Capitalism—the system by which a relatively tiny group owns the means of production and enriches themselves through hoarding the workers’ surplus value, transforming the natural world into goods and services—is inherently destructive, exploitative, and polluting. Capital is concentrated in very few hands. The richest one percent own half of the world’s wealth (Frank, CNBC, 14 Nov 2017), and the three wealthiest humans in the United States own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of the population of the country (Kirsch, Forbes, 9 Nov 2017). This trend of the rich getting richer only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billionaire wealth skyrocketed while the masses suffered.
The U.S. war industry is comprised of the corporations that develop, market, and sell weapons of war and related goods & services to the Pentagon and allied regimes. In this episode of War Industry Muster we analyze the corporate underpinnings of the Special Relationship.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Max Blumenthal, author and Senior Editor of AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, and Ben Norton, reporter for Alternet. Following the American missile attacks on a Syrian airbase in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack, they discuss the U.S. role in the Syrian conflict.
Big Brother Deploys Snooping Sensors on Private Networks
Rather than addressing an impending social catastrophe, Western governments, which serve the interests of the economic elites, have installed a “Big Brother” police state with a mandate to confront and repress all forms of opposition and social dissent. — Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Preface, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Montreal: Global Research, 2010, p. xx.
In a sign that illegal surveillance programs launched by the Bush administration are accelerating under President Obama, The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that a National Security Agency (NSA) program, PERFECT CITIZEN, is under development.
With a cover story that this is merely a “research” effort meant to “detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants,” it is also clear that the next phase in pervasive government spying is underway.
On January 20 Poland’s Defense Ministry revealed that a U.S. Patriot missile battery previously scheduled to be stationed near the nation’s capital will instead be deployed to a Baltic Sea location 35 miles from Russian territory; on January 29 the White House approved the transfer of 114 Patriot missiles to Taiwan as part of a $6.5 billion arms package that also includes eight warships the receiving nation plans to upgrade for the Aegis Combat System with the capacity for carrying Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) ship-based anti-ballistic missiles.
On January 22 head of the Pentagon’s Central Command General David Petraeus told an audience at the private Institute for the Study of War that two warships equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System “are in the Gulf at all times now.”  A news report on the same day remarked “That statement – along with the stationing of other U.S. air defense assets in the region – sends a strong signal to Iran….” 
As the American republic’s long death-spiral continues apace, newer and ever more insidious technologies usher us towards an age of high-tech barbarism”At first glance” Newsweekreveals, “there was nothing special about the blimp floating high above the cars and crowd at this year’s Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend.”
“Nothing special” that is, until you took a closer look. What you then discovered was another quintessentially American innovation, all the more chilling for its bland ubiquity. A silent, hovering sentinel linking commerce and repression; a perfect trope for our ersatz democracy. “Like most airships” Newsweek continued, “it acted as an advertising vehicle.”
But the real promo should have been for the blimp’s creator, Raytheon, the security company best known for its weapons systems. Hidden inside the 55-foot-long white balloon was a powerful surveillance camera adapted from the technology Raytheon provides the U.S. military.
Essentially an unmanned drone, the blimp transmitted detailed images to the race’s security officers and to Indiana police. “The airship is great because it doesn’t have that Big Brother feel, or create feelings of invasiveness,” says Lee Silvestre, vice president of mission innovation in Raytheon’s Integrated Defense division. “But it’s still a really powerful security tool.” (Kurt Soller, “Are You Being Watched? The blimp flying above your head may be watching your every move,” Newsweek, June 11, 2009)
by Rela Mazali
June 7, 2008
The announcement and background below concern an instance of direct action taken in Northern Ireland against an international arms producer, Raytheon, in protest against its apparent role in providing bombs to be dropped on Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Nine anti-war activists in Ireland sabotaged Raytheon computers in Derry and are now on trial in Belfast.
Despite a ban apparently prohibiting reports on the trial, activists posted information on both Indymedia UK (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/400208.html) and the New Zealand site below. These items were disseminated further by anti-militarist activists from very different parts of the globe. According to the reports disseminated, the state barrister in Belfast conceded “that the nine were genuine in their belief that Raytheon were active in supplying the US and Israeli war machines in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon and that sabotaging Raytheon’s equipment would disrupt that supply.” Accordingly, the judge found that the defendants “had acted to prevent destruction in Lebanon”.
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