The Empire’s Dog Feces: US Arms sales explode, wow, big news

Posted in Permanent Fail at 11:31 am by George Smith

The Los Angeles Times tried to catch up to DD on the arms manufacturing beat on its front page today. In the process, the reporter misses the obvious — how the rest of the middle class not involved in arms manufacturing and the economy is shit in a can.

Instead, many intelligence-insulting facts and quotes are delivered.

Everyone wants US arms. And most of them go to pantywaist militaries.

There are two types of pantywaist militaries in the world.

Type 1: Our “allies” in NATO. That would be Little Tommy Atkins (Britain), Norway, Denmark, Canada, Australia — all the nations engaged in Bombing Moe. Currently, they’re in the process of making Lockheed and Raytheon CEOs happy because they must keep up the orders for smart bombs, cruise missiles and what not.

Type 2: Tyrannical nations in the Middle East, all uniformly detested by their civilian populations. That would be Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the little US toadies on the south side of Persian Gulf, and — of course — the biggest and most troublesome pantywaist of all, Pakistan.

Technically, there’s a small third class, too. Really small countries — think a few golf courses for wealthy people, maybe a zoo and high rises in a place the square mileage of Manhattan — with lots and lots of money and absolutely no reason to have massive US arms shipments except as shiny trinkets. That’d be Singapore, the famous wart on the tip of Malaya.

Some excerpts from the newspaper:

The largest-ever U.S. foreign arms deal was announced last October, when Saudi Arabia ordered $60 billion in military hardware in a multiyear pact. The Saudis’ laundry list of weaponry included Raytheon Co.’s 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, Boeing’s F-15 fighter jets and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s Black Hawk helicopters.

Orders are also in from Morocco, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt is one of the largest customers for U.S. arms. But questions about its purchases were raised by critics in recent months when a column of American-made Abrams tanks rolled into Tahrir Square as protesters rallied against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. [Ya think?]

The Obama administration has embarked on an initiative to reform export control that will roll back many of the restrictions on the way weapons are sold to foreign countries. Northrop, which specializes in systems such as drones and cyber security, is supporting the change, saying it will help U.S. companies win contracts.

“We have been so focused on protecting our technological edge that we have actually done severe and unnecessary damage to our defense industrial base,” Northrop Chief Executive Wesley G. Bush said at a recent conference in London.

The last statement is eye-opening, primarily because it’s a bald-faced brazen lie. Secondarily, because no one at the newspaper thought to blink or even attempt to frame it in the real world of the floundering US economy.

The only industry that has been protected in the US is the arms manufacturing and exporting base.

Everyone else has been sent to Hell, C.O.D.

Post note: There was a feeble attempt to interview someone in Washington from an arms control agency. However, even that was a pointless gesture. Arms control was thrown out the window a decade ago. Even the people still involved in it essentially gave up in the face of the onslaught.

From the wires:

The ongoing movement of jobs to countries where labor is cheaper, plus the development of new technologies, may mean fewer opportunities for some well-paid positions in the U.S. over the next decade, said Larry Katz, an economist at Harvard University.

“Employment growth has stopped, or even declined, among many middle-class jobs that are high wage” and don’t require a college degree, Katz said.

“A lot of traditional middle-class, upper-middle-class jobs have been disappearing … .

Workers making about $40,000 to $80,000 a year constitute the bulk of labor costs for many companies, and these workers may be on the chopping block, said Jeffrey Joerres, chief executive of ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee-based staffing services firm.

“That’s your middle class,” Joerres said

If you had a push button that would have administered a short, sharp electric shock to the editors at the Los Angeles Times today, you would have used it.

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