From the NY Times:
With White House Push, U.S. Arms Sales JumpYeah? And how's that workin' for ya?
By ERIC LIPTON
Published: September 13, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is pushing through a broad array of foreign weapons deals as it seeks to rearm Iraq and Afghanistan, contain North Korea and Iran, and solidify ties with onetime Russian allies.
From tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and even warships, the Department of Defense has agreed so far this fiscal year to sell or transfer more than $32 billion in weapons and other military equipment to foreign governments, compared with $12 billion in 2005.
The trend, which started in 2006, is most pronounced in the Middle East, but it reaches into northern Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and even Canada, through dozens of deals that senior Bush administration officials say they are confident will both tighten military alliances and combat terrorism.
“This is not about being gunrunners,” said Bruce S. Lemkin, the Air Force deputy under secretary who is helping to coordinate many of the biggest sales. “This is about building a more secure world.”
This couldn't possibly have anything to do with The Carlyle Group, of which the Bush family is the a very happy primary beneficiary.To help you out, here's a little bit of backstory you should know:
Nah. Neither does the price of gas.
America, get a clue.
"An agreement was struck with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence "backed" the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. It was his arrogance that was a threat -- to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the major topic was how to get rid of Saddam Hussein--[ii]The Wall Street Journal and BBC, among other prominent sources, have reported extensively on the link between the fall of the dollar and the rise in oil prices. See this report from Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. This isn't speculation even if it isn't on the nightly news. No doubt Iraq's oil figured as much in Bush's pre-invasion calculations as Saddam's plan to demand Euros. Of course it did. Look who's benefited from Iraq's oil and its resulting profits.
"Saddam was linked to al Qaeda – sovereign Iraq was invaded –Joe Wilson’s honest report was dismissed, his wife, Valerie Plame’s identity was revealed – and so the rest of the story goes. . . .
"The ‘liberators’ fight hard for the ‘new democracy’. The ‘new democracy’ had become the place where arms dealers line their pockets. War is good for business. Boardrooms are filled with delighted stockholders. Profits are rolling in. The bin Laden owned Carlyle Group, not content with making money out of arms, proposes to use its connections to get in other deals. It wants ‘to help manage’ up to $1 billion of the funds collected from the reparations and other claims to create an entity, initially funded by $2 billion in Kuwaiti government money, that would take control of any funds collected from Iraq [iii].
"Indeed, the bin Laden owned Carlyle group fares well when it comes to death and destruction. As the Bush administration was supplying Israel with munitions to massacre the Lebanese men, women, and children, and as the United Nations was ordered by the U.S. to allow the destruction of a nation to continue, the Carlyle Group was ready to invest in Lebanon’s ruins – another one of Mr. Bush’s ‘new democracies’.[iv]
"Was it all ‘bad intelligence’? Today we have the weapons manufacturers supplying the intelligence. An ad taken out by Lockheed Martin last year looking for intelligence recruits reads: "on substantive intelligence matters involving terrorist groups and networks . . . Centcom experience is a plus," [v]. Raytheon, the other large defense contractor, is also supplying intelligence – to the point that corporate America, the weapons manufacturers, are capable of taking us to war. And war they want. Their stocks have gone through the roof – though the Iraqis had their roofs taken away with bombs and poverty.
"The next ‘threat’ on the list is Iran. In 1999 Iran had stated that it plans to sell its oil in Euro currency (Du Boff 1)[vi] as the sanctions had made it impossible for Iran to trade in dollars. (In 2001, Venezuela's ambassador to Russia spoke of Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt against Chavez, reportedly with assistance from the CIA). Iran has started selling its oil in other currencies - Japan had to pay for its shipment in Yen.
"Iran has been the target of false allegations and ‘bad intelligence’ for the sole purpose of an attack which would profit corporate America, the military industrial complex, and their cohorts in the Middle East, with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon supplying intelligence[vii].
"Even as the IAEA “inspectors have protested to the US government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran's nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and dishonest", and that Iran had not enriched uranium to weapons grade[viii], the warmongering media here continues to make accusations about Iran. Iran is being accused of killing Americans in Iraq, supplying weapons, and in short, of being the biggest threat to the U.S. No doubt many employees are being paid overtime to produce the right ‘intelligence’ reports on Iran to keep the war machines going and the profits coming in."
See the original report to follow the footnotes, and check out the rest of what Information Clearinghouse has to say about the sordid connections between the Bush Family, the bin Ladins, senior Bush Administration officials, and the Carlyle Group. It might read like conspiracy theory, but as they say: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not coming to get you.
Reality checks: (1) Bush administrations. (2) Cheney VP. (3) Iraq occupation. (4) Weapons sales. (5) Oil prices. (6) The Carlyle Group. (7) Does anything you know about Bush suggest that he would divest his financial interests to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest? No? I didn't think so.