Category Archives: militarization

Always Follow the Money

Geopolitical instability has left many global corporations jittery.

But the world’s biggest arms producers are doing well, with shares of the top 12 publicly listed firms – based on a list by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – rising by almost 30 per cent on average in the last year.

Stock price data on the 12 companies reveal most have benefitted in a year in which the number of conflict zones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has risen.

Hellfire missile maker Lockheed-Martin has been among the defence companies to experience share price gains.

While some companies have under-performed during the period, many have risen by more than 50 per cent.

The average share rise of 30 per cent compares to a 9.3 per cent gain by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The top 12 listed arms producers include companies such as Boeing, which makes commercial aircraft as well as defence and missile systems. It does not include Chinese companies.

Nine out of the top 12 companies are based in the United States.

The remaining three – Thales, Finmeccanica and BAE Systems – are based in France, Italy and the UK respectively.

Hunger and Justice

“You’re not gonna die, we’re gonna feed you up your ass.”

— Interrogator at Guantanamo Bay (name redacted) to Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

Sometime in the next month a gang of armed men will crash into your home in the dead of night. They will terrorize your family, trash the place, and drag you off, hooded and shackled.

You will be thrown into the back of a truck where you will receive head slaps and kicks should you try to communicate with your captors.

Disoriented, unable to determine your location, your clothes will be cut off of you and you will be dumped into an unheated cell and left for hours or weeks. You will be fed but not permitted to wash or brush your teeth.

One day you will be administered a laxative with your meal. Once your bowels have been voided, you will be diapered, hooded again, and have headphones placed over your ears. You will effectively be in a state of sensory deprivation. You may be drugged without your consent.

Loaded onto a plane, you will travel for so long that you lose sense of time. You will not know where you are going. Inevitably your diaper will become heavy with urine and excrement.

24 hours or more later you will arrive in a place you have never seen before. You will be compelled to submit to a body cavity search by hostile guards who do not speak your language and do not understand you.

You will be placed in a new cell and left to rot for a decade, never having been charged with any offense.

You will be harassed on a daily basis. Some days the lights will not go off. Extremes of heat and cold, loud noise and music, and interruption of natural sleep cycles will fray your nerves. You may begin to experience hallucinations.

During interrogation sessions you will be sexually humiliated, screamed at, and beaten in such a way as to ensure that no marks will be visible. Interrogators will threaten your family with violence. Should you pray aloud, your prayers will be mocked.

Any time you are not completely passive and compliant, you will be subjected to physical attack. As an additional punishment for disobedience you will be stripped naked and forced to assumed “stress positions” for hours on end.

Should your captors decide that you have valuable information you may be taken into international waters where agents of another country, unconcerned about bruises, beat you for hours and force you to drink seawater.

When you’ve reached the limit of your ability to endure this torture you may decide to go on hunger strike in a desperate effort to call attention to the violations of your basic human rights.

Because dead prisoners are seen as an inconvenience in terms of public relations, you will not be afforded this minimal gesture of autonomy.

Instead you will be force-fed by medics who think that you are a “terrorist”.

Good luck.

see also http://www.slate.com/articles/briefing/foreigners/2013/05/mohamedou_ould_slahi_s_guantanamo_memoirs.html