Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Share of Arms Sales by Nation.

Dear Friends, I've just looked at an important Yearbook. It's called the SIPRI Yearbook - 2007. It keeps tabs on military spending across the world. These are just a few of its disturbing findings:

- World military expenditure in 2006 is estimated to have reached $1204 billion in current dollars. In 2006 the 15 countries with the highest spending accounted for 83 per cent of the world total.

- US companies dominate the SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing companies: 40 US firms accounted for 63 per cent of the combined Top 100 arms sales of $290 billion in 2005. Some 32 West European companies accounted for another 29 per cent and 9 Russian companies for 2 per cent. Companies based in Japan, Israel and India, in descending order, accounted for most of the remaining 6 per cent of world arms sales.

- Parts of the US arms industry have benefited substantially from the USA’s post-September 2001 policies, particularly the increased demand for new equipment generated by the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So there we have it. The world is awash with weapons. Each year the amount of them increases. The U.S. spends more on armaments and makes more of them than anyone else. Far more. What does that tell us?

That the U.S., along with Britain (both close allies in the Coalition of the Killing), account for 75% of world arms sales. In economic terms, they both have a vested interest in the perpetuation of war.

Clearly, the U.S., not content with arming the world, is now in the business of creating wars as well. Why? To make lots of money out of mass killing; to secure scarce economic resources for itself; and to build even more military bases in foreign countries while simultaneously continuing to hide behind a smokescreen of spurious, seemingly-noble, flag-waving propaganda.

Peace, for those who lead capitalist, militaristic America, is anathema!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you are right. The irony was that when Eisenhower warned about the 'military industial complex' in his farewell address, it was already fully in control of the government. If you understand this simple fact, that the economy runs on war, American foreign policy makes perfect sense. Otherwise it doesn't seem to be remotely sane.
I wish I could even say that this was a modern development. The first President to warn about it was Lincoln.
Business made a lot of money in the Civil War and Spanish American War; they cleaned up in the First and Second world wars and people are becoming obscenely wealthy selling arms to anyone with money.

Daniel said...

America has become a blight upon the world, Anony. The fine ideals it was built upon are in tatters.

It is a dangerous Rogue Nation!

Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable..... unfortuantely its true. :(

Lil Sparrow

Daniel said...

Unfortunately, Lil, it is true. Those who lead America over decades have chosen war and profit rather than peace. The irony is breathtaking!

The Dude said...

Here are some other facts that may astonish, Daniel.

"Spending on health is continuing to outpace economic growth with most countries having seen a near doubling of expenditure as a share of national income over the past 25 years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported yesterday.

Per capita health spending has increased by more than 80 per cent in real terms between 1990 and 2005, outpacing the 37 per cent rise in gross domestic product per head."


To paraphrase...

So there we have it. The world is awash with health spending. Each year the amount of them increases. The U.S. spends more on health and makes more of them than anyone else. Far more. What does that tell us?

In economic terms, health care institutions have a vested interest in the perpetuation of disease.

Clearly health care institutions, not content with healing the world, are now in the business of creating disease as well.

Why? To make lots of money out of healing disease and to secure scarce economic resources for itself while it hides behind a smokescreen of a spurious, flag-waving do-good front.

Daniel said...

Your comment, Dude, given your obvious intelligence, is surely the silliest one that has ever been presented to Seeking Utopia.

What exactly is your point?

The Dude said...

My point, Daniel, is that financial interests in something do not necessarily provoke activity on the part of the group with the interests to improve business.

Healthcare is a good example (or so I thought - perhaps I expressed it badly). But consider the number of people and institutions that rely on people being sick to make money: doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, pharmacists, etc...

The more ill the population is the more work a doctor will see, the more drugs a pharmacy will sell and the more money multinational pharmaceutical companies will make.

So does the vested financial interest of the health industry encourage them to not heal people? Or spread disease? No.

Essentially, then, my point - rather poorly expressed first time round - is that financial interests do not necessarily encourage actions on the part of the interested groups to further their interests.

Daniel said...

It's a very curious way you have of thinking, Dude. Allow me to point out that health is about healing people whereas arms are about killing them.

The Dude said...

Then consider another industry.

Criminal lawyers have an interest in crime - do they encourage crime?

Private tutors have an interest in school children who don't learn well - do they encourage poor education in schools?

The point is that just because an industry has an interest in a certain state of affairs it does not mean they encourage that state of affairs.

Sorry for taking up so many comments - will try and be more succinct in future.

Daniel said...

Dear Jackie/Dude. Do you have a split personality?

The Dude said...

:) Yeah - also a fan of The Big Lebowski which is where the names come from. Will try to stick to one here from now on so as not to cause confusion.

Anonymous said...

