Pimps of War

W.J. Astore

You would think that a U.S. president would have better things to do than to tour and tout a missile-production facility in Alabama, but then you’d be forgetting the power of the military-industrial complex and the profitability of war. Yesterday, President Biden toured a Lockheed plant that makes the Javelin missile, which I’m sure is working overtime given the number of missiles (about 5500) this country has shipped to Ukraine in its war against Russia. I was asked for a quick comment before Biden’s visit, and here’s what I came up with:

You don’t defuse a war by sending more and more weapons to the war zone.  You don’t send a message of peace by visiting a missile-making facility.  President Biden spoke of inspiring other nations with the power of our example, but he’s opting instead for examples of our power.  In so doing, he’s betraying his own promise to America and to the world.  Statesmanship, not brinksmanship, is what’s required to end the disastrous war in Ukraine.  Negotiation, not militarism, is the correct path forward.  But it’s hard indeed to play the statesman and to foster negotiation when you pimp yourself out to the weapons makers.

Incredibly, or perhaps not so incredibly, Noam Chomsky has praised Donald Trump for his willingness to call for a negotiated settlement to the war. By contrast, the Biden administration appears content to let the war drag on in the cause of weakening Russia. In short, Ukraine is the administration’s proxy, and Biden & Company are willing to fight and die to the last Ukrainian while supplying plenty of arms to the same. Indeed, the latest aid package for $33 billion for Ukraine includes $20 billion in weaponry.

Should weapons really be identified as “aid”? No matter. The U.S. media is pimping for war, the president is visiting missile plants and praising the wonders of our weapons and how many Russian tanks they’ve destroyed, and we’re all supposed to accept this as business as usual in America. Which it is.

34 thoughts on “Pimps of War

  1. I thought the pimps were the bankers getting fat on lies and blood; aren’t the politicos, pundits and other cheerleaders closer to eager strutters, ie whores, except I wouldn’t use such insulting language for my sisters in the adult entertainment industry.

    Now about that human trafficking paradigm that devalues existence…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Politicians profit too from war. Look at all those campaign “contributions” (bribes) flowing to them from the weapons makers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Greenwald’s last SystemUpdate [4MAY22] referenced an OpenSecrets article on that, my inference being that the WarLobby is capitalizing on the shift from COVID to Ukraine in the public and among politicians, harnessed, guided or otherwise created by dominant news outlets struggling for eyeballs/market share.

        https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2022/04/top-pentagon-contractors-spend-less-on-lobbying-as-demand-for-weapons-to-ukraine-rises

        Greenwald

        The human capital idea from operations research has created a less overt/more insidious human trafficking mindset in every bigInterest [tech, government, media, education], IMO, which dehumanizes if not de-legitimizes us all. Government gave each of us a number, and big_______ aggregates those ‘IDs’ to gain influence that’s usually directed back at us to pursue things we don’t want, like 13B to Ukraine, or maybe 33B, or another decade of war, or permanent debt starting with a university education, or 7B in Pfizer profits.

        At least nextGen has largely abandoned brand loyalty and it’s pretense, so there’s something akin to substance that offers the individual some value other than an increase in market share or bottom line to interests few recognize and fewer still indict.

        I’m optimistic that teamBlue and teamRed both fail to present a consistent platform and a third (or 4th or 5th) party becomes viable because it would force the public to have some personal definition rather than a collective (and often structured/constructed) perception that drives herd thinking.

        Like

  2. While my heart is breaking for the devastation to Ukraine and the lives lost there so far, as well as all those who will be killed in the days to come,, I also think of the issues in our own country that are consistently thrown by the wayside–because we can’t afford to remedy them.

