Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Connecting the Dots: War Profiteers Target Iran

The pro-war political propaganda of a defense industry booster firm reveals one way that war-profiteering corporations promote international tension and war for private gain.
The formula is pretty simple: 

Arms Factory + War-Mongering 'Independent' Propaganda = $$$.

Once you have a factory that makes weapons, buy yourself an “institute” that churns out “academic” analyses of world affairs designed to wave the bloody shirt. Either you win by selling Washington arms that will sit and rust somewhere or Washington will actually use those weapons, in which case you win again by expanding your market and also by opening a sub-division to rebuild the country you just helped destroy.

Forbes has described the now scandalous process by which think tanks are degenerating into glitzy propaganda arms of the military-industrial complex: 

in Washington, think tanks are becoming so political that they are more like lobbyists than academic institutions…. 

the pressure on researchers to conform to partisan political objectives is going to become even more intense, and if they are going to be expected to function as de facto lobbyists they are going to expect to be paid like lobbyists, which will ratchet up pressure to raise money from those with a purely bottom-line perspective. I fear that honesty and truth will get more and more lost in the process.

A simple example of how this is currently pressuring the U.S. into war against Iran follows.

In a highly biased piece of war-mongering propaganda, the Lexington Institute, which was described by Harper’s as “the defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency,” is beating the drums for a war on Iran. The Institute dismisses claims that Iran is several years away from a bomb as an “Obama Administration” claim that “may be irrelevant,” (which of course also means it may “be” relevant), carefully avoiding the fact that it is not only the Administration but numerous military/intelligence officials in both the U.S. and Israel who consider Iran years from the bomb, not to mention considering the idea of attacking Iran bad for U.S. and Israeli national security.

The Institute then tosses in the standard scare tactic that “Once Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is rendered bomb proof then the world’s only recourse will be sanctions." God forbid that the world turned to the recourse of persuading Israel to relinquish its demands for military dominance over the Mideast (that truly irritates Iran) and the colonization of Palestine (that opens the door for Iran to interfere in Levantine affairs) or that the world turn to the recourse of actually negotiating a positive-sum solution to the broader U.S.-Iranian strategic argument. Oh, no, threats and some sort of war--be it intel, military, terrorist, or economic—will be the only solution.

After admitting that an Israeli attack would not destroy the Iranian nuclear infrastructure and would provoke terrorism, the Institute nevertheless argues that Israeli aggression would have its benefits. An Israeli non-nuclear attack, the Institute broadly implies, would warn Iran that Israel might consider a nuclear attack! Now there’s some good news for all us war profiteers! And even if Israel doesn’t attack at the moment, that’s OK too – just gives the U.S. more time to arm Israel with the long-range Arrow 3 interceptor “specifically designed to go after Iranian ballistic missiles.” The bottom line is clear: for the offense industry, the threat of war against Iran is good news however you look at it.

Must-Read War Profiteers website.

See this report for the latest on corruption of Halliburton/KBR.

For the other side of the coin, Iran's military-industrial complex, see here. The money quote:

the IRGC is not only an army, but a monster conglomerate with myriad military-industrial, economic and financial interests. Top managers - and the array of enterprises they control - are bound to the ethos of antagonising the West, the same West from whose sanctions they handsomely profit. So, for them, the status quo is nice and dandy - even with the everyday possibility of a miscalculation, or a false-flag operation, leading to war.

2010 Congressional Report on Contracting Fraud in Afghanistan and How It Endangers U.S. Forces

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