Authored by Iain Davis via Off-Guardian.org,
In 1935, Major General Smedley Butler’s seminal book “War Is A Racket” warned of the dangers of the US military-industrial complex, more than 25 years before the outgoing US President Eisenhower implored the world to “guard against” the same thing.
One of the most decorated soldiers in US military history, Butler knew what he was talking about, famously writing that war is “…conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.”
While he lamented the loss of his fallen comrades and despite the gongs he received for defending his country, Butler came to understand that he was actually a “high class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.” Later, the historian Antony C. Sutton proved that Butler was right.
When the US administration of George Bush passed its Foreign Operations Appropriation Law in 1991, it ended all US credit to the former, thriving socialist republic of Yugoslavia. At the time the perception on the Hill was that Yugoslavia was no longer required as a buffer zone between the NATO states and their former Warsaw Pact adversaries, so its independent socialism was no longer tolerated.
The US military industrial complex, that Butler and Eisenhower told everyone to tackle, effectively destabilised the entire Balkan region, destroyed hitherto relatively peaceful countries and then fuelled the resultant wars with its pet Islamist terrorists. Ably assisted by the World Bank and the IMF.
So-called “assistance,” via the Train and Equip Program, gave US taxpayers the opportunity to funnel $500M to private security contractors like DynCorp. DynCorp put taxpayer’s money to use, seemingly by training terrorists and child trafficking to paedophiles.
The US and its Western allies’ military industrial complex pulled off more or less the same trick in Iraq, Libya and nearly in Syria. In hindsight this doesn’t appear to have been a very good idea. That is, if you think wars are fought for the reasons we are told.
Having bombed Iraq into the stone age, to stop its regime producing the WMDs it didn’t have, the US then “rescued” the country, from the horrific violence and starvation sanctions the US government itself visited upon the Iraqi people, by establishing the US led coalition’s puppet Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) government. Once installed, the CPA did things like award US engineering firm Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) a ‘sole source contract’ to fix and operate all of Iraq’s oil wells.
That US Vice President Dick Cheney, who lied passionately about Iraqi WMD, was also in receipt of an annual $2M stipend from KBR was just a coincidence. As was the massive boost to the value of his Halliburton shareholdings as a direct result of the war he was instrumental in starting.
When the former UK Prime Minister Teresa May OK’d missile trikes upon Syrian civilians, the fact that her husband made millions out of it, as his investments in missile manufactures went through the roof, was also just a coincidence. In no way did she personally profit from killing children and the fact that her family continues to make a fortune by killing more children in Yemen does not undermine Theresa’s very public profile as a champion of good causes. Although, it appears, not killing children isn’t one of them.
So we shouldn’t be surprised when, once again, we discover that war, far from an impediment to business, actually improves operational margins, increases production, boosts markets and offers white collar criminal enterprises industrial scale profits.
Sure, people, including children, die in huge numbers but so what? Where there’s muck there’s brass. War certainly is a racket.
It turns out that Ukraine has been buying Russian fuel from the EU member state Bulgaria throughout the Ukraine War. An odd oversight for alleged combatants in a war. It is similar to the Ukrainian government’s decision to allow the continuing transit of Russian gas from Gazprom to EU markets through its resident pipelines.
The Russian energy giant Lukoil, whose former CEO Ravil Maganov accidentally fell out of a window a few months ago—a common problem for the wrong Russian executives—has been shipping Russian oil to its refinery in the Bulgarian port city of Burgas. The Burgas refinery is the only one in Bulgaria and the largest in the Balkans. From there the refined gas-oil (red diesel) is exported to Russia’s supposed enemy, Ukraine.
This was all being done in secret, says the Russian MSM, although this is just perception management, pro-war propaganda. There has also been a lot of nonsense written by the Western MSM, alleging that Bulgaria has been illicitly circumnavigating EU “sanctions.” Regardless of the fact that this too is monumental tripe.
There isn’t anything “secret” about it. In truth, the door was left open for Russia and Bulgaria to continue this trade, at least until the end of 2024, because the EU inserted a loophole to ensure that they could.
Presumably, the Russian government knew nothing about the massive oil shipments, which is why it remained a “secret,” according to Russian MSM.
Given that the “secrecy” narrative is total claptrap, why would both the Western and the Russian MSM want to peddle essentially the same disinformation? Let’s spend a moment to reflect upon the EU’s non-sanction sanctions shall we?
It means that third party non-EU trading nations, like Kazakhstan for instance, can ship Russian oil to the EU unhindered by the inconvenience of alleged sanctions. The sanctions are for reordering global energy flows, not ending them.