    Crumbling infrastructure, yeah, maybe some day we can afford to fix the highways, the water lines, the levees, …., but not now; we just don’t have the money. Sick and hungry children, well, yeah, that’s their parents’ problem, not ours. Homeless veterans, hey, there are shelters in most towns, right? They need to learn that much of our responsibility stopped when they were no longer actively fighting. The increasing poor in the elderly population? They’ve, more or less, outlived their usefulness since they are not able to be part of the workforce anymore. Just because many of them have to take minimum wage jobs to supplement their social security (after the market downturns hit their retirement funds where their money was invested in the belief it was “safe”), well, that’s not our problem; it’s theirs. We have bases to enlarge, wars to fight–just not the war on poverty in our own nation, and countries to defend on other shores so they can either remain or become democracies like our own. So, they can be free and represented by those elected officials who only have their best interests at heart, just like our own elected officials do. Do we really think that all the bases in all the other countries that we build and support will keep us safe? Do we really believe that “all” the nations we helped would come to our aid if push comes to shove?

    We (collective use always) can afford $33 billion in aid, the bulk of which is weaponry, to another country, but student loan debt that is out of hand and destroying lives, and likely impacting the United States for generations to come–because people can’t afford houses or families–is too much to consider. And, besides, it’s their fault that they incurred that debt doing what they were led to believe was the path to success.

    How useful is the polarizing that is becoming more prevalent every day? We are, in essence, eating our own, pushing down those that we may need to support and defend our country. Is that one possible reason why we are so invested in Ukraine? If we, the United States, become physically involved in another war, we will come together like we did after 9/11 and ignore the pesky differences that are dividing us today, won’t we? Those differences will get kicked to the curb, pushed aside for more peaceful days, while we fight to survive a battle that primarily serves to further enrich those who have “our skin” in the game, but usually not their own.

    As I mentioned in the past, I’m a bit of a cynic, and long-winded at times as well. Sorry about the rant.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Th Great British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate, Betrand Russell in 1959 on what is important – 0ver 60-years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He’s right. Avoiding hate, seeking understanding through facts, practicing charity and tolerance: these practices could very well save us, if only we’d do them.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. YES, the U.S. must justify our WAR ECONOMY. We need to drum up more support. After all, there are many HIGH PAYING jobs at stake. Let’s face it, Weapons of WAR… err; I mean DEFENSE is the main industry of the United States.

    How else can we provide enough excess profits for our DEFENSE INDUSTRY to enable them to keep BRIBING every single congressman and congresswoman to advocate for even larger “defense” budgets every year regardless of not meeting any of the REAL NEEDS of this formerly great country of ours.

    Jerry King

    Liked by 3 people

  4. As usual, Caitlin Johnstone had a grimly funny take on this:

    “Joe Biden doing a live infomercial for Javelin missiles while everyone who voted for him worries about women’s reproductive rights is the most Joe Biden thing that has ever happened.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good comment from Caitlin Johnstone – as usual.

      I did find the timing of the release of the two-month old draft memo curious.

      The nominal answer would seem to be it’s to light a fight under an increasingly unmotivated set of Democratic voters, and give Kamala Harris a platform to look Presidential as she rails agains the Supreme Court (as improbable as that is). But the primary season is four months out where normally you’d want to get people motivated – not before the summer vacation season.

      Or is it to divert from attention on Ukraine where some bad news (e.g., Ukrainian army collapse in the Donbass) is forthcoming?

      Or is it just the Biden administration doing what it does best? Which is, there is no plan and anything can happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely spot-on, Bill. Biden has a decent excuse for his actions–he’s senile, worse than Reagan ever got (while in the oval office, that is). Just what excuse does anyone else associated with this stupidity, all those vile manipulators of that sick old man who made this event happen, have for their role in causing it? Another example of the grotesque incompetence of American statecraft, for the past several decades. Anybody from Congress bitch about this foolishness? How about the intelligentsia, or what passes for it in the US these days? Any religious leaders commenting? Doubtful, any of it.

    The sad ugly inescapable hell of it is that this sort of public stupidity and incompetence by our elites is just what so many of us are. Our leaders, after all, want everyone else to be like them, you know.

