FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
May 19, 1999; 9:00PM EDT - DAY 57
Phoenix 1. "Death Merchants'" View: "War Is Great; Peace Sucks;
Long Live NATO!"
Dublin 2. Eire Fire II: "We Were Loud and Bad,"
And in Hillary's Ear
1. "Death Merchants'" View: "War Is Great; Peace Sucks; Long Live NATO!"
PHOENIX, May 19 - "War is great. Peace sucks. Long live NATO!" The preceding slogans could just about sum up the "death merchants'" views of NATO's war on Serbia. And no wonder...
Wall Street investors who backed the "death merchants'" have seen the Top 10 Pentagon defense contractors' stocks outperform the market (the S&P 500 index) by a 2.5-to-one ratio since March 23 (+15% vs. +6%), the day before the shooting war started in Yugoslavia.
After lagging the S&P during the first three weeks of NATO's war on Serbia, the Top 10 Pentagon stocks surged ahead in mid-April, and stayed ahead of the market, as it became evident that this war could drag on. And as Congress started to deliberate the White House's request for additional $12 billion of funding for the Pentagon.
But even before this request, and before the shooting war started on Mar. 24, the new Day of Infamy, the U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 1999 and beyond had been already increased by the Clinton administration. The White House requested in February an additional $112 billion in Pentagon spending over the next five years, bringing the Pentagon's budget up to $319 billion by 2005.
TiM Ed.: So much for NATO's war on Serbia having been caused by Slobodan Milosevic's intransigence. Or by the "humanitarian" concerns of the mad bombers. We've been saying all along that the only winners in this tragic charade are the "death merchants," along with an assortment of other industries which work in support of the war efforts. And that the true motto of the New World Order is: "Perpetual commerce through perpetual war," NOT its NWO mantra: "World peace through world trade." (see "Orwell Would Have a Blast Today," Day 11, Update 2, Item, Apr. 3).
Well, now the New York Times has seconded this TiM assessment in today's business front story (May 19):
"...American weapons makers are already anticipating that Kosovo may help secure a strategic victory for them - not on the battlefield, but in Congress," the New York Times said today (May 19). "After a decade of slashing armaments spending by nearly 70 percent and downsizing the military contracting industry, Washington now seems inclined to increase outlays for weapons. And this spending will go far beyond the request for $12.2 billion in Kosovo emergency funds now before Congress.
For military contractors, the relevant portion of the Pentagon budget is the money earmarked for weapons - as much as $53 billion for weapons procurement next year and $60 billion the following year - compared with $44 billion last year, which was the lowest level in more than a decade."
Most of the transports, weapons and ordnance now in use in Kosovo is equipment no longer actively produced, the Times said. Which includes the C-5 transport plane, the B-2 bomber and the Tomahawk cruise missile. So the need for new generations of materiel, and the money to pay for it, represents the best business opportunity in years for military contractors.
"Kosovo underscores what the industry has been saying -- that we need to get to a sustainable rate of spending," Daniel Burnham, chief executive of the Raytheon Co., the No. 3 Pentagon contractor which made the Tomahawk cruise missile, told the Times. "We need to get to $60 billion in weapons outlays. We are now on that path. And we are getting there faster than we first thought."
In other words, Clinton is accelerating his efforts to please the "death merchants" who helped send him to Washington. Compared with the Bush administration, when there were 14 military engagements, with one big one - the Gulf War, the Clinton years have so far been pretty "lean picking" for the nation's defense contractors, despite the nearly four dozen engagements. So now, before his term and the Y2K clock runs out, Clinton is delivering another fairly "big one," in Yugoslavia, to the applause of industrial America.
But not just industrial America. As we've pointed out before, a host of other industries benefit from the foreign wars, such as NATO's attack on Serbia.
If you take a look at the list of the top 50 Pentagon contractors in the fiscal year 1998 (see APPENDIX 1 at the end of this report), you will find CBS Corp., for example, as No. 21 with $567 million in Pentagon contracts; Massachusetts Institute of Technology as No. 29 with $372 million; Booz Allen & Hamilton as No. 37 with $312 million; John Hopkins University as No. 38 with $306 million - to mention some non-industrial beneficiaries of Washington's foreign wars.
You will also find on the top 50 list a number of big health care and IT services providers, along with energy companies, and even some foreign multinationals (e.g., Rolls-Royce, Phillip Holzmann Aktiengesellschaft, etc.). Altogether, the top 50 received $63 billion in prime defense contracts in fiscal year 1998.
Which is over five times Yugoslavia's prewar GDP, generously estimated at about $12 billion. Pentagon's 1999 budget is about 23 times greater than Yugoslavia's GDP; while the U.S. GDP alone, without taking into account the economic muscle of the other 18 NATO countries, is about 741 times greater. The Serbs are also outnumbered by 97-1 by the 780 million citizens of NATO countries.
Yet NATO is losing the war, according to some estimates of independent analysts (see Day 16, Update 2, Item 3, Apr. 8). Because the Washington and NATO "supermen" had not studied the Serb culture before attacking them. An old Serbian proverb says, "bitku ne bije svijetlo oruzje no srce u junaka." ("battle is not fought by the shiny weapons but by the hearts of heroes" - see Day 9, Update 1, Item 4, Apr. 1).
But the "death merchants" don't care about who wins and who loses, as long as there are wars going somewhere around the world. Because after the destruction comes the rebuilding. And they make out either way (see S99-61, Day 39, Update 1, Item 1, May 1).
Which is why NATO "death merchants," individually and collectively, must have cheered another New York Times front page news story this morning. The Yugoslav Army has started to dig and fortify the possible approaches which NATO ground troops may use in an eventual land assault on Kosovo, the Times said.
In other words, far from being ready to give up, as the NATO spokespeople keep repeating their own wishful thinking, the Serbs are getting ready for a long and bloody war. And now, a U.S. Air Force general has conceded the same thing.
Asked by the Times how long the air war might continue, Gen. John Jumper, the head of the U.S. Air Force in Europe, gave a terse response: "Months."
Most normal human beings would have shuddered at such a thought. But not the Pentagon and other NATO defense contractors. Can't you hear them chanting, "War is great. Peace sucks. Long live NATO?" We can... As we can see Wall Street jumping for joy at Gen. Jumper's proclamation.
So stand by for another "good day at the office" for the CCCC-killers (Clinton, Clark, Cohen, Chirac), and for America's "death merchants." Or a good month... Or a year... God forbid!
APPENDIX 1TOP 50 PENTAGON CONTRACTORS Fiscal Year 1998
2. Eire Fire II: "We Were Loud and Bad," And in Hillary's Ear
DUBLIN, May 19 - Some of the TiM readers may recall our story about the "Pro-Serb Eire Fire," displayed during a loud anti-NATO protest in Dublin (see S99-75, Day 50, Update 1, Item 5, May 12). And the young Irishman who carried for half a mile an enormous speaker which weighed 100 pounds, but which "was (as) loud as hell," in the words of this protester.
Well, Joe Murphy, a Dublin student whom some of his friends in Belgrade envisage as "the Irishman from the 'Braveheart' movie," has just sent us the following report from the "welcome party" which Hillary Clinton received last weekend at Galway:
Joe Murphy, Dublin
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"