Good news from the (perpetual) battle front in the (battered) Middle East! The Pentagon has finally found a purpose for its latest exercise in corrupt squander, the Lockheed-Martin F-22 ‘Raptor’ (Julian Barnes, WSJ):
WASHINGTON—The Pentagon’s most advanced fighter plane made its combat debut in the U.S.-led strikes on Syria, serving a crucial purpose for a sensitive mission that depended on stealth … (blowing up a pickup truck … )
Pilots flying the F-22 Raptor flew bombing runs over Syria to target the militant Islamic State group, U.S. officials said.
Officials didn’t say what targets the F-22 struck, but said it was used later in the series of strikes, which lasted several hours …
Targets = schools, clinics, day care centers … pickup trucks. “It became necessary to destroy the pickup truck to save it … “ That F-22s are blowing up F-150s is ironic because the presumed beneficiaries of US bombing in the (oil producing) Middle East are pickup trucks, which require (relatively) larger amounts of inexpensive fuel to operate. If US fuel was plentiful — due to burgeoning ‘fracking revolution’ — there would be no need for the world’s militaries to impose themselves upon the region. Then again … America and its Western Allies might just be ‘Bombing for Dollars’.
“The airstrikes – which employed U.S. Tomahawk missiles, B1 bombers, F16, F18 and F22 strike fighters and drones – was backed by support from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the UAE – a coalition of nations that has agreed to assist with the destruction of ISIS.
Ironically, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait provide funding for the Islamic State …Saudi Arabia provides funds … The US indirectly and directly has provided materiel aidfor ‘moderate’ Syrians who are actually fighters who make up the Islamic State … The US provides materiel … Militants are citizens from Western countries such as France andUK. Syrian ‘rebels’ are reported to have been trained by the CIA in Jordanian bases.“Can’t anyone here play this game?”
‘I can tell you that last night’s strikes were only the beginning,’ Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. He said the strikes had been ‘very successful’ and would continue, without going into further detail on future operational plans.
“Last night’s strikes were only the beginning … very successful,”; how demoralizing. One would think that World War Three would shamble from the pit with a better introductory. The coda for our last great conflagration was Chamberlain’s ironic, “Peace for our time!” This followed Edward Grey’s elegaic intro to the previous slaughter; “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time … “Sadly, no one has seen the lamps a hundred years hence, only the ruin remaining from unconstrained progress, our war of ‘everything’ against ‘everything else’ … including literacy.
Industrial warfare is a business like asphalt paving or payday lending. Modernistic war is murder for money and not one thing more … ‘bombing for dollars’. Clausewitz’ notion that ‘War is the continuation of politics by other means” has been turned inside out; it is now simply one self-perpetuating scam among many others. National security issues are irrelevancies/rationalizations, politics has been separated and become the means to the financial end. What matters is the continuing ‘growth’ of the human killing enterprise along with the flows of funds that support it. In its own way the military is a cynically self-destructive an institution as slavery was in the 19th century. Just as a hat store must sell hats to stay in business, the murder business requires continuous conflict, otherwise it fails.
‘Genocide Inc.’ thrives by eschewing old-school Prussian mannerisms, taking instead the outward forms associated with ordinary business firms, albeit very large ones. Military ‘management’ offers fashionable abstract services such as ‘safety’, ‘order’ and ‘security’;‘honor’, ‘service’, ‘heroism’ … ‘patriotism’ along with high-tech toys. The military markets atrocity by carefully avoiding the subject; the murder of thousands or millions is an externality.
Nobody within Genocide Inc. is held accountable for their actions no matter how reprehensible, dishonorable, corrupt or destructive.
Genocide Inc. is a form of ‘conduit scheme’: these are sophisticated, large scale frauds where contributors and the promoters/final recipients work together to take advantage of the conduits — the persons in the middle who are the promoters’ unwitting stooges.
Where Ponzi schemes involve the transfer of savings from entitled ‘capitalists’ (speculators) to unscrupulous promoters, Conduits are debt transfer machines. Repayment obligations are assigned to the conduit — taxpayers — while the benefits flow from the lender to third-party recipients, in this case military contractors. The taxpayer is responsible for servicing and retiring the debt: it’s his debt, the military business owners’ benefit.
Here is the ‘warfare business’ scam:
Figure 1: Within the scheme, the citizen is offered abstractions of negligible worth: ‘security’ from self-created boogeymen along with vicarious ‘virtues’ which themselves are little more than scams or empty ‘Internet memes’. The taxpayer is the conduit by which vast sums are transferred from the one group to the other. The murder of others at an unaccountable distance is the function of the process. What is different between this scam and similar versions run by New York’s Tammany Hall and William Magear ‘Boss’ Tweed is the conduits in Tweed’s rackets were always in on the take.
Note how all three primary components are in the private sector: finance, citizens and the contractors. This is not accidental; US warfare is being privatized; with unscrupulous Americans robbing Americans who are patriotic useful idiots.
Conduit schemes have certain characteristics:
– The payments from a contributor to a final recipient are loans directed through a conduit, who is identified as the ‘beneficiary’ of the scheme. Unlike Ponzi schemes, which require voluntary participation, conduits are coercive, gate-keeping regimes. Whether the citizen is a direct participant or not, the costs of the scheme are set by the scheme itself, the conduit has no ‘bargaining power’.
– The benefit promised to the conduit are cost-free abstractions, ‘common goods’ such as ‘security’, ‘education’ or ‘medical insurance’ which are unrelated to the actual funds-transfer.
– The transfer from the contributor to the recipient is always money, often in staggeringly large amounts: $800+ billion per year spent by the US for ‘defense’.
– The contributors are banks/finance sector by way of the government borrowing.
– Both lender-contributors and final recipients are aware of the scheme at hand and both actively promote it: falsely to the public-conduit, accurately to each other.
– The final recipients who are part of the scam have no investment ‘method’, they simply accept the free money offered in the conduit’s name.
The conduit is necessary but is incapable of acting in any interest other than those of the contributor/recipient. Taking on loans and accompanying repayment obligations are conditions of … being an American! Unlike other conduit schemes, participants cannot exclude themselves; costs of the scheme are distributed widely falling upon individuals who find themselves unable to ‘opt out’. The recipients’ gains are enormous; the conduits receive little outside of what they bring to the scam in the first place. Like the rest of the economy, the product of the military factories is waste.