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Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is a big investor in the gun retailer Bass Pro.

(Here's) a series that:

  • surveys the main gun profiteers,
  • takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs,
  • and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Derek, LittleSis.org via ActionNetwork.org

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April 13, 2018 | The tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida placed a renewed focus on the gun industry. While many pointed their criticism - and rightly so - at the NRA and the gun lobby’s bought-off politicians, we also thought it was important to look at the key profiteers - the banks, hedge funds, asset managers, and top executives - who hold a lot of power within the gun industry.

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To this end, we put together a series that surveys the main gun profiteers, takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs, and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Some of these articles also appeared in the Public and Truthout, while the focus on Wells Fargo even found its way onto MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

LittleSis.org: a free database detailing the connections between powerful people and organizations. We bring transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions.

Full story … As indicated, above.

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War Pay: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year

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  • Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year 
  • And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
  • Part 2: War Pay
  • 
Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year
 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/afghanistan-mattis-nicholson-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Army General John Nicholson meet the Afghan delegation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 24, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst / Pool Photo via AP)

And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
 
Danny Sjursen, Tom Dispatch

February 20, 2018 | Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine?

Back in 2008, some of us placed our faith, naively enough, in the hands of mainstream Democrats—specifically, those of a young senator named Barack Obama. He would reverse the war policies of George W. Bush, deescalate the unbridled “Global War on Terror,” and right the ship of state. How’d that turn out?

Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.

Full story … 



 

Part 2: War Pay

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Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed 


William D. Hartung, Tom Dispatch

January 11, 2018 | As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in “bigly” in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington’s post-9/11 wars. But last year’s bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

President Trump moved boldly in his first budget, seeking an additional $54 billion in Pentagon funding for fiscal year 2018. That figure, by the way, equals the entire military budgets of allies like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Then, in a bipartisan stampede, Congress egged on Trump to go even higher, putting forward a defense authorization bill that would raise the Pentagon’s budget by an astonishing $85 billion. (And don’t forget that, last spring, the president and Congress had already tacked an extra $15 billion onto the 2017 Pentagon budget.)  The authorization bill for 2018 is essentially just a suggestion, however -- the final figure for this year will be determined later this month, if Congress can come to an agreement on how to boost the caps on domestic and defense spending imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The final number is likely to go far higher than the staggering figure Trump requested last spring.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Full story … 

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Donald Trump Is Proof That America’s Wars Come Home

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President Donald Trump in Virginia in 2017. (AP Photo / Steve Helber)

… And other lessons from 17 years of American defeat abroad.

Tom Engelhardt, the Nation 

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April 12, 2018 | The lessons of history? Who needs them? Certainly not Washington’s present cast of characters, a crew in flight from history, the past, or knowledge of more or less any sort. Still, just for the hell of it, let’s take a few moments to think about what some of the lessons of the last years of the previous century and the first years of this one might be for the world’s most exceptional and indispensable nation, the planet’s sole superpower, the globe’s only sheriff. Those were, of course, commonplace descriptions from the pre-Trump era and yet, in the age of MAGA, already as moldy and cold as the dust in some pharaonic tomb.

Let’s start this way: you could think of the post–Cold War era, the years after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, as the moment of America’s first opioid crisis. The country’s politicians and would-be politicians were, then, taking street drugs (K-Street and military-industrial-complex ones, to be exact) and having remarkable visions of a planet available for the taking, as well as the keeping, forever and ever, amen.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0FvP30d4rg9aflKARO8FK2gjRkNebNlY8B4lIK7euCelFiGbvaa1goC4 Tom Engelhardt created and runs Tomdispatch.com, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished.

Full story … 

 

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Special Report | Syria: Military Escalation? Towards a US-Russia Confrontation? Week Ending April 14, 2018

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  • Part 1: Triggering War. A Manufactured “Catalytic Event” Which Will Initiate An All Out War?
  • Are We Going to Let this Happen Again?
  • Part 2: The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia
  • The aim … is to compel Moscow to submit to the hegemonic power of the Washington elite.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Triggering War. A Manufactured “Catalytic Event” Which Will Initiate An All Out War, Are We Going to Let this Happen Again?

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Stars%20%26%20Stripes%20Mushroom%20Cloud.jpgThe assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964, enabled what we call the Vietnam War.