While the switch-over has plunged European citizens into an energy crisis, that’s OK. It is essential for the future of the planet that Europeans are convinced to accept ever increasing energy prices. Otherwise they might not welcome the transition to the “sustainable energy” that will make their lives much worse.
Red diesel in Ukraine is used for industrial and heavy machinery, in agriculture and manufacturing for example. It is also used for, oh I don’t know, fuelling tanks and armoured personnel carriers, mobile artillery units and stuff like that.
Stories from European news outlets that Bulgaria provides nearly 40% of Ukrainian military fuel are all nonsense because ‘reasons’. Officials have denied the evidence, such as confirmation from the former Bulgarian President, so it isn’t “officially approved” evidence. Consequently, it can safely be discounted by anyone gullible enough to do so.
Don’t forget, according to Western and Russian MSM outlets, it’s all a secret. Which may come as a relief to some, because otherwise the Russian government would have been colluding with the EU to ensure that the Ukrainian military could stay in the fight wouldn’t it?
Recently, despite apparently running out of weaponry, if you believe Western propaganda that is, Russia has launched a massive missile strike on Ukraine, targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. According to Russian MSM this is part of the Russian governments efforts to undermine Ukraine’s “military capabilities.”
The fact that it ensures that Ukraine will need to be rebuilt by borrowing enormous sums from international financiers, with the diligent assistance of Gazprom investors BlackRock, is not relevant. So ignore this too please.
Gazprom sells gas to Moldova which is now going to provide gas to Ukraine via the Ukrainian transit gas pipelines that Russian bombing has accidentally missed entirely. The Moldovan government is keen to stress that this is not the gas it buys from Gazprom but is rather the gas it buys from somewhere else it hasn’t specified despite admitting that it is completely reliant upon Russian energy.
If the energy and the fuel from countries like Moldova, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan is used by the Ukrainian government’s military, which it won’t under any official circumstances whatsoever, and Gazprom gas helps keep Ukrainian’s lights on, despite the missile strikes, it looks like the Russian government’s objective is to keep Ukraine at war while hobbling it just enough to ensure it can’t win.
This can’t be true because NATO appears to be doing exactly the same thing and Russia and NATO are enemies. Although NATO’s not quite enough assistance differs from the Russian governments not quite enough aggression, it essentially amounts to the same thing.
The piddly number of tanks offered to Ukraine by its NATO “partners,” the reluctance from NATO to give Ukraine military aircraft and the tepid reception for Ukraine’s more recent pleas to join NATO, appears to signal that NATO isn’t prepared to provide, or perhaps isn’t capable of providing, the military support Ukraine would need for victory. But it is seemingly willing to give it just enough old used scrap to keep it loosing.
This means Ukrainians, the new Russian populations in the Donbas, and troops on both sides, though primarily the Ukrainians, will continue to die while the geopolitical landscape continues to shift around them. Meanwhile the military industrial complex and the billionaires it enriches, such as Elon Musk, are making a fortune. When the conflict is concluded, multinational corporations on both sides will be awarded the contracts to rebuild the stuff their government partners have just destroyed.
Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted.
While some might think it wise to add politician’s to that list, for some unfathomable reason, far more people seem to think this is a good point but that it isn’t a serious proposal. Why not? Do they not get it, do they not understand what Butler, Eisenhower, Sutton and many more like them have been trying to tell them for nearly a century?
What is it about the military industrial complex that they assume to be inevitable? Why on Earth do they think it is a “necessary evil?”
It is only necessary because millions, perhaps billions, of us accept that war is the “failure” of foreign policy and diplomacy, instead of understanding the obvious fact that it is the extension of foreign policy. As we are seeing right now with the warmongering posturing of the West and China, war is the intended product of foreign policy and sledgehammer diplomacy.
Wars don’t just “happen” by accident. They are planned, engineered and delivered as required. Our’s and our children’s deaths mean nothing to the people who we allow to lead us into war. They don’t have skin in the game but they should and we have the power to make sure that they do. All we have to do is refuse to fight. It really isn’t rocket science. Obedience is not a virtue.
But we won’t because we continue to fall for the same old lies, time and time again. We continue to imagine, like amnesiac slaves, that we can only be led to a better future by following another bunch of parasitic criminals.
Around and around we go: blowing up and starving children to death, condemning pensioners to freezing fuel poverty and accepting that we might just have to sacrifice ourselves and our loved ones along the way.
When the warmongers next press gang our sons and daughters into dying for their ambitions, we will again say it is in a good cause: for the defence of our country, our culture or our way of life.
It isn’t, it never was and it never will be as long as we continue to go along with it.
Sat, 02/18/2023 – 21:00