What is a nation profited?

Paraphrasing Matthew 16:26 in The Holy Bible (KJV): “For what is a nation profited, if it shall gain money and oil, and lose its own soul, its own security?”

From time to time, DemWit moves beyond screaming headlines and partisan brouhaha to bring readers stories which might otherwise escape their attention.

One such story, in the 6 September 2009 edition of The New York Times, grabbed my attention.

But first, I offer a little historical background:


During the Iran-Iraq War, the United States, deciding an Iranian victory was not in its national interest, began to provide Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with support. While claiming neutrality in the war, this U.S. aid included military arms.

Background on the above photo:

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan, concerned over Iran’s threat to the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf region, issued a national security directive, which, according to the National Archives (LINK), called for “heightened regional military cooperation to defend oil facilities and measures to improve U.S. military capabilities in the Persian Gulf.” The document further directed “the secretaries of state and defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take appropriate measures to respond to tensions in the area. It states, “Because of the real and psychological impact of a curtailment in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf on the international economic system, we must assure our readiness to deal promptly with actions aimed at disrupting that traffic.” The directive does not mention chemical weapons.

The National Archives report continues:

“Soon thereafter, Donald Rumsfeld (who had served in various positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including as President Ford's defense secretary, and at the time headed the multinational pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co.) was dispatched to the Middle East as a presidential envoy. His December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish ‘direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein,’ while emphasizing ‘his close relationship’ with the president. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, a shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.'s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq's oil, Its facilities in the Persian Gulf had been shut down by Iran, and Iran's ally, Syria, had cut off a pipeline that transported Iraqi oil through its territory. Rumsfeld made no reference to chemical weapons, according to detailed notes on the meeting.”


We all know how the Iran-Contra scandal turned out.


In George Crile’s masterful book, Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History, we learn the United States funneled more than $500 million in arms and aid (matching Saudi funds brought the figure to more than $1 billion) through Pakistan and into Afghanistan. This aid to the “Freedom Fighters” assured the Mujahideen’s defeat of the Soviet Union.

In one of history’s “unintended consequences,” these arms would later fall into the hands of al Qaeda and the Taliban.


Having presented a little historical perspective, I now call your attention to The New York Times article’s headline and lede paragraphs:

Despite Slump, U.S. Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows

WASHINGTON — Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.

And those, dear reader, are the “unclassified” sales, the ones we know about. These sales are not only for profit, but for “political influence.”

Read the article HERE. Don’t make me continue quoting Walt Kelly’s possum, “Pogo.”

Will we never learn?


IRADICATE IDIOCY! Please read the very brief post which follows and share it with parents on your mailing list.


Sue said...

BJ it just gets scarier and deeper then any of us could imagine. Sometimes I wish I could wake up and go about my business without giving politics the time of day, but thats not me, so I'll keep reading scary things and keep praying I guess!!

Annette said...

This is a part of our history that the so called "conservatives" and "Reaganites" don't want us to remember. They want to put him up on a pedestal and forget his feet of clay.. I really didn't think RR was all that good of a POTUS..

Of course, Bush 41 and 43 just followed in his footsteps, and had to try to clean up after him..that's why we had to go into Iraq and that's why we had to fight a war there and why we were attacked by Bin Laden, and why we are fighting him and why 43 decided we had to get rid of Saddam.. It is also why 43, didn't want any of this becoming public, and tried his best to keep everything quiet and get in and out as quickly as we could..but it didn't work out that way.. He failed, because they underestimated the fight in the dog we were facing..

As the old saying goes, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog..

Look at all the players who were involved in the cabinets..from Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 & 43...it just kept going from one to another.. Rumsfeld, Cheney and the lot.. all the same.

Annette said...

Sorry, that's why I keep telling the wing nuts at Sue's blog you can't argue with me too much, I am too old and have to much of this history and facts running around in my head...lol

Tiny said...

Build them up and kick them down like little kids in a sand box. Self interest always comes to no good end. We learn the Lockerbe prisoner was exchanged for oil deals too.

Remember how the neocons called Pres. Clinton "Slick Willy." The Iran-Contra oil ordeal was the slick-oily ideal and they just projected it onto Pres. Clinton. You know, "The guilty dog barks the loudest." So they are doing the same with Pres. Obama.

When Reagan was asked by reporters about the Iran-Contra ordeal, he would laugh into the camera and say, "But the American don't want to break the law."

Off subject: There was a cartoon in the Tampa Tribune during this time of Reagan, reincarnated as a pregnant woman sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, asking, "What do you mean 'I can't have an abortion'."

I mention this only because the cartoon was so funny of Reagan with long hair but looking exactly like RR with oily hair.

BJ, apparently some people never learn. Sad, but true.

Ranch Chimp said...

Damn good compilation of recent historical point's of interest's in these region's.This is something of coarse that I have bellyached about thoughout my journal in the last year.

For me Ms.BJ...none of these action's do a bit of good for anyone in the USA...or even dealing with these culturally alienated countries we do. I am not racist against these nation's or tribe's...we just dont share many common interest's. Personally...I dont want their oil...or their cheap labour,or even their migration to our nation.As far as I'm concerned, those iraqi's who backed our troop's in battle in Iraq,yet been declined entry to our nation are the type's that should be allowed here...for their action's and putting themselve's in harm's way to support our troop's. I was against this Iraq invasion since day one...even though I was a registered republican.Why? Because every time we get into these scuffle's...it's only about everything but America and freedom...it's alway's about dictating to other's in the globe that we want them to be like us, oil, strategic military regional advantage's etc. And yes...even after Saddam was found to have no WMD...I still thought there was...why? Because he had long had chemical weapon's expert's on the payroll...but obviously it was a bluff to keep neighboring countries in fear only, Sadam done his first political assassination at around age 15, he is a natural born killer. My wife came here from Iran...during the late 70's revolution...my brother-in-law is also from Iran(Tehran) now converted to christianity,and married a Texas gal...has 3 son's...one who just a few year's ago was a US Marine and shipped off to Iraq. I'll shut the hell up now...cause I will just ramble and ramble on this issue.

Thanx Ms.BJ ... and Bless You ...

B.J. said...

Annette: I hope you see this comment. All of your comments were emailed into my “spam” folder, and I’ve just now seen them. I’m very happy you are commenting and hope you’ll continue to read DemWit. As I said in this post, I try to cover news that’s not the top stories of the day (there are a trillion blogs doing that already). And, you won’t find any trolls here. My commenters are great, sometimes better than the post itself. :-) Should a troll come along, I’ll just delete. We don’t have time to fight them or read them, for that matter. As you know, there’s no changing their minds with facts. Thanks and come back! BJ

B.J. said...

Ranch Chimp: Ramble all you like. I think there’s a little more space in cyberspace for you to express yourself to your heart’s content. BJ