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OxQQme Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 01:55 PM
Original message
Lets talk weapons manufacturers
Do you think 'they' are the guiding force behind the current world situation?

Who are 'they'? I know the major players.. GEWESTINHOUSERAYTHEONLOCKHEEDBOEINGETC
They don't make handguns. Hand guns are something different.

How can anybody put in 8 hours a day working for the doomsday machine?

Could you sleep at night undisturbed by night time visits from the dead?

How can we put some brakes on this careening out of control underworld?

Would the rest of the world overpower this country if we weren't so imperialistic and sneaky about our dealings?

I propose this thread as a bringing together of security concerns.

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Recommended.
It's an important topic for discussion. A year or so ago, DUer robertpaulsen posted a fantastic thread, based on his important research on the connection between the weapons producers, and the increasing violence around the globe. It led to insightful discussions. I think that it is worth re-examining the topic.

Many years ago, college students came to recognize the relationship between the weapons research being conducted on their campuses, and the horror of the Vietnam War. We might do well to keep their spirit of questioning alive.
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Retired AF Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. And many years before that
Eisenhower warned of the military/industrial complex.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Right. Good point.
Ike's warning is extremely important. It is hard for younger people to really appreciate it fully. Could you put it into a historic context for us? Thanks!
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. I'd be happy to hear...
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. He also knew that the weapons trade took resources away from the people
Edited on Mon Sep-19-05 03:24 AM by Nothing Without Hope

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
--President Dwight D. Eisenhower April 16, 1953

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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Go for it
I'm all eyes :)
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. These companies have been consumed by giant arms corporations!
Ge's defense div. was sold to Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse's to Northrop Grumman.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Lockheed bought a boat load of smaler defense companies
During the '90s. Fairchild comes to mind.

-Hoot
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Cats Against Frist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. Raytheon
From what I understand, a defense contractor, with a fundamentalist Christian owner. Fucked up shit. You will bow to the bombs of Jesus.
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OxQQme Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Maybe I've watched too many movies.
My age puts me in weekend matinees, as a child, where they showed 'world news' on the screen in the intermission between the first and main feature movie.
Flash Gordon, Gene and Roy battling 'Injuns' and assorted bad guys, Big John taking on the whole Japanese Air Force and ground troops simultaneously.
Cameras in the belly of the bomber releasing it's load of death onto the gound indiscriminately devastating all of life in it's path.

All of which caused an un-identifiable angst for a pre-teen. I doubt I was alone in this angst. Underlying all decisions for several decades of my life.

It was about battling evil forces.

My later 'eyes' have opened and have seen much, but am still un-able to see the opening of the cave that the fire breathing dragon uses to come from, sweeping over the earth breathing it's flame of death.

Who get's to decide what's EVIL?

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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. the person with those most guns
gets to decide who is evil
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
9. kicked and recommended . . .
although it IS free enterprise, you know . . . :sarcasm:
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OrlandoGator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
10. Correction, Westinghouse is not an arms manufacturer. n/t
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. Westinghouse sold their defense arm in '96, but...
> Correction, Westinghouse is not an arms manufacturer.

Your correct in that Westinghouse sold their defense arm in '96*, but
I'll bet you wouldn't have to look very deep into the current West-
inghouse Coproration to find that they are still dealing with DOD
at some level; essentially every major American corporation does.

Tesha

*To Northrup Gruman
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
11. My Dad worked for one of them for 10 or so years....
It's what you do after retiring from research in the AF. He's a Nuclear Physicist. What do you do w/ a Physics degree in '56? Nowhere to go but the military. He switched to what we call 'Star Wars' in '74 because he had a moral opposition to nuclear weapons. He did what all his peers did upon retirement - he joined a military-linked company.

He spent so much time in the lab that he ignored the world. Four months after 9-11 he retired abruptly. He saw the writing on the wall.

He has always voted DEM (Irish Catholic). He gives to more charities than I can coult.....

BUT - It took 9-11 for him to see the big picture.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
12. Smedley Butler, War is a Racket
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/war_is_a_racket_033103....

"Do you think 'they' are the guiding force behind the current world situation?"

One of them, sure.

"How can anybody put in 8 hours a day working for the doomsday machine?"

Money talks.

"Could you sleep at night undisturbed by night time visits from the dead?"

Me? No. But there are enough that can.

"How can we put some brakes on this careening out of control underworld?"

Honestly, I don't think it's possible. Too much money to be had. Too much history.

"Would the rest of the world overpower this country if we weren't so imperialistic and sneaky about our dealings?"

