Welcome to our 40th issue of War Profiteers' News:: 40 issues reporting on resistance to war and to profiteering from war. In these 40 issues we have highlighted the importance of people taking action against profiteering from war, and have reported on a wide range of activities people have taken to confront the merchants of death. We have also made it clear that we oppose all forms of war profiteering and that we are for the end of profiting from war - not just for its regulation.
Most current-day economists' guidebooks and blueprints would have us believe that growth trickles down and that is the way to eradicate poverty. Armed with such rationale, various governments fall over each other to attract investment from corporations, regardless of whether they have to re-order policy priorities, change local laws, defray huge public expenditures to provide infrastructure, or hand out massive subsidies to 'foreign investors'. While 'democratic' governments pretend to be accountable to 'people', i.e., common citizens, they unabashedly only serve the interests corporations. The definition of 'extractive industries' would therefore include not just mining corporations but:
In recent years Latin America has been able to maintain itself on the margins of the economic crisis that is hitting most countries in Europe as well as the United States. The region is showing positive macroeconomic indicators that speak of growth and poverty reduction. These figures, which have to be interpreted with care due to their quantitative emphasis – leaving qualitative evaluations unaccounted for – are defended by the majority of governments, from the most conservative to the so-called 'progressive' ones, as an expression of the 'success' of their social policies. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), which permanently compiles these sorts of statistics, affirmed that in 2012 the continent showed the lowest percentage of people living in poverty (28.8 % of the total population) in the last 30 years.
Oil and minerals are two resources which the system consumes with a velocity and anxiety akin to that of an addiction, to such an extent that when these resources are in danger of becoming in short supply, either owing to their depletion or an increase in international prices, the system experiences a crisis, a ‘deliria tremens’, and becomes capable of killing, robbing, and committing armed assault, in order to restore the flow of these two resources into its economy. We saw in Iraq and in the Middle East what can happen because of oil; we saw in Conga Peru and in each of our so-called ‘mining’ countries the deaths that can come as a result of the pursuit of gold and other metals.
A key event for the international arms trade took place in London from 9-13 Sept: the DSEi arms fair which hosted 1500 arms companies and 30,000 arms buyers and sellers.
The UK government’s invite list was a roll call of authoritarian regimes and human rights abusers. Unarmed protesters have been killed this year on the streets of Bahrain, Turkey, and Brazil. Yet not only were the companies which supplied the teargas used in this repression at DSEi, each of their militaries was there too - at the invitation of the UK government's arms sales unit.
As the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2013 (hereafter, "Seoul ADEX 2013") started on 28th October, 22 civil society organizations in South Korea engaged in a series of actions targeting the largest arms fair in the Asia-Pacific region. The coalition organized an alternative exhibition of their own in response to the Seoul ADEX 2013, and named it the Peace and Disarmament Exhibition. While Seoul ADEX 2013 focused on new technology or advancement of weapon systems, the Peace and Disarmament Exhibition put emphasis on the inevitable consequences of the arms trade and tried to unveil the naked face of the arms fair.
We’ve been organizing Keep Space for Peace Week (this time from Oct 5-12) for the past 13 years. Each year we try to have a different theme that builds new awareness about how military space technology directs all warfare on the planet. As they like to say at the US Space Command – the “battle space is now net-centric”. Who ever controls space wins the wars back on Mother Earth.
On Friday, 25 October, more than 100 police and military agencies from California and across the US were joined by their counterparts from Israel, Gaum, Bahrain and Brazil for a massive SWAT team training and weapons expo called "Urban Shield." WRL and the Facing Urban Shield Action Network, with more than 30 endorsers in the Bay Area, showed up to challenge this convergence and the militarization of the police.
After more than a decade of cover-ups and denials, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma in September 2011 told the national executive council of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that he would lose the case I had brought against him in the Constitutional Court (CC). Zuma reportedly only agreed to my demand for a commission of inquiry into the arms deal scandal to avoid having the CC dictate to him.
Glencore Xstrata is a multinational commodity trading and mining company headquartered in Zug, a “tax heaven” canton of Switzerland. The company was created through a merger or better said a take over by Glencore of Xstrata on 2 May 2013. As of 2013, it ranked twelfth in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies.
European president Herman Van Rompuy has put military Europe high on the political agenda. Only three months after receiving the Nobel peace prize, he concluded a speech at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency (EDA) as follows: “Europe was born out of the ashes of a war. And built, at first, by pooling (and sharing!) the instruments of war: coal and steel […]. The European Union stands by those in pursuit of peace and human dignity. To fulfil such responsibilities, we should make sure we have the means at our disposal.”