    Don’t know if you’ve read the AFP article yet. One other thing I forgot to mention in my comments on it is another bit of what it reveals to those knowledgeable and paying attention. The ukraine army’s medical services are grossly substandard. If I’m reading the article right (and if it was written right) these relieved soldiers received serious injuries, in particular bone fractures, and remained in the line with them untreated until unit rotation. Umm, untreated bone fractures lead to bones that don’t heal right and appendages that don’t ever work right as a result. Basic military calculus 101 tells you not to lose combat effectives from failure to provide appropriate first aid, and that is of course what is exactly going to happen here. Then there’s the question of just how useful in the line any of these infantryman were ever going to be with a broken arm or leg. Why weren’t these wounded soldiers given the appropriate medical treatment and posting to a rear echelon area when they were wounded? This irrefutably shows a grotesque failure of military professional competence at the most basic level. This incompetence had to have been plainly visible to any military professional working with the Ukrainian army prior to the war. Did any of our trainers report same? Why not? If they had, would their reports of Austro-Hungarian level military incompetence and unprofessionalsm have changed the minds of anyone in Thinktankland or Beltwayville on how good an idea it would be to have this country join them in a military alliance? Doubtful; too many attorneys in those parts who ignore facts but make endless self-justifying arguments anyway.

    Time to switch gears and pay bills and then do more outdoors work. Rain going to hit tonight or tomorrow, and things need planting before the rain hits. Summer hits immediately afterwards–98 on Saturday is the prediction. Will go see Lech Walensa tomorrow and will report if he’s whored out to us, which I got a sneaking suspicion is the case.

    best– Dan ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  6. [i posted this to the Abortion conversation yesterday; looks like i was a day too soon.]

    We Need an International Antiwar Movement, Not a Cheerleading Squad for the Arms Industry
    by Ron Jacobs

    A ceasefire between the warring parties, a Russian withdrawal, a halt to arms shipments, a negotiated peace and an end to NATO. This is what the international left should be organizing around in regards to the Russia-Ukraine war. It shouldn’t be calling for stepped up arms shipments to Ukraine’s military or defending Moscow’s invasion.

    When all is said and done and this war is stopped, the most likely situation for the vast majority of Ukrainian working people will be one where their greatest enemy could well be the Ukrainian government. Likewise, if the war goes on long enough, the greatest enemy of the vast majority of Russian working people could well be their government. The oligarchs in both nations will still be oligarchs, while the Russian and Ukrainian people will bear the costs—human, financial, and otherwise—for the war.

    If the reader thinks the current conflict will somehow end with a different outcome, they need to revisit the history of war, especially war of the modern kind. You know, where civilian populations are bombed, conscripts are forced to kill and die in the thousands; where international bankers make loans to all sides until the battle begins. All the while generals and politicians talk nonsense about the principles being defended as if most of them had any principles that couldn’t be purchased.

    It’s becoming clearer to more and more people that this war is truly a proxy war and that Ukrainians are being sacrificed by Washington and its clients (including the government in Kyiv) while Russians are being sacrificed by their government. Neither position—Ukrainian or Russian—is one to be envied.

    As an acquaintance and Vietnam Veteran Against the War member pointed out on Facebook, THIS IS THE PERFECT WAR FOR THE US-DOMINATED MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. THERE ARE NO BODY BAGS COMING HOME, NO ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATIONS, AND VIRTUALLY NO PRESSURE TO NEGOTIATE. INDEED, A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF WHAT USUALLY CONSTITUTES THE US ANTIWAR MOVEMENT IS ACTUALLY CHEERING ON THE UKRAINIAN MILITARY IN THIS CONFLICT. IN SHORT, THIS IS A DREAM SITUATION AND WASHINGTON AND ITS MINIONS WILL FIGHT TO THE LAST UKRAINIAN TO KEEP THE WAR INDUSTRY’S PROFITS ROLLING IN. [EMPHASES added.]

