I was driving the other day and not really paying attention to anything other than the road when this commercial caught my ear. Basically, it was talking about a Air Force surveillance aircraft that picked up an enemy target and sent an electronic signal to an Army ground unit who relayed instructions to a Navy fighter to take the target out. Then it finished with some snazzy catchphrase like, "Netcentric Warfare brought to you by Northrop Grumman."
I had been hearing this radio ad and others like it quite a bit over the last year. Then I got to thinking about the fact that I had been seeing a lot of television and newspaper ads for military contractors over the last few years. On the subway, on the sides of buses, in magazines, basically everywhere I go I see ads for the big military contractors. I don't seem to remember a lot of commercials for these types of companies until the last couple of years. I just don't think that these companies could have marketed themselves or their products so aggressively unless we as Americans hadn't gotten so conditioned to war, warfare and the images associated with both.
Certainly many of us had heard of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Grumman and these big companies, but they were back-burner companies when it came to the workings of most of our daily lives - we knew they existed, but they weren't household names until NBC Nightly News and CNN brought their products into our living rooms.
Then I got to thinking about it and I found myself asking the question: "Is the deception we SEE, the truth we DON'T?"
Honestly I don't know if that question is sheer genius or the definition of stupidity, but none the less it made me look deeper at this awful war that an unfit President and a Congress that is so busy trying to keep their jobs that they don't want to do their jobs - has gotten us into.
First, everyone in the White House was bent out of shape over Iraq's ignoring certain UN resolutions, and then Bush excited over Weapons of Mass Destruction, and then suddenly Bush told us that WE had to liberate the people of Iraq, and I think now we are, uh, let me see... fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. I'm sure there have been some other reasons for this war, but they'll come to me later.
However, I think my eyes are opened a little wider now. Surely we all know that Bush and Cheney and their supporters want access to that precious middle eastern oil, but I think even more than that, Bush wants to make his economic base, his economic supporters even wealthier by financing the military manufacturing industry of this nation.
It is no secret that WAR is great for a country's economy, at least for corporate side of the economy. Employment in related fields go up, raw materials are needed and gobbled up, technology goes through the roof - Industry Fat Cats laugh their way right to the bank! In the last six years, Northrop Grumman stock values have gone up nearly 100%; Lockheed Martin stocks have gone up over 150%; and United Technologies [the parent company of Pratt and Whitney who manufacture most of the military aircraft engines] has seen its stock rise by over 200% in the same period! The people behind our President - the people that funded his campaign for the White House, the people that he publicly called "his base" must now be repaid and thanked properly and what better way to do that than to give them a war, a war that has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into non-competed military contracts; a war that has built up massive numbers of tanks and jets and bombs, guns and bullets, and SOMEBODY has to make them! And then we have the support contracts from companies like Blackwater and the infamous Haliburton [who has since taken all of their tax generating income to the country of Dubai!!!] who are making billions of dollars with each passing year of our war in Iraq! There are actually more US contractors in Iraq than there are US soldiers and Marines!!! Somebody is GETTIN' PAID!!!
So, we not only went to war for a Presidential vendetta, and not only did we go so that powerful people behind the scenes in our country can take a large stake in the global oil reserves - but, we went to war because our political leaders wanted to make the rich in this nation richer, they wanted to fund the mighty American war industry and they wanted George Bush to go out of the White House as the most generous president to corporate interests EVER - and they were willing to fuel it and finance this with the blood of our brave men and women.
I'm not finished with this one yet...