Stop imperialism with imperialism? Guess that's part of the reason why those defense contractors exist.

As long as the industrial nation state exists, and as long as we form our society's around war, this is what we get. It's what we've always had. Try taking it away, and they'll make a new weapon to stop you.
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maine_raptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Butler is an interesting character
The most decorated Major General in Marine Corps history, awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor.

He was approached by a group of industrialists and wall street types in 1935 to head a coup d'etat against FDR. He refused and went public about it. There was a book written about it, but I don't remember if he wrote it or not, or what the name was.

For more info see: http://www.claytoncramer.com/primary.html

Scroll down about 1/3rd of the way.
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Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #13
24. The book is called
"The Plot To Seize The White House" by Jules Archer. It's a motherfucker to try and track down.

Charles Higham has a brief summary of the story in his (much easier to find) "Trading with the Enemy"

Oliver Stone was given a copy of Archer's book when making JFK & has several times expressed an interest in making it into a film. Whether or not it'll ever materialize is another matter.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. I don't think people need a reason to go to war
The availability of weapons has nothing to do whether wars are fought. If we were to (effectively) ban all weapon manufacture, countries would fight each other with sticks and stones.

Personally, I blame leaders who start wars for wars, not the soldiers forced to fight them, or the people who make weapons so that our soldiers can be more effective.

That said, Id have a hard time working in a capacity to build killing machines, knowing full well that my product that I spent 8 hours a day building will go to end lives. Not immoral, but bad Karma

I do not believe that building weapons is immoral, but what you do with them certainly can be.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Great post, Fescue....
especially about the distinction you drew at the end.

I wonder if people would want to live in a country in THIS world (not a fantasy world) that had NO defense industry.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 03:27 AM
Response to Original message
19. Money at any price. Abraham Lincoln feared it- his warning sounds current:
Edited on Mon Sep-19-05 03:28 AM by Nothing Without Hope

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money powers prays upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."
-- Abraham Lincoln (1864)

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
20. I'm wondering when was the last time that the Defense Department..
...actually defended us, in any true sense of the word. ????? Certainly not in my lifetime (60 years).

Was slaughtering a million Vietnamese and decimating their country "defense"? Was slaughtering over 100,000 Iraqis and decimating their country "defense" ? Was getting tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers killed far from home, in countries where they had no right to be "defense"?

We have to go back to WW II, 60 years ago, to find any justification for this bloated military budget and this extremely dangerous military capability, which has been sitting out there like a ripe plumb ever since, getting fatter and fatter by the decade--a mighty temptation to fascist-minded tyrants, who have now seized it outright, and are using it to massively loot the American people, and to completely disempower and DISENFRANCHISE us, and remove us from any even theoretical control over that which we pay for: this monstrous killing machine.

Now we have Diebold and ES&S (Bushite electronic voting companies who are using SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code to tabulate our votes), and we have the war profiteering corporate news monopolies (who falsified their exit polls on everybody's TV screens, on election night, 2004, CHANGING the exit poll data (Kerry won) to "fit" the "official returns" derived by Diebold's and ES&S's secret formulae (Bush won))--and we have the collusive War Democrats, all conspiring to DENY us the right to nominate and elect an antiwar president, which is what everybody wants (as opinion polls have overwhelmingly shown since BEFORE the invasion of Iraq!).

The loop of corruption is complete. With Diebold and ES&S controlling the vote count, we will forevermore be hogtied to the biggest military machine in the history of the world, despite there being little threat from the world today--so little that our "leaders" have constantly to invent threats, and create bogeymen, and exaggerate and lie through their teeth, so we will keep feeding this gigantic hog-pen, and not rebel against our slavery to it.

They did the same thing with "communism" that they are doing today with "terrorism." "Terrorism" is NOT a military problem! But they have made it into one, for the purposes of theft.

Nor was "communism" a military problem--despite Russia's and China's armies and nukes. It was primarily an ECONOMIC problem--reflecting the rebellion of peasants and workers against extreme oppression, and IF our "leaders" had not LIED about what it was, and if predatory capitalists had not been given free reign to dictate our foreign policy, JUSTICE and FAIRNESS might have triumphed in every country in the world--including our own!

Instead, we MILITARIZED the problem, made our hostile intentions clear, to Russia and China, and pushed them into a "balance of terror" that gripped the world for many decades, and the remnants of which remain a serious threat to all humanity and to all life on earth.

What madness! What utter madness!

