As the planet heats up and its climate becomes deadlier, we add to the refugee crisis on Earth by building and transporting more bloodshed.
It’s time to talk about the women’s economy with attitude. It’s time to laugh at what is often absurd and call out what is dangerous. By focusing on voices that are not typically part of the mainstream, man-to-man economic discourse, Women unscrewing Screwnomics will bring you news of practical and hopeful change and celebrate an economy run like life, not war.
The last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega, meaning the end, is also widely known as the symbol of war. Although the Greeks destroyed Troy more than 3,000 years ago, today you will find the symbol in the name, logo or trademark of dozens of difficult masculine inventions. Look for it in video games like God of War, novels like Heroes of Olympusthe DC comic series Darkseidthe Omega Mart art experience from Meow Wolf in Las Vegas or the Omega charging management system for electric fleet vehicles.
The symbol appears on the Space Shuttle mission STS-135 patch and names many theories and objects in physics, mathematics and computer science. His spirit is embodied by that unforgettable professional wrestler, Kenny Omega.
In case you missed the connections between real men and war, we now have a song, written by male musicians celebrating Ukrainian President Zelensky’s Iron Balls. Meanwhile, President Biden and senior US officials are visibly associating with the overrun Ukrainians – not with boots on the ground full of men with or without iron cannonballs, but with billions in deadly weaponry meant to kill the Russians.
Business Insider’s Julie Coleman reports that the Pentagon has already pledged more than $4 billion in heavy artillery alone, while Biden proposed a new aid package in late April that includes $20.4 billion for military aid. to Ukraine and NATO allies. This is in addition to the $800 million worth of weapons and supplies we sent in early April. He promises more, saying the United States has the capacity to do so “for a long time.” Take that, shirtless, bare-back Putin.
The armaments promised and delivered bear names straight out of a video game: Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank weapons, Switchblade and Kamikazi drones and other undisclosed anti-armour systems, as well as Humvees, howitzers, helicopters and 50 million rounds of ammunition, worth $165 million according to Reuters.
That the Pentagon has a revolving door connecting US Department of Defense officials to the arms industry is an old story that a Republican president once warned us about. Equally familiar is that our two political parties are completely at odds on voter rights, health/reproductive rights and renewable energy, while remaining remarkably bipartisan on the issue of Pentagon spending, a lucrative export business for companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Last term, before Ukraine was even invaded, Congress outdid itself, upping the ante on Biden’s proposed $753 billion for defense and national security. Thinking that was too shabby, Congress increased that amount to $782 billion. Meanwhile, student loan forgiveness and affordable health care have remained out of our national budget.
As Sarah Lazar put it in a recent In These Times article, when the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 set the military budget, the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) literally “sprung” – according to the word of Lazar – assurances to corporate shareholders in a patriotic spirit. sounding the language of war: “Bipartisan votes demonstrate that national defense and support for our military remain unifying values.” (Unifying values is our signal to salute.) But if the NDIA has any values, they’re in the goldmine of state-funded arms procurement, Lazar points out.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would agree. At a recent gathering of dozens of organizations, many of them women-led peace organizations like CodePink, WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions), MADRE, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Warren warned activists to be prepared for arguments from the defense industry. about inflation or, in his words, “the age-old tradition of rising prices”.
She pointed out that last year the United States spent seven and a half times more on Pentagon nuclear weapons than we have on global vaccines to curb COVID. The latest defense package calls for $50.9 billion in nuclear weapons, while major defense contractors profiting from their sales have spent $15.5 billion on stock buybacks, according to Warren. Once banned, share buybacks make companies more valuable to investors than they are – and your bank, your insurance company, your pension, might just put your money in there, increasing what you’re already risking. with your taxes.
Investing in weapons is like trusting a house of cards, overdue for universal collapse and destruction that rarely makes the headlines, namely the cost of an arms industry dodging responsibility for damage it creates with a lot of money. We see daily the images of Ukraine, of its fertile fields of food production and its destroyed and poisoned forests – too similar to the images of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, where hotbeds of burning, toxic dust and deadly water have led to veterans’ illness and civilian cancers and birth defects.
As the planet heats up and its climate becomes deadlier, we add to the refugee crisis on Earth by building and transporting more bloodshed. The US Department of Defense is the world‘s largest institutional consumer of oil, according to Brown University’s Costs of War project, which ranks the DoD as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The DoD’s own climate risk analysis predicts dire environmental outcomes, analyzed for the problems it creates for waging war.
Frontline’s recent series on Big Oil makes it clear that performative BS is a honed manly skill more widely displayed than in the wrestling rings and the Pentagon. Another path of research and development at ExxonMobil forty years ago would have made the United States a world leader in alternative energy, but has been consistently dismissed by senior vice president of research and engineering, Lee Raymond. Why? Because making money from oil was simpler and easier. (Watch the PBS series and hear it for yourself.)
At the moment, none of this matters to the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their lives. President Zelensky shows us what a true leader can be, standing with his people to take responsibility for protecting them. In contrast, you could say that the salesmen of the Pentagon, the NDIA and big oil companies, who do business in country clubs like the former president, have golf balls under their big bellies. One could even say that the love of money trumps the love of country whenever a bro-mance fantasy of greatness by means of war fuels an economy waged like war – a state of mind never more visible than now.
While the military-industrial complex has existed since Eisenhower, until now its peak was reached by the former administration, which also gutted female diplomats from the office of secretary of state. Money spent there could have prevented this fiasco, along with substantive negotiations and inducements for peace with Russia, Ukraine and NATO. Teaching nonviolent resistance could have helped and could still be useful here in the United States
But diplomats are out of fashion in Washington these days, and real men, including Marjorie Taylor Green, are busy at work bluffing their way with a masculinist delusion that harsh words and iron balls on the brain will win – but for what End Omega exactly?
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