Death Profiteering 6/13/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

As our attention has been diverted, politics has continued. Putting a “businessman” in the Whitehouse, his political activities have followed business thinking. That means putting money ahead of people, profit ahead of security, profiteering ahead of peace.

We’ve focused on the pandemic as environmental regulations have been relaxed. The EPA has announced that businesses could suspend their monitoring, and the president has opened up more areas for oil drilling even with a glut so severe that for a time the cost of purchasing oil was actually negative. The oil companies paid to get rid of their excess, and I still wonder if we’ll see this reflected in gasoline prices. Recently it was announced that drilling near the Florida coast will be included in this oil drilling even as the regulations designed to reduce the risk of oil spills as occurred in the Deepwater Horizon platform.

As we worried about the economy, the Justice Department opened up a formal investigation into the Obama Administration looking to find proof that the Russia Election Interference was biased whether the proof exists or not. In a clearly politically motivated move, the investigation is not only partisan, but threatens to tear apart even the party that has requested the investigation. Congresspeople from the party have expressed not only concern about harming their chances for re-election, but they have also expressed concern about the motivation for the investigation, voting for it only out of support for their party.

Today, international affairs took another blow as the current administration continues to shred our reputation internationally. Each step, whether sound as a business move or not, made by this administration seems to move us one step further towards a destabilized world. One of the president’s earliest actions was to walk out of the SALT II treaty, claiming that Russia was already violating it, and yet failing to renegotiate a replacement treaty despite his claim to be a brilliant negotiator. Walking out of this treaty means that the US (and Russia) could resume development of new nuclear weapons, something they had given up to stop nuclear arms proliferation. In response, Iraq resumed nuclear testing and development of an intercontinental ballistic missile delivery system. The president broke the treaty with Iran, claiming he could do better, but again never renegotiated. As a result, Iran resumed nuclear arms development.

Beyond nuclear treaties, he walked out on the Kyoto treaty. As evidence continues to mount of dangerously out of control global warming. He has pulled out of the World Health Organization (or at least stated his intent to do so) in the midst of a global pandemic. Interestingly, no steps for withdraw from this organization has been taken which makes me wonder if cabinets in his administration are intentionally defying his desires.

One of the administration’s earliest, ethically questionable enough to be under investigation as I write this, was the sale of arms to the UAE. This violated past president, but also may have violated laws regarding the sale of arms without Congressional oversight. The House impeached the president for a variety of unethical and illegal actions, a great way to warn the president that unethical and illegal actions will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, the Senate made a show of nothing but support for the president, including a sham “trial” with the stated purpose of supporting him. This cemented the president’s hold on his party, and any branch of government under his party’s control. Members of the opposing party warned that this held the potential of making the president even worse, opening the door to further actions of ethical and legally questionable.

Today, a similar action by the president has occurred. He has stated that he is “re-interpreting” a law restricting the sale of arms to unstable governments. He is doing so in order to sell armed US drones to these governments. Currently, such governments can purchase weapons of this type but their sources do not produce such weapons with the quality of those produced here. These unstable governments may be “friendly” towards the US today, but unstable means that they could potentially turn. Imagine fighting against our own weapons.

This is a great business decision. A friend of mine posted on her social media account a question similar to that asked by Edwin Star in his 1969 song “War”; what is it good for? In the song, it suggests war is friend only to the undertaker, but I suggest there is another winner in every war, namely the arms manufacturers. Imagine the money to be made when US fights with our weapons against a nation that has purchased weapons from us, both sides purchasing replacement weapons with each battle. What a great way to funnel money into the weapons industry.

Yep, that’s who we voted in during the previous election. Maybe it’s time to vote him out.

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