Nunchaku Numb-Nuts

November 1, 2014

Dali-31-giants-la-jolla-jewelryWar-zone Saturday:

“This district is what you’d probably call the southwestern United States. That was before it was destroyed by the war.”
“Yes. According to history, over 100 years ago, a man named Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear warhead.”
— ‘Sleeper

Endless war, as perpetrated/proposed just this past week by the US doctrine of “…a new world order — post-World War II, post-Soviet Union implosion…” as espoused by DOD honcho Chuck Hagel with armed, guts-and-glory conflict the ‘new normal’ way-of-life for a long time.

A few years ago, I figured Hagel had some sense — wrong!

(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘Giants,’ found here).

Jason Ditz at backgrounds the good Hagel’s war-horse stump, which the latest on Wednesday at the Washington Ideas Festival, a gathering of great intellects:

Hagel’s been keen to talk about the “new world order” in speeches for months now, and while he never makes it clear what he envisions that looking like when it all shakes out, the underlying constant is wars, and lots of them.
Hagel’s most recent speech didn’t even treat the endless wars as a controversial thing, rather as an inevitability that both sides of Congress need to get used to and start cooperating on.

Yes, get with the war machine.
And it’s well-oiled — from The Economist last March and the gun-making/sales industry: ‘Business is brisk. Overall, sales between 2009 and 2013 were 14 percent higher than the previous five-year period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks the arms trade.’
Just from three years ago, US arms sales were $66.3 billion, tripled in one year — biggest on the planet.
See a nasty-looking war-zone chart of arms sales by the US and Russia at BusinessInsider.

Thus, in turn, this early last month: ‘Three days after U.S. warships fired 47 cruise missiles at Sunni militant targets in northern Syria last week, the Pentagon signed a $251-million deal to buy more Tomahawks from Raytheon Co., a windfall for the military giant and its many subcontractors.’

And to make the case for cold-hard, capitalistic cash on the weapon-head, at ProPublica, also from last month:

The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions.
Come tomorrow, thousands of parts of military aircraft, such as propeller blades, brake pads and tires will be able to be sent to almost any country in the world, with minimal oversight — even to some countries subject to U.N. arms embargos.
U.S. companies will also face fewer checks than in the past when selling some military aircraft to dozens of countries.

In the current system, every manufacturer and exporter of military equipment has to register with the State Department and get a license for each planned export.
U.S. officials scrutinize each proposed deal to make sure the receiving country isn’t violating human rights and to determine the risk of the shipment winding up with terrorists or another questionable group.
Under the new system, whole categories of equipment encompassing tens of thousands of items will move to the Commerce Department, where they will be under more “flexible” controls.
Final rules have been issued for six of 19 categories of equipment and more will roll out in the coming months.
Some military equipment, such as fighter jets, drones, and other systems and parts, will stay under the State Department’s tighter oversight.
Commerce will do interagency human rights reviews before allowing exports, but only as a matter of policy, whereas in the State Department it is required by law.
The switch from State to Commerce represents a big win for defense manufacturers, who have long lobbied in favor of relaxing U.S. export rules, which they say put a damper on international trade.
Among the companies that recently lobbied on the issue: Lockheed, which manufactures C-130 transport planes, Textron, which makes Kiowa Warrior helicopters, and Honeywell, which outfits military choppers.

Arms and more arms.

And how is the war going with the infamous ISIS? Although it appears the butcher-boy/killers have slowed down a bit since literally steamrolling across Iraq and Syria last summer, the US-operated collation has found them a hard nut to crack. On top of that, ISIS is getting reinforcements from all over the globe at an “unprecedented scale” — signing up to slaughter, pillage and rape. Very medieval, of course.

Stalled a bit at the walls of Baghdad, the militants are poised to capture the international airport, the country’s only-true lifeline to the world — held in check by the ruthless Iraqi army.
And, pleze, don’t tell me, not some more famous last words, spoken way-sarcastically (via LA Times): “Do you see any Daesh here?” asked Iraqi Col. Ayad Kadhim, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State, as he waved an arm at the airport’s high concrete barriers and guard towers. “As you can see, everything is secure.”

Okay, buddy, just don’t grease the slide.

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