War: Your Death Is Their Profit
By Parul Verma
27 October, 2015
Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile
Ethical deprivation and profitable consumption have been the teachings of any war, as history echoes. The object on which the flavours of this crass ethical deprivation is applied,not only suffers an inevitable loss of subjectivity but a collective sense of his identity. How a common man becomes an object of profitable lust and at the same time, the subject via which this lust is fulfilled becomes an interesting psychological triad. While the heart suffers as it witness the death of humanity, the mind is haunted by an inevitable question---Who profits from the death of each?
One cannot unveil the layers of the invisible lies, without engaging in the visible conflicts that has drowned the Middle East ,in the waters of chaos. Syria was never dipped in the waters of true democracy to begin with. The recent involvement of Russia in Syria in helping one terror to annihilate the another terror has raised eyebrows. At the recent U.N General Assembly, United States of America And Russia pointed fingers at each other for the ongoing violent devastating war in Syria that gave birth of refugees(more than7.6 millions have been displaced within Syria. while 4 million have fled as refugees in the neighbouring countries, and the number keeps increasing as you read).Obama made a subtle remark on the involvement of Putin, in hisrecent defence of the Syrian goverment stating, "In accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children because the alternative is surely worse"
The phenomenon of cognitive dissonance reveals itself,once the space between Obama's linguistics(present) and his action(past) is analysed.The statement made by Obama has deep rooted incongruities, which is revealed once the statistics of the defence industry in U.S in studied.The unconditional NATURE of the weapons and the NURTURANCE of the weaponaries, the defence industry has received by Obama is alarming. And remember, this is the same man who had been honoured with the Nobel Prize for ‘extraordinary effort to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between international communities’ (2009). Only if the dead could speak, their voice would echo the peculiar kind of destructive‘peace’ ,Obama is possessedwith.
Post the 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Pentagon had converted the demography of Iraq into a blooming buisness opportunity for burgeoning mercenary industry , all in the name of 'democracy'. However, according to the data provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the five largest U.S. defense contractors had experienced a 14% drop in their employees(2008-2013). But Obama's involvement in the Syrian war, undoubtedly restored the lost revenues. Infact , arms export have increased up to 23% since Bush administration.The biggest beneficiary of the Middle Eastern market is the United States, with $8.4 billion worth of Middle Eastern exports weapons in 2014. The total worth of $6 billion weaponary was exported in the Middle East in 2013. The bars of profit raises as year passes by.
"Growth in Saudi Arabia has been dramatic and, based on previous orders, these numbers are not going to slow down,” IHS expert Ben Moores said, predicting a 52 percent import increase to $9.8 billion in 2015. One can understand the reasons for Middle East to invest and strengthen their defence department considering the twisted political fractures within the demography. With the region being rich with natural resource like oil and the rise of extreamist groups like ISIS ,strengthening the defences is not an option but a neccesity. The continuous acceleration of the civil war in the Middle East and with the establishment military base of United States in the region, not only chaos has consumed the bone marrow of the region but is draining humanity down the rivers of the wars. But who is profiting from the death, we shall get to it in a while. IHS reflects that currently the global defense trade stands at $64.4 billion, a figure which has been driven by “unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific,” Moores said. With no suprises, USA is ranked one in the list of global arms exports with $23.7 billion worth of equipment and 19 percent growth. The countries that follows the list of arm export business is Russia Federation, France, U.K and Germany.( Source : IHS,Jane’s information group )
Now, let's go back to the statement made by Obama,aimed subtly at Putin (mentioned earlier in the article). With the utter determination of ‘moral policing’ the Middle East, he forgets the cognitive dissonance he instrinsicly suffers from. While he blames Assad for dropping barrel bombs on his civilians, the arms USA is exporting under Obama's supervision, some of the countries like Israel (who gets its ammunitions from USA) has been found to be using weapons like white phosphorouson Palestinians (Protective Edge operation ,2014). These weapons are banned by Geneva Convention, yet are being used on the civilians. Now one can arguethat it is Israel that is implementing the banned weapons and Obama is not to be blamed, but the mere fact of the unconditional support by Obama to fund Israel with worth $2-4 billions of weapons each year, reveals the origin of the wrath.
But who is sipping the holy grail of profit from the death of each? Who is making billions whith each civilian being shot dead, in the war of the profits?
