Western weapons manufacturers are popping champagne corks over record sales with total revenues hitting $400 billion for last year. According to media reports, this coming year-end will see that record figure exceeded by another salivating $50 billion.
Ukraine may be resembling a bloodbath, as we noted in last week’s editorial. But apparently, Western military corporations are swimming in a bonanza of profits and stock market investments.
Most of this lucrative new business stems from NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which is heading toward its second year. There is no sign of a diplomatic effort from the West or the Kiev regime it sponsors to end the bloodshed.
The main corporate beneficiaries making a financial killing from Ukraine are by far the American firms. They include such behemoths as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and RTX (formerly Raytheon). But also enjoying soaring profits are arms makers in other NATO countries: BAE in the United Kingdom, Airbus in France, Netherlands and Spain, Leonardo in Italy, and Germany’s Rheinmetall.
This week the Joe Biden administration requested another $24 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine. It’s hard to keep track of the money flowing from NATO countries to prop up the Nazi regime in Kiev. Even the NATO authorities don’t seem to know the precise figures, such is the rampant corruption that is inevitably associated with the vast doling of funds. But estimates of total U.S. and NATO aid to Ukraine range from $150 billion to $200 billion over the past year alone.
What we are seeing is an audacious racket whereby the American and European public are subsidizing the funneling of their own taxpayers’ money into the coffers of weapons firms. And there is no democratic choice in the matter. It’s a fait accompli. Or, put another way, extortion.
Of course, too, part of this huge scam is the hefty financial cuts for the inner circle of the Kiev regime, including its puppet president, Vladimir Zelensky, and the brazenly sleazy defense chief Aleksy Reznikov. It is reckoned that at least $400 million has been grafted by the top members of the regime from the arms bazaar flowing into Ukraine. Reznikov has even boasted that his country serves as a testing ground for NATO weaponry.
Nearly a century ago, former U.S. Marine Corps General Smedley D Butler popularized the phrase, “war is a racket” as the title of his classic book in which he condemned how American capitalism profits obscenely from military invasions and killing.
Butler’s critique is as relevant today, perhaps more so, as evinced by the conflict in Ukraine.
Western media reports are increasingly admitting – albeit coyly – that the war is a disaster for the Kiev regime and, by extension, the NATO powers. The death toll among Ukrainian forces may be as high as 400,000 since the conflict erupted last February. The much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive launched in early June has resulted in no territorial gains despite the horrendous casualties and despite the gargantuan supply of NATO weapons, training and logistical support.
A report in the Washington Post this week shows that most Ukrainian people are despairing of the grinding war and endless casualties. They see no point in the continuation of hostilities given the failure of the NATO-backed forces to make any advance against well-fortified Russian defense lines.
Yet against this grim reality, the U.S. and European officials keep running the taps of blood.
We see NATO leaders like Polish President Andrzej Duda this week urging for more weapons to be sent to Ukraine even while he concedes the military defeat so far.
Zelensky and his cronies are, not surprisingly, also demanding more NATO arms and claiming with bravado they will never negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some people want this conflict to keep going because of their irrational Russophobia and simply because it is too lucrative for their own personal gain.
Where does democracy come into this? It doesn’t, whatsoever. Polls show that most Americans are opposed to the continuing supply of military aid to Ukraine. There are sound reasons to believe that most European citizens are also firmly against the fueling of a bloody war in which Ukrainian corpses keep piling higher. In addition, the perpetuation of this conflict runs the outrageous risk of spiraling out of control into an all-out war between the United States and Russia, the world’s biggest nuclear powers.
Against the backdrop of monstrous profiteering from violence and death are the mounting social and economic crises from poverty and deprivation in Western nations. Last year, saw a record number of suicides in the United States, some 49,000 people, caused by growing acute material and psychological distress. Despite the massive unmet basic human needs in their own societies, elite Western leaders chose to prioritize fueling a proxy war with Russia. The aid for Ukraine this week requested by the Biden administration exceeds what his administration is earmarking to help the U.S. Pacific state of Hawaii and other American homeland states devastated by storms and wildfires this summer.
What is even more despicable, the conflict in Ukraine could have been avoided if Western states had engaged with Russia to resolve its geo-strategic security concerns regarding the decades-long expansion of NATO and the U.S.-led deterioration in arms control treaties. It is still possible to end this conflict promptly if diplomacy were prioritized.
But the United States and its European lackeys have shown no impetus for diplomacy. They have become intoxicated by their delusional propaganda narratives about “defending Ukraine from Russian aggression”. The Russophobia among Western politicians and media has become so endemic that it seems impossible for any reasonable thinking to prevail. Western media blatantly censor any reports showing the Nazi nature of the Kiev regime, including its so-called Jewish president who lauds World War Two Ukrainian collaborators in the Nazi holocaust.
Lamentably, too, the astronomical profits from the war in Ukraine are a primary impediment to any peaceful settlement. Western arms corporations are among the most influential lobby groups that can buy the votes of lawmakers. The military-industrial complex (MIC) effectively controls government policy and media narratives in Western states. The nefarious influence as observed by Smedley Butler in the 1930s and later by Dwight Eisenhower in the 1960s is even more powerful and insidious today. The MIC has manifold more layers and dimensions to it now. And that goes not just for the United States but all Western capitalist economies. These economies are in effect war economies, run by and for weapons companies who dominate policy and public discourse via advertising in corporate media and financing think-tanks. In short, Western capitalism is at once a sponsor and an addict of war.
The continuation of the bloodletting and destruction in Ukraine is depravity. But, shamefully, it will go on because the Western forces driving it know of no other way. They are locked into an addictive slaughterhouse that defies all morality, legality and democratic principle.
There seems to be no other way than to finish this war by Russia eradicating completely the Nazi regime in Kiev. When the NATO counteroffensive finally falters soon, Russia needs to crush the Nazi regime once and for all. The Western powers and their Kiev cabal are incapable – and undeserving – of any other way.
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.