Yeah great post, Dan!

I have always believed that Bush 'shot himself in the foot' with September Eleven in order to create exactly what you say.....There is much to be gained both from the spoils of war and economic growth providing for it.
The question is what do the little people do about it, it seems so friutless doesn't it, the war machine is huge and definately in motion for the long haul!


DivaJood said...

When you consider that mega-corporations dictate US policy, the selling of war by the US Government should not surprise anyone.

And while World Peace may be an illusion, it is a goal that is worth seeking.

pissed off patricia said...

So war is hell, but very profitable for some. That fact is a sin!

Daniel said...

Neo, George shoots other people, not himself!

Jood, what does the world do when the most powerful country in it is a greed-motivated warmonger?

Patrica, I'd put those who profit from war in the same category as child molesters!

Lucyp said...

I cannot think about the weapons and
pharmaceutical companies too long because both makes me angry through their practises. One sells weapons to anyone willing to pay, and the other witholds life saving medicine to anyone unable to pay their extortionate prices.

DivaJood said...

Daniel, it is quite complex (not.) But my take? Project For A New American Century, the Neo-Conservative "think tank" that includes such people as Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld, had a very clear plan which was jump-started into place with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The people of the United States, already numbed to four years of a frat-boy as President, went into a kind of collective coma and allowed all kinds of erosions of freedom. By the time everbody woke up, it seems to be too late.

However, however, I refuse to give up hope. As long as I have breath, I will work for peace. We have a growing grass-roots voice clamoring for Impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. We have power that we forget how to use, so we're rusty. We can effect change for the good.

And I personally believe that the World Court will eventually try Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for crimes against humanity.

Granny said...

I refuse to give up even though much of the time it seems hopeless.

Mary Walsh said...

I have done a copy and paste into my Diary, Daniel of this particular article, without your permission first...I didn't think you'd mind at all....

I saw Sicko the other night as a fund raiser for Liberty Victoria. Man's priorities are all up the spout!!!

phil kendall said...

G'day Daniel,

...nice to 'see' you.

A long, long time ago, I heard this:

"Truth, Justice and the American Way!"

What I didn't (couldn't) know then, was that it was (filthy! Lying!) propaganda.

The scales only really started falling from my eyes, on reacting to my first hearing of the "Shock'n whore®" then being mooted as Iraq's fate. I started to research the problem, and - basically - what I found was shattering.

I had regarded the US as largely being run by crooks (a la Nixon, say) but I never realised just how bad it was/still is.

I now personally date the rot to the A-bombing of Japan (62nd anniversary of the 2nd bomb today); but according to Blum, say, the trouble with US criminal immorality vis-a-vis invading other countries goes back at least to the 'conquering' of Hawaii in 1893. Not to mention the genocide practised on their own indigenes.

One of the startling facts is that after WW2, the US simply never demobilised; in fact the reverse. And they consciously spread their armaments' industry deep into their population. Almost every large concentration has its 'defense' [sic - as well as sick] industry component; so much so that if they stopped such industry, the economy would in all probability collapse.

Not a pretty thought.

regards, Phil.

Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

I don't necessarily think that just having weapons means we will use them either, but I do think that having the means to wage war makes it less likely that a nation will see an interest in diplomacy and aggression as a last resort.

If the means (budget, people, equipment) are readily available- the case is easier to make.

The case for war should never be easy to make! It should be a last resort, when we have failed, and when we must defend ourselves.

This war does not meet the criteria most people have for justified aggression.

Peace is elusive in that we have no real standard for when war is the response, and we do not commit to the resources and tools that make peaceful resolutions possible.

Not only do we have the weapons, but consider how challenging it will be in the future to come to agreements with us to prevent war, when we have shown ourselves to be untrustworthy.

Worried American said...

War is extremely profitable for all but the soldiers that die in it and the innocent victims of aggression.

Renegade Eye said...

The military build up will not obviously be stopped by electing Democrats. Now is the time for focused, antiwar action, independant of endorsing candidates, organized around correct slogans.

Daniel said...

Lucy, profit come before people in our crazy world.

Diva, great analysis. I hope your projection comes true!

Granny, I can't count the times I've almost given up. Like you, I'm still trying.

Mary, I don't mind at all.

G'day, Phil. Great to see you getting away from a certain issue. When a whole economy is tied to endless war something needs to be done. The growth of other world power blocks is beginning to happen and not before time.

Lyn, war is ridiculous. Three thousand years of human history prove it. After we hang all the war profiteers, we need to seek a new way!

Worried, if those who promote and profit from war had to fight it, war would stop immediately.

Renegade, perhaps a civil kind of war might have to be fought to get rid of the bacteria who are heavily involved in endless warmongering.

Thanks to you all for your comments.