Another suspected terrorist attack has taken place, this time in Manchester, UK. To those who have lost their children in the blast, there is no good news, there is no comfort. 19 dead and dozens more injured, the count is likely to increase by the end of the day. The world takes to Twitter, Facebook and hashtags their condolences; but for some, the event will instead mark a surging of prices and a celebration of business.
Reminiscent of what happened days after the November Paris attacks, the stock exchange will have its own reaction – sad, but true. As people were having lifesaving surgery after the Paris terror attacks, billions of dollars moved in a matter of moments – those of defense company stocks. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were but two that had their stocks skyrocket in value. Today will be no different.
The cold truth is that wars are a license to print cash, and bankers make money from terrorist attacks.
After the Paris terror attacks that left 130 people dead and 368 injured, the French armaments company Thales saw stock values rise by 10 percent after ISIS claimed the attack. In the coming 24 to 48 hours, New York’s Wall Street will witness similar hikes.
If you’re still unconvinced, consider the war machine continuing the brutality in Syria and Yemen. Taking either one of them as a case study, this week’s Trump news demonstrates the vast amount of financial resources poured into killing civilians – $110 billion to be exact – with his new arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, notorious for its human rights abuses, should be the last to receive such a gift. The ongoing crisis in Yemen – spearheaded by the US-backed Saudi coalition – may have something to do with the billion dollar donation, but the Orwellian point is: war is peace. War is a big money spinner for defense companies and governments.
In Syria’s case alone, an estimated $2.9 million worth of US weapons is used daily to fight the ongoing war there.
And if you’re still unconvinced, consider when the Secretary of the US Air Force, Deborah Lee James, announced: “We’re in the business of killing terrorists and business is good.” The comment followed the 2017 fiscal budget release that would see $1.8 billion to “buy 45,000 smart bombs and other guided munitions to replenish supplies in the continuing air campaign against Islamic State militants.”
The 2016 Global Peace Index listed all current wars and conflicts at a $13.6 trillion yearly “turnover.” But weapons just make up for one half of the war-money machine. Where they tear infrastructure – and people – down, the other side comes in, competing for contracts to rebuild from the rubble. After the war in Iraq, $87 billion was awarded to private contractors to rebuild the country.
Although today’s terror attack replicates more of an irregular warfare, it is still a war nonetheless, and citizens are still being harmed. In the meantime, lucrative deals are done out of sight, promises are made and the war machine continues to wage on. It’s to be seen how the latest attack will carve out the future militaristic landscape we call home, but rest assured, the buck has now been passed.
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