News Release

As World Economy Grinds to a Halt, U.S. War Machine Churns On


SARAH LAZARE, sarah.lazare at, @sarahlazare
Reporter and web editor for In These Times magazine, Lazare just wrote the piece “As the World Economy Grinds to a Halt, the U.S. War Machine Churns On.”

She writes: “As the vast majority of people in the United States are being told to stay at home, weapons manufacturers are allowed to keep their doors open. On March 20, the Department of Defense declared the ‘Defense Industrial Base’ to be essential work during the COVID-19 crisis after, as the DOD put it, working closely with ‘the Hill and the Department of Homeland Security.’ …

“This support is going to an industry that is being deemed ‘essential’ during the COVID-19 crisis. But by the Pentagon’s own admission, the goal is to continue business as usual — i.e. maintain the U.S. military apparatus. That the weapons industry is being kept afloat at a time healthcare systems, and millions of ordinary Americans, are sinking, reveals a great deal about the militaristic bent of our government — and the political muscle of the companies that profit from it. As Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni-American anti-war activist, writer and scholar, put it to In These Times, ‘Even at a time of vulnerability at home, we’re still thinking about ways to expand our military and to show our imperial militaristic dominance across the globe.’

“As the Washington Post explains, ‘The Senate package includes a $17 billion federal loan program for businesses deemed “critical to maintaining national security.” The provision does not mention Boeing by name but was crafted largely for the company’s benefit, two of the people said.’

“But perhaps the strongest praise came from Lockheed Martin … Lockheed Martin is the manufacturer of the bomb that was used by the U.S.-Saudi coalition to strike a school bus in northern Yemen on August 9, 2018, killing 40 children between the ages of six and 11, and wounding a total of 79 people. Just as the cash has continued flowing to this company, the U.S-Saudi coalition has continued launching air strikes on Yemen. On March 30, the U.S.-Saudi coalition launched several air strikes in Sanaa, with residents reporting loud explosions throughout the city. This was despite the U.N.’s call days earlier for a truce in light of the global pandemic, and despite warnings that five years of air strikes targeting infrastructure and hospitals have left Yemen highly vulnerable to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.”