Graeme McQueen, Global Research

https://store.globalresearch.ca/store/images/962/160119-DirtyWarCover-Print.jpg?196,196,2984209251 As we watch Western governments testing their opponents – today Iran, the next day the DPRK, and then Russia and China – we hold our breaths. We are waiting with a sense of dread for the occurrence of a catalytic event that will initiate war. Now is the time to reflect on such catalytic events, to understand them, to prepare for them.

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964 enabled what we call the Vietnam War.

Graeme McQueen is a former Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University, a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, and a past co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Full story … 
 
Part 2: The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia

The aim … is to compel Moscow to submit to the hegemonic power of the Washington elite. Anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of Russian history knows that this will not happen. Russia will continue to resist. And Russian resistance may well hold the key to a different future for humankind.

Chandra Muzaffar, Global Research

https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/nato-russia-400x205.jpg March 21, 2018 | The escalation of tensions between the United States, Britain and France, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, should not surprise anyone. In the last few years, the US leadership and mainstream British media have presented Russia as a major threat to global peace and the international order. Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular has been demonised as a ‘war-monger,’ an ‘aggressor,’ an ‘unscrupulous politician’ hell-bent on restoring Russia’s past glory’ at whatever cost.

This projection of Russia as a threat to world peace has intensified in recent days partly because of Putin’s unveiling of Russia’s cutting edge military technologies on 1st March 2018. They include advanced generation missiles with unlimited range and capability that can evade US or NATO anti-missile defences. Apart from the new Sarmat missile, the Russian defence industry has also developed a low-flying stealth missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with the ability to bypass interception boundaries that is “invincible against all existing and prospective missile defence and counter-air defence systems.”

Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). He is a correspondent for Asia-Pacific Research and a frequent contributor to Global Research

Full story … 

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Massacre in Gaza: Israeli Citizens Watch As Their Military Attacks Unarmed Palestinians

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  • Part 1: Israeli Citizens Watch As Their Military Attacks Unarmed Palestinians
  • At least 18 Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire Friday on a protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.
  • Part 2: Israeli Citizens Watch As Their Military Attacks Unarmed Palestinians
  • In an outrageous display of inhumanity, Israeli citizens reportedly gathered on Gaza border to watch their military kill Palestinian civilians.
  • Related: Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Gaza -  An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Massacre in Gaza: Israeli Forces Open Fire on Palestinians, Killing 18, Wounding As Many As 1,700

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At least 18 Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire Friday on a protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.

Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!

April 02, 2018 | At least 18 Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire Friday on a protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel. As many as 1,700 Palestinians were wounded. The deaths and injuries came as 30,000 Gaza residents gathered near the wall, as part of a planned 6-week-long nonviolent protest against the blockade of Gaza and to demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The protests began on Friday, March 30, known as “Land Day,” marking the anniversary of the 1976 killing of six Palestinians protesting the Israeli confiscation of Arab land. Video posted online shows unarmed Palestinians being shot in the back while taking part in Friday’s protest. Another 49 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces on Saturday. Israel’s actions have been condemned around the world, but Israel is rejecting calls to investigate the killings. At the United Nations, the U.S. blocked a move by the U.N. Security Council to open an investigation.

Guests: Raji Sourani, award-winning human rights lawyer; Diana Buttu, attorney based in Palestine; Miko Peled, Israeli peace activist and writer

Full story (Rush Transcript) … 



Part 2: Israeli Citizens Watch As Their Military Attacks Unarmed Palestinians

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In an outrageous display of inhumanity, Israeli citizens reportedly gathered on Gaza border to watch their military kill Palestinian civilians.

Shafaq Naveed, Carbonated TV

April 6, 2018 | As violence continues to rage along the Israel-Gaza border, an Israeli reporter shared a photo that could only be described as inhumane.

“Best show in town. Residents of Nahal Oz in the stands,” read the caption for the image that showed a group of young Israeli spectators sitting on an observation tower near the Israel-Gaza border line, watching and waving as unarmed Palestinians got brutally murdered and wounded at the hands of Israeli troops.

The images were later shared by Reuters as well.

Full story … 

Related:

Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Gaza -  An Inquest into Its MartyrdomCompiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham.
  • (Silence of Western Liberals in the face of Israeli) state-sponsored violence (in Gaza) is a reminder of just how morally bankrupt and cynically hypocritical the whole “liberal intervention” shtick is.
  • Part 2: Gaza An Inquest into Its Martyrdom
  • What has befallen Gaza is a man-made humanitarian disaster.

 

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