    Continued at https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/05/03/we-need-an-international-antiwar-movement-not-a-cheerleading-squad-for-the-arms-industry/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re: the EMPHASIZED comment. THAT’S probably the main reason why Biden (or his handlers) is against US intervention instead of the purported concern that it would escalate into nuclear war (which of-course IS a major concern to us normal human beings, and should have led to a negotiated settlement months — or ideally YEARS — ago).

      Like

  7. As Henry Kissinger once put it: “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”

    That being the case, one can only wonder:

    Are increasing fuel prices planned?
    Is increasing inflation planned?
    Are food shortages, famine, and death by hunger planned?
    Are endless wars and annihilating conflicts planned?
    Are massive bankruptcies and consequential misery planned?
    Are more pandemics, lockdowns, and mask and/or vaccination mandates planned?
    Are more supply chain disruptions planned?
    Are shortages of virtually everything planned?
    Are more production interruptions and stoppages of vital industries planned?

    And finally, what else is being planned?

    From: Countering “The Great Reset”. “Exit Globalization”, Refuse “Digital Tyranny” and “Global Governance”: Derailing the Endgame by Peter Koenig at https://www.globalresearch.ca/countering-great-reset/5779338

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who controls the food supply controls the people; What an interesting notion!
      The MASS MEDIA MANIPULATING THE MINDS OF THE MASSES is telling the People a FOOD SHORTAGE IS COMING.
      What’s the NATURAL Human reaction? Hoard Food and Voila! A FOOD SHORTAGE.

      On the Spiritual Level, that’s what the 1st of the 3 Temptations of The Christ in the Book of Books is all about – FOOD or LACK thereof for the Human Body!

      Like

  8. Every word you write rings true. I admire your energy and persistence. Keep it up as long as you can! Love & Peace, Chris

    Mieux j’apprends à connaître les hommes, plus je me mets à aimer les chiens. — Charles de Gaulle

    >

    Like

  9. Sixteen years (and three commanders-in-brief ago) the Pimpin’ Beat Goes On . . .

    Pimpin’ with the Prezident

    It ain’t so hard to be a pimp
    Just ask George Bush, the wailin’ wimp

    He’ll eat your hamburger today
    Then Tuesday promise to repay

    On Monday, though, he plans to skip
    And leave your kids with bill and tip

    He’s pimped the troops out walkin’ beats
    In Baghdad’s mean and lethal streets

    While he stays safe at home in bed
    A nightlight shinin’ by his head

    . . . [snip] . . .

    Like most stud hamsters, don’t you know?
    He swaggers like they’re hangin’ low

    With Haliburton writin’ checks
    Dick don’t care how much world George wrecks

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2006

    Like

      1. Thanks Ray,

        Some people say a man is made outta mud
        A poor man’s made outta muscle and blood
        Muscle and blood and skin and bones
        A mind that’s a-weak and a back that’s strong
        You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
        Another day older and deeper in debt
        Saint peter don’t you call me ’cause i can’t go
        I owe my soul to the company store
        I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
        I picked up my shovel and i walked to the mine
        I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
        And the straw boss said “well, a-bless my soul”
        You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
        Another day older and deeper in debt
        Saint peter don’t you call me ’cause i can’t go
        I owe my soul to the company store
        I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain
        Fightin’ and trouble are my middle name
        I was raised in the canebrake* by an ol’ mama lion
        Cain’t no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line
        You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
        Another day older and deeper in debt
        Saint peter don’t you call me ’cause i can’t go
        I owe my soul to the company store
        If you see me comin’, better step aside
        A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
        One fist of iron, the other of steel
        If the right one don’t a-get you, then the left one will
        You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
        Another day older and deeper in debt
        Saint peter don’t you call me ’cause i can’t go
        I owe my soul to the company store

