Confessions of an economic hit man

You should read this book: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  It’s shocking and insightful.

Basically the book explains and teaches that when you hear, for example, that Egypt is getting a billion US$ in military aid, that’s not what it sounds like. We are not sending them a check for a million bucks. We are actually sending the million bucks to US millitary corporations.

Why? Because the funds that Egypt gets can only be spent with specific US companies on specific items, either hardware or service contracts. And moreover the books explains that often the recipient country doesn’t even want what they are required to purchase or the project that they are required to undertake, lets say a new highway, bridge, airport or whatever.

So read the book and also, keep that in mind when you learn for example that Senators backing war in Syria are flush with defense industry cash « Watchdog.org:

According to an analysis by MapLight, which tracks lobbying and campaign contributions in Congress, senators who voted in favor of the resolution received, on average, 83 percent more money from defense contractors and other defense interests than senators who voted against the resolution.

 

Amazing article about what’s going on in Syria

MarieColvin

In the Sunday Times (of London, I gather, but they don’t feel the need to include that in their name) I saw this outstanding article about what’s going on in Syria. (No I don’t regularly read the Sunday Times, I got this through a link.

Here’s a little from the article by Marie Colvin:

“Our house was hit by a rocket so 17 of us were staying in one room,” she recalls as Mimi, her three-year-old daughter, and Mohamed, her five-year-old son, cling to her abaya.

“We had had nothing but sugar and water for two days and my husband went to try to find food.” It was the last time she saw Maziad, 30, who had worked in a mobile phone repair shop. “He was torn to pieces by a mortar shell.”

For Noor, it was a double tragedy. Adnan, her 27-year-old brother, was killed at Maziad’s side. “(from The Sunday Times)

The sad postscript is that this article was Marie Colvin’s last, as she was herself killed soon after in a bombing.

Losing Our Way

This New York Times Op-Ed piece by Bob Herbert really hits home:

“The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.” (from Losing Our Way)

It’s called  “Losing Our Way”. You should read it.