So, as to arms dealings, we are the world's WORST offenders. And we haven't just fed this Big Pig at home. We've militarized conflicts all over the world, and we--or, rather, our militarist corporations--sell massive amounts of weapons to some of the worst governments on earth, in addition to all the side-trading and under the counter trading, and "illegal" trading, that goes on.

Arms manufacturers and war profiteers ARE the problem, yes. They are driving virtually every conflict in the world. If there were not a vast abundance of weapons, exacerbating every grievance, every bad ambition, every petty tribal conflict, and every dictator and potential dictator on earth, most conflicts would DRIBBLE AWAY, as humans were forced to use DIPLOMACY and INTELLIGENT BEHAVIOR and WISDOM to achieve their ends or solve their problems.

The Department of Defense? Defending our shores? Okay. There might be some who have thoughts of invading us, although none have that capability. Maybe there is some justification for DEFENSE against invasion. But when did the Department of DEFENSE ever DEFEND us--except when it fought off Japan and Germany, 60 years ago? (--putting aside, for a moment, the arguments about ours, or other western governments', provocations of those countries). When, since that time, was OUR Defense Department used to DEFEND us?

They can't even defend the Pentagon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They let hijacked COMMERCIAL AIRLINES attack us full on, with NO DEFENSE, and, indeed, with all the defense we had paid for NOT WORKING THAT DAY!

So, to hell with it, I say! What are they good for, except looting us blind?

A world of justice and fairness would be the BEST DEFENSE against any and all threats, from countries, groups or individuals.

The world does not want to invade us, for godssakes! Even the Muslim jihadists have NO INTEREST in seizing our government or our land, or ruling over us. It would be endless trouble! And that's not what they want. They want to be LEFT ALONE, NOT oppressed, NOT exploited, NOT forced to live like westerners. And we are FOOLS to believe anything else. We are over in Iraq CREATING jihadists, whose life mission will be to PUNISH us for our crimes, and to GET US OFF THEIR BACKS.

Dennis Kucinich's idea of a DEPARTMENT OF PEACE was the right idea. Currently, our government has the MIND-SET that every conflict has to be militarized, and that guns and vast armaments can create peace or freedom or safety. They cannot do so, for the most part. It is JUSTICE and FAIRNESS that create peace and freedom and safety.

We've got to change that MIND-SET that accepts the ETERNAL ARMED CAMP that our world has become, and that perpetuates and exacerbates AND PROFITS FROM violent conflicts.

I'm not saying, be stupid or foolish. I'm not saying, don't address real threats. I'm not saying we can completely disarm the world--not yet anyway. That seems a remote dream, at this point--although the Bush Cartel couldn't be making a better case for WHY our bloated military is a threat to US, as well as to others, and no defense at all, to anyone. It is an aggressive and extremely dangerous machine, which currently has an aggressive and extremely dangerous commander in chief (Dick Cheney).

But we have to start SOMEWHERE, re-thinking this whole business of "defense." What really makes us safe? What promotes peace and diplomacy and wisdom? Where is justice and fairness? Why aren't all the resources in the world that are currently being sucked up by weapons expenditures being spent, instead, on unified world action to stop global warming--by far, the worst threat the human race has ever faced, aside from nuclear holocaust?

And why, for godssakes, are we permitting our "leaders" to THREATEN nuclear holocaust in the Middle East????!!!! --a holocaust that will NOT be limited to any countries we hit with nukes, but that will plunge the planet into darkness forevermore?????!!!! (Carl Sagan, "The Cold and the Dark"--about the impacts on the planet from even a limited nuclear exchange).

I'll tell you why we are "permitting" this: It's because we have no power to stop it. We no longer have the right to vote. The war profiteers now have their weapon of mass demagoguery--the real WMD: electronic voting with secret, proprietary source code.

-------

A provocative topic, OxQQme! Thanks for bringing this up--arms dealing, something we hardly see any more, it's so pervasive.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Great post, Peace Patriot!
:toast:
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
21. General Electric, owner of NBC
Whenever NBC says something, it's really GE saying something. The don't particularly mind having a war-loving US President.

http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/communications/tv/m...

www.takebackthemedia.com > who owns the media
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
23. arms dealers, pharmaceuticals, drug cartels, banks, oil companies
"banks" includes the financial services industry (insurance, banking, credit cards, etc.)

Kapital Kills
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
26. Defense contractors should be nationalized
You know, like the rest of the military. We would never rely on mercenaries for our defense-- er... nevermind.
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OxQQme Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
27. Kicking this as a very important issue.
Thanks for your responses.


http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsTrade/Spend...

"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes...known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. ... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795


http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm

http://slate.msn.com/id/2088277 /

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