        The song has been adopted as a kind of anthem for the American miner, who endured atrocious working conditions for a relative pittance of pay in the early 20th century. Mine safety was lacking prior to formation of the miner’s union, hours were long and pay was low. Miners were paid in script, not real money. Mining companies operated company-owned stores that would sell miners the necessities of life, and since regular stores would not accept their script for payment, workers had to use the company store, purchasing items at often greatly inflated prices. When they ran out of money, the store would run a tab for the workers, which would indebt them to the store. Hence the line, “owe my soul to the company store”. Mining companies often owned the housing that miners lived in. Living in these conditions often led men to become cynical, bitter, and hopeless, which is reflected in the lyrics of the song. Thankfully, today, while still dangerous, conditions have improved, and at least workers are paid in cash for their labors.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Today is EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY for France. [It was March 13 for the U.S.]

    Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot. Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year:

    (Earth’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

    Earth Overshoot Day 2021 fell on July 29.

    A COUNTRY’S OVERSHOOT DAY IS THE DATE ON WHICH EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY WOULD FALL IF ALL OF HUMANITY CONSUMED LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY.

    We determine the country overshoot days in 2022 using the 2022 edition of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts, which features Ecological Footprint and biocapacity data from 1961 to the latest data-year of 2018. Typically, there is a three to four-year lag between the latest data-year and the present due to the UN’s reporting process.

    Let’s take Switzerland’s 2022 overshoot day, for example, using the 2022 edition (with data for 2018):

    The Ecological Footprint for Switzerland is 4.35 gha per person (in 2018)
    Global biocapacity is 1.6 gha per person (in 2018)
    Therefore, it would take (4.35/ 1.6) = 2.75 Earths if everyone lived like the Swiss,

    OR

    we can determine Switzerland’s overshoot day as 365 * (1.6/4.35) = 133rd day in the year. The 133rd day of 2022 is the 13th of May, Switzerland’s Overshoot Day.

    Not all countries will have an overshoot day. By way of the country overshoot equation above, a country will only have an overshoot day if their Ecological Footprint per person is greater than global biocapacity per person (1.6 gha). Countries whose Ecological Footprint per person are less than global biocapacity per person (1.6 gha) and do not have an overshoot day are listed as “none” in our list below. In leap years, we compare the date against 366 days of the year, rather than the usual 365.

    https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/country-overshoot-days/

    Like

  11. ‘Vibe Shift: Europe Chooses Irrelevance’
    Cowardice and the Collapse of European “Strategic Autonomy”
    There’s nothing like a war to clear the air and see where people and countries stand.

    The current conflict in Ukraine is another example of where warfare does us this valuable service. Ukraine is defending itself from a Russian invasion. Russia, on the other hand, is defending itself from encroaching US Empire that seeks to engage in regime change in Moscow. The Americans? They are engaged in an open proxy war with Russia and will fight it to the proverbial last Ukrainian.

    And what about Europe?

    European leaders have almost unanimously decided to enthusiastically support the US proxy war in Russia, even if it means economic disaster for themselves.

    I struggle to think of a historical precedent where an entire continent decided to purposely self-immolate at the behest of an “erstwhile ally”. Nevertheless, here we are. This is the vibe shift: from European “Strategic Autonomy” to collection of American satrapies that willingly absorb negative economic impact (an impact that is minimal to the USA in relative terms) and happily clap like seals whenever other dictates arrive from the metropole, provided that the “correct” party is in the White House in Washington DC…………………..

    https://niccolo.substack.com/p/vibe-shift-europe-chooses-irrelevance?s=r

    Like

  12. I sent this tweet to the British Home Secretary @pritipatel, in whose name the British government will decide Politically, if Julian Assange will be turned over to the US War Pimps.

    Minister, re: Julian Assange. Woe to those who judge for hire and profit but not for Justice and Truth.
    Those words are done in Calligraphy in the SIGN I was holding PM Trudeau liked!

