Beefing up the killing industry in the holy land - additional comment

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Wed Nov 5 16:53:07 MST 2003

Dear all,

I realise and acknowledge that my post on the Israeli military-industrial
complex contains a mixture of possibly accurate estimates and estimates
which cannot be correct. You can spot this easily, because some of the
figures clearly and obviously do not add up. But I think I am not the only
one who has that problem. I was a bit blurry at the time.

The question raised by all this however is really, what is true and what is
false about the Israeli military-industrial complex, and what financial
deals are actually involved ? To be honest, I could not answer that question
just now, I would need to do a large amount of research into it, which I am
not able to do at the moment. There are people who specialise in that, but I
am not a specialist in that area. In Holland there is a very learned,
friendly academic who specialises in that area, who was invited to speak at
Socialist Party forums (Rob de Wijk) but okay he is a professor in it, I am
just a layman in that area.  All I really wanted to do is get a quick
overview perspective, on the overall proportions of military spending, to
get an idea of magnitudes involved - but as any professional statistician
will tell you, a throrough investigation must of course examine precisely
how the estimates are actually arrived at, accounted for and calculated.
Also, much military information is classified anyhow. In addition, there are
some risks attached to a serious investigation of what, objectively
speaking, is really happening, because the weapons dealers (legal ones and
illegal ones) aren't ninnies, and it may be if they think people get in the
way of the trade, they take action.

But I suspect that even many Congressmen in the US Government don't really
know what the true story is either. Vast sums are spent on defending the
Holy Land, and subsidizing weapons production within Israel, we are talking
billions of dollars of American taxpayers money (I am leaving private
contributions by Americans out of consideration here just now), but it's not
really clear where that money goes, and where it ends up, and maybe it is
such a sensitive story, such a political hot potato, or such a can of worms
that nobody really wants to discuss it anyhow, and for the rest the subject
is shrouded in Sacred Mysteries. It probably means that statisticians and
accountants themselves in Israel have big problem in seeking to arrive at a
true picture of economic transactions, never mind publishing their findings.
As the existence of the "Transparency International" organisations implies,
"the market", in truth, isn't transparent. I knew this already, not just
from Marx, but also because in New Zealand (I lived there for many years)
where in the 1980s and 1990s the government aimed to provide "greater
transparency and accountability" through marketising and privatising
everything, but through accounting for government expenditure on a
corporate, profit basis, all financial dealings weren't thereby rendered
transparent. In reality, the privatisation of public assets always causes a
reduction in informational accountability, simply because if it is private,
it is private, and this in turn contributes to so-called "market
uncertainty" in the commercial sense of the word. The private sector has
much less legal obligation to provide comprehensive information on its


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