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Noted in Passing: The Trillion Dollar Business of War

In this animation of SIPRI, we can see the meaning of arms exports in the world between 1950 and 2017.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jwm October 14, 2022, 5:24 PM

    I came out of college with faculty lounge politics, not even realizing how completely I’d been indoctrinated. I say this to my shame. Nonetheless, when the donks ran Al Gore I jumped ship, registered republican, and voted for GW Bush. After 9/11 I was on board. Many of us were. Now, looking back with a couple of decades of history witnessed first hand, I despise the bastard more than I despise Obama. The current vegetable is beneath contempt, beneath pity for his demented dotage. He belongs right up there with the rest of this scum.


    • Terry October 14, 2022, 6:57 PM

      Possibly the “demented” one will enter history as the second POTUS to use nukes. Before the coming scheduled elections . . .

      Appears the war in Uke land is escalating right on the planned time schedule. Could be.

  • The Final Bankster War October 14, 2022, 7:38 PM

    “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.

  • Casey Klahn October 14, 2022, 10:08 PM

    It is noteworthy that Trump began no new military excursions during his 4 year tenure.

    Interesting that George H W Bush is designated as (what?) starting a war with the Soviet Union? Get the fuck out of town!

    TBH, war is bigger than these presidents pictured. War is a predatory animal wandering to and fro upon the Earth. It isn’t always the fault of the particular POTUS, but it is a big man who can avoid any wars at all. Trump.

  • OneGuy October 15, 2022, 8:08 AM

    If it were only that simple. IN the 30’s and early 40’s the West didn’t do enough to protect the Jews in Europe. There are other examples where our inaction caused far more harm than incorrect actions do, Rwanda for example. If a president tries to save thousands of people and in the process hundreds of the enemy dies are their hands “bloody” or are they heroes? It just depends on if your goal is to make them or their policies look bad or not. Having said that there have been some debacles, Vietnam for example. A war of choice that we should never have gotten involved in.

    We have only had three “competent” presidents since Eisenhower; Nixon, Reagan and Trump.

    • Jack October 15, 2022, 8:54 AM

      America, during the period leading up to its involvement in WWI, was a nationalist nation…them’s was the good old days…who didn’t want to be involved in Europen wars or foreign affairs beyond normal relations. And it’s probably very fair to say that it had no foreign policy or interest in protecting anyone in Europe….jews, roma, Christians or anyone else.

      So, with no national policy, in those days, to jump into the affairs of any nation anywhere, just what would you say that America should have done to protect European Jews…particularly since Russian jews were the authors of communism that was widely embraced by Jews all across Europe?

      • OneGuy October 15, 2022, 2:07 PM

        ” just what would you say that America should have done to protect European Jews”

        A fair question. We have all seen that woman thrown to the ground at the NY City subway station while the perp punched and kicked her. We saw the man “try” to intervene and then think better of it and ran away. What should he have done to protect that woman? I would have tried to do something even if it was merely to cause him to focus on me. I would have done something because I couldn’t stand by and do nothing. I would have done something! And you! would it matter to you if she was jewish or catholic or whatever? What would you have done? Answer that and you answer your own question.

        • Jack October 15, 2022, 2:53 PM

          You are deflecting. There is no connection between the mindset and practice of US foreign policy regarding Europe (or anywhere else for that matter) in the 30’s and 40s that will permit you to compare it to an individual today who might, or might not, intervene in a NYC subway mugging.

          In the years after WWII America has attempted to control every issue abroad that it might lump under the heading of ‘civil rights’ as defined by ever changing US legislation and it has done so by economic and combative exercise, ruining our own economy, causing unending social unrest and killing our young service men and women. Everything from negro rights to homosexual, transgender, beastiality and pedophilic agendas falls under the term of “civil rights”. It should have never gone that far.

          I don’t have an antisemitic bone in me but I do believe that Jews, who elect to live in nations that have hundreds of years historic and contemporary hatred of them, are their own worst enemy and they should learn to deal with it or leave and settle where those conditions do not exist. If you have any other way of assisting them I’m curious of it.

          • OneGuy October 16, 2022, 4:14 PM

            Jack, you didn’t read what I wrote. I spoke to your comment and now you are trying to say that my response to someone else’s comment means I didn’t respond to yours. You are wrong about that.

        • ThisIsNotNutella October 15, 2022, 2:54 PM

          Nations are not people. Nations are bound by different moral imperatives than the Good Man.

          I am sick and tired of hearing endless bleating about the 1930s or the Rwandans. And don’t get me started on the bombing of Serbia. The first and last duty of nations is the well-being of their own citizens. The rest is bloviating bully pulpit bullshit, virtue preening, greed, lust for conquest, and plain old Thanatos at the end of the road.

