war traders have not yet been expelled from the temple of American politics.
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.
Quick Poll: $102 Billion MORE for Iraq?
In April, Congress will consider Bush’s demand for another $102 billion for the never-ending and disastrous occupation of Iraq.
This is on top of the $562 billion Congress has already given Bush since 2003.
And it is on top of the $3 trillion the Iraq War is estimated to cost for veterans’ care, weapons replacement, and higher oil prices.
How should your Representatives vote? Simply click the link below your choice to vote.
Yes: give Bush $102 billion more for Iraq
No: do not give Bush $102 billion more for Iraq and tell him to use existing funds to bring our troops safely home.
If you want your Representatives to vote no, you need to tell them. Here’s how:
1. Email your Senators and Representative , and ask your friends and relatives to join you:
2. Help organize a Town Hall Meeting with your Representative in April. Volunteers are organizing Town Halls from coast to coast , but we need your help to reach our goal of 435 Town Hall Meetings – one for every Representative.
We have fabulous coalition partners , speakers , and web/email tools to help you make your Town Hall a success. So act now – don’t wait for Congress to steal another $102 billion from urgent needs like health care, education, jobs, and the environment.
For inspiration, on the 40th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let’s remember his powerful words:
“Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace… We must demonstrate, teach and preach, until the very foundations of our nation are shaken. We must work unceasingly to lift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.”
Toll on April 4:
Not Sure 3%.
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