▪LOCKHEED MARTIN (NYSE:LMT)
Lockheed Martin, Headquartered in Bethesda, MD , is United State of America's largest defence contractor, maker of warplanes, aviation electronics and other weapons systems. Lockheed Martin’s advanced development program, known as Skunk Works, claims it may have a prototype of the elusive nuclear energy device within five years. Recently, Lockheed Martin Corporation's $9 billion acquisition of United Technologies Corporation's Sikorsky Aircraft, claims to bring together two companies that are heading in the same direction(military helicopter business ).
Lockheed Martin's operating units are organized into broad business areas such as follows:-
Aeronautics, which includes tactical aircraft, airlift, and aeronautical research and development lines of business. Missiles and Fire Control, which includes the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, PAC-3 Missiles as some of its high-profile programs. Mission Systems and Training , which includes naval systems, platform integration, simulation and training and energy programs lines of business. Space Systems, which includes space launch, commercial satellites, government satellites, and strategic missiles lines of business.
■FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF Lockheed Martin in the year 2014 are as follow:
Sales: $45.6 Billion
Missiles and fire control :$7.7 Billion
Mission systems and Training system: approx $7.1 Billion
Backlog: $80.5 Billion
Cash Flow from Operations: $3.9 Billion.
( source: lockheedmartin.com)
“ In both of those regions(Middle East and Asia Pacific) ,which are growth areas for us, we expect that there is going to continue to be opportunity for us to bring our capabilities to them” Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin ( January 27,2015).
The CEO mentioned about the “volatility” they are looking into, for both the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions to increase their sales internationally.What kind of “volatility “ is being looked at, remains concealed. However, what is revealed is the extraordinary determination to ‘expand ‘ internationally, of which Lockheed Martin is doing a brilliant job..
▪Boeing (NYSE: BA)
Boeing , based in Chicago, is the largest aerospace company in the world. Boeing is known primarily for its airplanes, with more than 10,000 commercial jetliners in use worldwide, or approximately 48% of the global fleet, according to the company. The defence department contains sophisticated machineries like A-10 Wing replacement, AH-64 Apache, AH-6 Attack Helicopter, B-1B Lancer, F/A- 18 superfast Horner, P-8 Poseidon etc. The company is also a major provider of satellites . Worldwide, the company had a total headcount of 168,400 — also thefourthhighest number of employees among the 100 largest arms dealers(2013).
■FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE of Boeing in the year 2014 are as follows:
Military aircraft: $21.1 Billion
Network and space system:$8.9 Billion
Global services and support:$16.9 Billion
Unobligated backlog :$15.3 Billion.
In 2014 , Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing, made the remark , when he was asked if he is thinking about retiring after he turns 65 next month. McNerney said he won't retire because "the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering “, a new low in the objectification of the workforce under him. His apology was scattered on his Twitter account but the classic degradation of the essence of the workforce, was hard to ignore.
BAE Systems, headquarter located in London, is one of the top 10 defence contractor suppliers to the U.S. It is the world's largest producer of combat vehicles, with 31,500 employees in the U.S. in addition to 33,300 in the United Kingdom and another 19,800 in other parts of the globe including Saudi Arabia and Australia(2013). It is the leading provider of the military air products. They also design, build, integrate maritime platforms and naval weapon system.
■FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF BAE Systems in the year 2014 are as follows:
The net profit of BAE Systems surged to £740 million ($1.14 billion, 1.0 billion euros) 2014 as compared with £168 million in 2013, when the corporates performance was rocked by a vast £887-million impairment charge on its US business. In 2014, BAE Systems delivered a performance, covering up for the loss of the previous year. They received £10 billion of new orders from the UK and US for the third successive year, which resulted in the large order backlog of £40.5 billion.( source: economic times)
The involvement of these defence corporation in America's metastasizing military industry should not be of surprise anymore. The detailed factual arguments of how Lockheed Martin plays a crucial role in America's foreign policy has been exposed by William D. Hartung in his book ( Prophets of War) . How has one company become the recipient of such a large portion of America's tax dollars through contracts with the Pentagon, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, is alarming.With each war, the profitable bar soars high. with each increasing number of the dead body, the number in the billions increases. The human lives has indeed become an OBJECT of profitable lust and the SUBJECT via which the lust is fulfilled.
PARUL VERMA (activist, student and a writer). For any feedback or query , reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.