War is hell.
Unless, of course, you happen to be a global corporate peddler of rockets, drones, bombs, and all the other hellish weaponry of military conflict. In that case, war is literally "manna from hell." So bring it on! Indeed, it seems as if Beelzebub himself is in charge these days, with U.S. military forces enmeshed in at least 135 countries in 2015 alone. Plus, such chicken hawks as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are maniacally beating their flabby chests and screeching for even more military adventurism.
This perpetual warmongering is music to the ears of the CEOs and big investors of the war machine, for it means a windfall of perpetual profits for them. In a rare admission of their war-profiteering ethic, a group of major military contractors spoke late last year about how splendid war is. In leaked tapes of speeches at a wealthy investors conference top weapon makers exulted about the spreading horror of ISIS and escalating wars in the Middle East and Africa.
Hailing the rising conflict in Syria and Turkey, for example, a Lockheed Martin honcho enchanted the potential investors with the happy news that Lockheed's profits would enjoy "an intangible lift because of the dynamics of that [war's] environment and [sales] of our products in [that] theater." Raytheon's CEO chimed in that his corporation was upbeat because of "a significant uptick for defense solutions across the board in multiple countries in the Middle East." And all of these masters of war celebrated the joyous news that Congress had just delivered a $607 billion dollar budget to the Pentagon — meaning more sales and more profit for war investors. "We think we did very well," exclaimed one.
Many go to war and die, but a few go to war and thrive. So, see, it balances out.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.