Monday, February 5, 2018
Headline Sums Up The Mess We're In: Tax Breaks For BIW, World War III For Us
Is it alarmist to suggest that corporate welfare for the 5th largest weapons corporation in the world will lead to WWIII, as did Portland's the bollard in its February issue? I don't think so.
The giant warships known as destroyers that are built by General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine are indeed sent to menace China.
Destruction of a UN World Heritage Site coral reef over the last several years to create a deep water port for those destroyers on Jeju Island, South Korea was resisted vigorously by the people who live and fish there. They did not want their coastline used as a staging area for a showdown between their powerful neighbor and the U.S. -- of which South Korea is a client state since it was partitioned during the Cold War.
One of the best quotes I've ever seen from the many articulate protesters who have gathered at BIW warship christenings[sic] was from Peter Morgan, a Veteran for Peace. He reportedly told the Portland Press Herald of a warship that cost $4.1 billion to build,
"I’m not sure how the destroyer addresses terrorism, exactly."
Yesterday I noticed news that the U.S. government is set to borrow $955 billion in 2018, a huge increase over previous years. This is likely in response to revenue lost because of the tax "reform" that slashed taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals. Much of what is borrowed will funnel back to those same corporations in the form of lucrative contracts to build massive weapon systems. And those same corporations will give campaign contributions to the legislators who voted for their big tax break.
When I protested at BIW with a sign that said WAR = DEBT I meant this literally.
Today faux news is reporting that ISIS is "defeated" and that the U.S. will be redeploying troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. (What could go wrong?)
ISIS, a direct result of the U.S. invading and occupying Iraq, has largely been funded by U.S. ally Saudi Arabia. If it is "defeated" I'm guessing this means its funding streams are drying up.
With China and Russia as enemies to justify mad borrowing that funds "defense" spending, who really needs Islamic militants?
If the U.S. is indeed pulling troops out of Iraq (as they've promised many times to do) I'm guessing it may have something to do with the fact that "our" moderate rebels shot down a Russian warplane over Syria a couple of days ago.
As we hold our breath in fear of nuclear war, this is an alarming development.
Chris Busby of the bollard has the sense to connect the dots of LD1781, which is a bill before the Maine Legislature to provide a $60 million tax break for GD/BIW, and the threat of global war.
I was arrested while holding the WAR = DEBT sign in front of BIW's gate. Justice Dan Billings just ruled that the shipyard was wrong to exclude me from a public event just because they didn't like my message. Also that the Bath Police Department was really wrong to be taking its orders from BIW.
It's the karmic debt of our warmongering for profit that worries me most. Sixteen plus years in Afghanistan and no end in sight. U.S. bases proliferate around the globe. Africa is crawling with Pentagon outposts established during the Obama administration. People want foreign military bases out of their countries: Okinawa, Italy, Germany, Australia, and so on.
Politicians in the U.S. will go on claiming that Pentagon contracts are a good jobs program. They are not.
The Ottoman Empire, the British Empire and the French monarchy found what happens when a nation keeps borrowing to fund wars it cannot afford.
The German and Japanese people found where the road led from committng their national manufacturing might to weapons and death dealing.
The U.S. is on that same road right now, and more corporate welfare for weapons manufacturers will only hasten our demise.