          So your analogy of the woman in the subway is false. You may or may not be correct in sacrificing your life and widowing your wife and orphaning your children to save some third party. You are NEVER correct in sending other people’s children to die to save yet other alien people’s children.

          Bismarck (one tough, blood-spattered old Capital R Realist) was correct when he said that the Balkans were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier.

          The Jews/Rwandans/Martians were/are not worth the bones of a single snuggle-toothed Appalachian In-bred banjo player. And whoever does not grok that should not rule in the United States. Or anywhere else.

          Life is harsh. Tough.

          • ThisIsNotNutella October 15, 2022, 3:01 PM

            snaggle-toothed even.

            Of course should the Jews or Rwandans (either tribe) or Martians happen to breed themselves their own Alexander or Bismarck then fair play to them as the snaggle-toothed products of the playing fields of Eton and NHS dentistry would put it.

          • OneGuy October 15, 2022, 3:59 PM

            I wish it was as simple as you believe it is. Yes some stupid stuff happened and you would use that to then never do any smart stuff. So be it. That is your belief and not mine.

            Would I have died trying to protect someone on the subway. I suppose it’s possible especially if he had a gun or some serious weapon. But a combination of talking, distraction and creating doubt in his mind will often get the perp off his game. I’m 79 YO and after various operations and unfixed problems I’m not a serious threat to a 35 YO tough guy. But I still would have done something and I do not know and can not know if it would have been effective or saved her a beating.

            You are who you are and I am who I am. I can’t and won’t live by your standards and you are welcome to them whatever they are. But don’t conflate that with me backing every war. Some things are worth fighting for and defending yourself and your country is ALWAYS worth fighting for.

            • ghostsniper October 16, 2022, 4:45 AM

              One Guy, I believe that was in NYFC where the rules are against the good guys. Bad guys carry guns freely to harm others and the Good Guys (like you?) are prevented from carrying guns. As an unarmed good guy there is little you can do unless you mindlessly charge into the fray and collect bullet holes in your head.

              My solution involves sane people leaving places that allow those conditions to exist.
              Then, only insane people will live there and possibly make themselves extinct, a win for all of us.

              • OneGuy October 16, 2022, 7:57 AM

                I don’t disagree with what you say about the risks. I am not just acting out bravado I would be in a tough spot if he wanted to kill me. I simply could not walk away or do nothing. I could talk, yell, move away as he approached me, take a push and give a push back, I could give the lady time. Would I succeed? I don’t know but I would do something. I feel the same about defending my family, friends, community and country. It is a simple philosophy and one I cannot just walk away from. I’m not bragging, it is just what I would do. I’ve done it before and it is surprising what you can do with someone who is committing violenve if you don’t backdown and don’t go into it half cocked.

  • Anne October 15, 2022, 9:45 AM

    Please excuse me if I have told this story before. The images in my memory always come to the forefront when I hear a mention of how/who/what started the Iraq war.

    In 2002 we attended an academic conference at a small elite college in an exclusive suburb of London. I was so excited to stay in one of those old-fashioned manor homes that had been turned into a small hotel. Ours was lovely: behind an iron gate down a small narrow road with a lovely large lawn and garden area. I think perhaps it was about 15+ acres. A Saudi prince had purchased the big house next to it and kept live peacocks on his lawn. We had registered to stay an extra three days after everyone else had checked out. The hotel was small I think not more than 24 rooms, but it did have an updated lecture hall. It was one of those cantilevered auditoriums with modern equipment. That room could hold about 70 people (+/-).

    The day after everyone else had checked out I struck up a conversation with the young people at the front desk–nice kids. They helped me to plan our day. Easy drive over to Windsor park.

    When I asked if we were the last guest staying on, they explained to me that they were getting ready to shut it down for a complete remodel.
    On the 2nd day when we came down for breakfast, the last 2 or 3 guests were checking out. The rest of the place was empty. There was however a new sign in front of the lecture hall announcing that day’s event:

    “G7 Oil Accountants meeting–09:30”

    In less than an hour after breakfast, the place was filled with men in dark suits and ties. After breakfast, they all attended the lecture for their group, and then they broke up for lunch. They spent the next several hours standing around in small groups out on the lawn or grabbing a bite in the lunch room. Two or three people in each group. Hardly ever three mostly just in twos. They spoke many different languages. They were always looking around to see what the other groups were doing.

