With prior narratives increasingly incapable of sustaining Americans’ enthusiasm for pouring weapons into the West’s proxy war in Ukraine, the Biden administration is now using a pitch that’s both refreshingly and appallingly honest: promoting the Ukraine war as a way to enrich the U.S. arms industry and its employees.
The new angle comes after Americans have been subjected to a succession of pitches aimed at selling a war that’s utterly irrelevant to U.S. security interests. We’ve been variously told the war is necessary to defend democracy, to deter Putin’s aggression, to degrade Russia’s army, and even to deter China from invading Taiwan. With support for the war sagging across the political spectrum — and a growing number of Republican legislators saying enough is enough — the propaganda machine is increasingly grasping at straws
We got our first taste of the new cash-centric, Keynesian war-pitch in Biden’s prime-time Oval Office address last week, which was aimed at selling a $106 billion funding request that will furnish more aid to Ukraine and Israel, with other vote-getting goodies thrown in.
The speech positioned aid to Ukraine and Israel necessary to prevent the destruction of the two countries’ (overrated) democracies. But then, in a discordant note, Biden awkwardly pivoted to the supposed economic benefits that will come from borrowing even more money and shoveling it into the coffers of weapon manufacturers:
“We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own stockpiles with new equipment. Equipment that defends America and is made in America. Patriot missiles for air defense batteries, made in Arizona. Artillery shells manufactured in 12 states across the country, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas. And so much more.”
That was just the opening salvo of the administration’s new money-centered appeal. It’s likely to fall flat with the average citizen, but they’re not the principal audience anyway. In the US empire, the only hearts and minds that matter win are the ones in the House and Senate.
Underscoring that fact, Politico has obtained talking points being distributed by the White House to Capitol Hill’s leading warmongers. In part, the document reads:
“This supplemental request invests over $50 billion in the American defense industrial base — ensuring our military continues to be the most ready, capable, and best equipped fighting force the world has ever seen — and expanding production lines, strengthening the American economy and creating new American jobs.”
Politico reports that White House officials are also circulating “slides showing nearly $20 billion in investment in the industrial base via U.S. support for Ukraine. That includes nearly $3.1 billion in contracts targeted toward expanding the nation’s industrial base capacity, including increasing artillery production approximately six-fold over three years.”
In recent months, anyone with sound morals and a clear mind cringed as various officials started publicly celebrating the Ukraine conflict as a means of weakening Russia without any loss of American life or limbs. One of the worst examples of that casual ghoulishness where Ukrainian lives are concerned came from Senator Mitt Romney, who cheerfully described the billions being poured into Ukraine as “about the best national defense spending I think we’ve ever done. We’re losing no lives in Ukraine!”
The single most important thing we can do to strengthen America relative to China is to see Russia defeated in Ukraine. A weakened Russia deters the CCP’s territorial ambition, and halts Putin’s vision of reestablishing the old Soviet Union. Supporting Ukraine is in our interest. pic.twitter.com/X21GGs0lTW
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) August 25, 2023
Now, we see the War Party graduating from public indifference to Ukrainian lives to spotlighting the profits and overtime pay to be reaped from the Ukraine meat-grinder. Maybe we should applaud it as truth in advertising: After all, the war was always about enriching and empowering the military-industrial complex anyway.