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Vehicles of Propaganda: the US Defense Industry’s Recent Cheerleaders

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Japan: Washington’s Vehicle of Propaganda in Asia

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s recent trips abroad to South East Asia and Europe are “propaganda” for the United States defense industry, according to political scientist Watanabe Takesato. “They want to have the tension because they want to build up defense industries and get money,” the Professor Emeritus of Doshisha University said.

Although PM Kishida is often considered a dovish figure, he acted as one of the longest serving foreign ministers of Japan under former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and in association with Aso Taro, a former Cabinet member and current Vice President of the Liberal Democratic Party.

“These two figures are very conservative … Their main enemy is China. They don’t want to keep the people of Japan safe. The people know that, so the citizen’s movement in Japan is very active now. The people know the government of Japan wants to change Article 9 of the Constitution.”

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was imposed upon Japan by the American occupying force, following Tokyo’s surrender in World War II. It outlaws using war to settle international disputes, renounces the sovereign right of belligerency, and promises that armed forces with the potential to wage war will not be maintained.

“This is very bad for the military industry and also for the American government. We must know that there are so many military bases of America positioned in Japan. For instance, the biggest is found in Okinawa Ryukyu Islands. This is very near to China. The target is China.”

Lockheed Martin Propaganda

Legislation is currently being considered in Congress to give Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors even more money than they already have. On Mother’s Day, Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan outright advocated for this potential legislation during an interview with the President and CEO of Lockheed Martin, James Taiclet.

“We are accelerating our investment in [the Troy, Alabama] factory and in our workforce. We’re already investing ahead of time to buy tooling, to expand the plant, and to support our suppliers to get ready to ramp up production. Right now, our capacity is 2,100 javelin missiles per year. We’re endeavoring to take that up to 4,000 per year.”

Both Brennan and Taiclet seemed to be reading lines from the same script, judging by how the young CEO happily bounced his left foot and smiled throughout the interview. The program’s host could have asked about the sky-high profits Lockheed Martin has been raking in by supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons in its ruthless war against Yemen. She could have inquired about the featuring Lockheed Martin’s shells inside the wreckage of a civilian bus that was bombed in Yemen in 2018. Alas, neither the bus nor Yemen were offered the courtesy of a mention.

CBS News is owned by ViacomCBS which is owned by BlackRock and The Vanguard Group. Those companies also hold over 39 million shares of Lockheed Martin. It would not at all be surprising if a Lockheed Martin promotion team sat down with CBS News producers and drafted the questions for Brennan. In fact, that would simply be one of many perfect examples of what is called corporate synergy.

Brennan: “You’re basically doing it on spec, right? You’re anticipating that order is going to come through from the United States government? But you’re a business person, you have to plan ahead, we don’t know how long this war is going to last. The CIA says Vladimir Putin thinks he’s gotta double down here. So, how long are you planning for this ramp up?”

Taiclet: “We’re planning for the long run, and not just in the Javelin. Because this situation with the Ukraine conflict has highlighted a couple really important things for us. One is that we need to have superior systems in large enough numbers — so like Javelins, Stingers, advanced cruise missiles, equipment like that. We know there’s going to be increased demand for those kinds of systems from the U.S. and from our allies, as well, and beyond into the Asia Pacific most likely too.”

“The second really valuable lesson is to control airspace is really critical. So the Ukrainians are managing to control their airspace, the Russian Air Force doesn’t have free reign over the entire country and the reason that they don’t is because the Ukrainians can still fly their aircraft and they also have a pretty effective integrated air and missile defense system. So products and systems like F-16, F-35, Patriot Missiles, THAAD Missiles, we know that there’s going to be increased demand for those kinds of equipment too because the threat from Russia and China is just going to increase even after the Ukraine War. We hope it’s over soon … Those two nations and regionally, Iran and North Korea, are not going to get less active, probably they’re going to get more active. So, we want to make sure we can supply our allies and our country what they need to defend against that.”

As if reading from a Lockheed Martin product pamphlet, Brennan asks:

“What do you need to do that? Because you did say supply chain’s an issue. I read that there’s over 250 microchips or semiconductors in each Javelin. We know there’s an effort in Congress to get legislation to create more semiconductors [domestically] instead of relying on Asian suppliers. Can you do this scale up without that kind of legislation?”

Taiclet replies that, “It will be extremely helpful to have the bipartisan innovation act passed, for example, because, we do need to invest more in the infrastructure in the U.S. so we have domestic supply, especially in microprocessors,”

“We’ve heard on this program time and again from business people how important that is to get done,” Brennan said, failing to even second guess the ethics of presenting the perspective of United States arms manufacturer’s foreign policy suggestions on supposedly free American media. “Congress still hasn’t voted on it or voted it through. Do you have any commitments from anyone here in Washington to get this on the President’s desk soon?” she asked.

“Well, we know that there’s a lot of support for it both in Congress and in the administration,” Taiclet said. “We’re collaborating right now, for example, with Intel. It’s one of our partners in trying to drive what we call 21st century security defense. We’re going to need the most advanced processor and we’re going to need them to be customizable to defense need. Having that domestic capability all the way through production and testing is going to be more important in the future than it is even today.”

In February, it was announced Intel is acquiring Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion to help meet growing semiconductor demand. The latter company owns two manufacturing facilities in Israel, two in the United States, three in Japan and is set to share another factory in Italy with STMicroelectronics.

Japan is clearly not the only country, excluding the United States, in which war profiteering is alive and well. On top of that, corporate media never venture to contradict the interests of these merchants of death. It begs the question – when will these people be held responsible for their bloodstained hands?

Further Reading