    I thought I had seen new security posted at the perimeter of the property but was not sure. That afternoon they came and went and the atmosphere grew more animated as the day wore on. I walked down a hall past an alcove and overheard a gentleman standing with his back turned and talking to his wife(or?) on his phone. He was speaking in a very animated and stressful voice. “YES, I am telling you he went for it! Yes, We’re going in–absolutely!”

    The next morning when we checked out at the front desk the kids advised me that we would have to wait outside of the front door (sitting alongside the portico). “We have a special guest coming in a few minutes and security has asked us to lock the gates.

    Security was so tight I could see them standing out in the rose garden talking up their sleeves 🙂 The place was covered with black suits and phones, etc. We sat dutifully where we were instructed to wait–the last two public guests checking out. Accidentally two days late.

    The gates opened, the black limo pulled up, and Tony Blair stepped out of the car. “HE” was the one who had approved of Britain going to war in Iraq. The G7 Oil accountants had reached their agreement first. Two days later Tony Blair announced they were going to support the US in their attack on Iraq.

    • ThisIsNotNutella October 15, 2022, 3:09 PM

      Talk about opening the Dark Lantern for a moment.

      Thanks for this anecdote. It’s something to have been right there and had a glimpse at just how the sausage is made.

      Tony Blair should hang for his part in Gulf War II… And should burn in hell for opening the immigration floodgates wide and wedging them open and thereby committing not-s0-slow motion democide on his own (it is to laugh) people.

  • Auntie Analogue October 15, 2022, 10:09 AM

    Can’t recall the genre or the performer of the song these lyrics come from, but in my mind these lyrics have since remained vivid:

    “I’m an old time smuggling man, and I do just what I choose:
    I sell guns to the A-rabs, I sell dynamite to the Jews.”

    • ThisIsNotNutella October 15, 2022, 3:05 PM

      Well that narrows it down. Either he’s a Greek, an Armenian, or (wait for it, wait for it…) A Jew 🙂

      • Auntie Analogue October 16, 2022, 9:06 AM

        Found the composer performing his song . . . (false memory of lyrics, “do just what I choose,” failed me in my earlier comment) . . . Tim Hardin . . . “Smugglin’ Man” . . . : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLAVDC4aV54

  • Wade Hampton October 15, 2022, 9:08 PM

    Seeing the photo of the war criminals with the yellow labels listing their wars reminds me of an exchange with a lefty acquaintaince during the run up to the 2020 “election”.

    He was explaining that Biden was supported by all these big time American generals, you know the ones who have never won a war, and this meant that Biden was somehow the one to vote for for American global security.

    I pointed out that the loser generals supported Biden because they were all board members of Lockheed/Martin, Boeing or Raytheon, that Trump contrariwise had given us the only four years in recent memory with no new foreign wars or military adventures, so a vote for Biden was certainly a vote for war.

    He called me a Nazi. Oh well. So much for enlightened political discourse with the left.

    In 2020, I was expecting that Biden would pick on some helpless sandbox like 10% Christian Syria. I never thought that he would push for war with the two biggest nuclear-armed powers on the planet.

    America has truly decayed into “The Empire of Chaos”.

  • JustMe October 17, 2022, 2:53 PM

    After 9/11 and during the buildup to the Iraq war there was considerable evidence of Russia building biological warfare labs in Iraq and before the actual fighting started considerable evidence of Russia flying plane after plane of the equipment and product of those labs out of the country. In fact it was cut so close to the invasion that at one point a squad of Spetsnaz encountered a squad of American fighters and luckily both parties backed away.
    There was also a nuclear bomb factory discovered completely underground and camouflaged so that it was only discovered by pure chance and inside they had some 500+ metric tons of yellow cake uranium.
    The list of these discoveries early on in the war was extensive but at some point all of the data and discussion disappeared. Almost as though Western governments agreed to hide something.
    And we can probably remember caravans of trucks going from Iraq chemical and biological sites to Syria for months before the war began.
    And of course we remember France, Germany and half a dozen other European countries delaying the war in the UN because they had been building all these chemical and biological sites for Saddam and they needed the time to get their people out and their fingerprints off the weapons before discovery.

    I’m not recounting these things to somehow justify the war but I am saying that war with Iraq was inevitable and I believe that Israel was on the verge of attacking them out of fear that they were the prime target. That Europe collaborated with Iraq out of greed and that Iraq was indeed on the verge of making the middle east a bigger hell hole than it usually is.

  • Wade Hampton October 17, 2022, 6:38 PM

    Iraq never had any WMD, Russian generated or otherwise. To believe otherwise is to live in a world of pure fantasy, an attempt to cope with the fact that the US has been a terrorist nation since at least 9/11.