    She might be surprised if she follows the link, it opens to a picture of PM Trudeau’s father in 1982.
    The Front Page Picture in the Ottawa Citizen shows he was genuinely pleased to see it.
    I can only hope it has the effect I hope for sending it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The latest by Jonathan Cook outlining the egregious miscarriage of Justice and torture of Julian Assange in exposing the crimes of the Pimps of War.

      The persecution of Julian Assange
      According to UN torture expert, the UK and US have colluded to publicly destroy the WikiLeaks founder – and deter others from exposing their crimes

      The British home secretary, Priti Patel, will decide this month whether Julian Assange is to be extradited to the United States, where he faces a sentence of up to 175 years – served most likely in strict, 24-hour isolation in a US super-max jail.

      He has already spent three years in similarly harsh conditions in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison.

      The 18 charges laid against Assange in the US relate to the publication by WikiLeaks in 2010 of leaked official documents, many of them showing that the US and UK were responsible for war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one has been brought to justice for those crimes.

      Instead, the US has defined Assange’s journalism as espionage – and by implication asserted a right to seize any journalist in the world who takes on the US national security state – and in a series of extradition hearings, the British courts have given their blessing…………………………………….

      https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2022-05-04/persecution-julian-assange/

      Like

  13. ‘Regardless of the military and propaganda support, the US’s victory over Russia is not guaranteed’

    The US forced several countries in Europe, Africa and even the Middle East (Iraq and Egypt) to hand over the Soviet weapons in their warehouses to be shipped to Ukraine in exchange for promises to replace them with Western weapons. After dozens of eastern European countries’ stocks of Soviet weapons were nearly exhausted, the US and Europe began providing Ukraine with Western weapons and training teams. This requires more than a crash course that is hard to deliver to an adequate number of Ukrainian officers with the necessary spare parts and ammunition. These are beginning to flow onto the battlefield. At the same time, Russia started targeting the transportation lines (railway) and Western arms depots and their supply routes, considered by the Kremlin a “legitimate target”.

    These persistent western attempts on the Ukrainian battlefield and the harshest sanctions imposed on Russia aim to weaken Russia and give a powerful lesson to Russia and China not to think of challenging the US’s unilateralism. This will only work if Russia fails to achieve its goals, which seems unlikely……………………

    https://ejmagnier.com/2022/05/05/%ef%bf%bcregardless-of-the-military-and-propaganda-support-the-uss-victory-over-russia-is-not-guaranteed/

    Like

  14. I recall the shipments of Stinger missiles to the Afghans fighting against the Russians but it wasn’t hyped. I don’t recall the fascination, pride and almost joyful feeling that we’re seeing with the Javelin. Biden’s appearance puts it over the top. This manic “look at us!” thing is something that is in keeping with the good-vs-evil thing that has always been just below or at the surface in the years since Reagan’s evil empire comments and the rise of the right in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ‘Ukraine Alone Makes Biden The Worst US President In A Long Time’

    And it’s not just a proxy war, it’s a proxy war the US knowingly provoked. We know now that the US intelligence cartel had clear vision into Russia’s plans to launch this invasion, which means they also knew how to prevent it. A few low-cost maneuvers like promising not to add Ukraine to NATO as well as promising Zelensky that the US would protect him and his government from the violent fascist factions who were threatening to kill him if he honored the Minsk agreements and made peace with Russia as Ukrainians elected him to do. That’s all it would have taken

    Preventing nuclear war is a US president’s single most important job………………………..
    by caitlinjohnstone

    Like

    1. I tried to post the comment above several times yesterday and again this morning with the URL to the article and it wouldn’t post.
      I tried posting the URL again just now with this reply and and it didn’t post.

      Like

      1. Don’t know why, Ray. You could try a different browser. I use Safari. If you’re using Google Chrome, that could be the issue. Don’t know …

        Like

  16. Bravo Bill I hope you keep it up! Biden is trying to have a regime change proxy war with Russia. How sick is that?

    Like

Comments are closed.