Boeing or EADS? Don’t Give a Damn!

The announcement that the Defense Department chose to give some lucrative contracts to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., instead of Boeing, has been met with outrage and hoo-ha on the left, right and the center. If only I had enough time to list them all.

Lou Dobbs was livid, though; he was beside himself. Other commentators too were more than furious: How can they be sending tens of thousands of American jobs to some rival company in France, especially at a time of economic recession? Franco-phobia was churned out now by the ideological workers and journalists organically affiliated with the liberal wing of the establishment. “These same Republicans changed the name of French fries to Freedom fries, for Christ’s sake! Now look at them!” “Can you believe it?” “The nerves of the Bush administration!” “Incredible!” “Outrageous!”

And what are these contracts for? For the production of tanker aircrafts that provide fueling for the continuous, around the clock delivery of mass murder, domination and pillage. So, pardon me if I differ.

Why should anybody give a damn which company produces these enablers of weapons that only serve to further the goals of a gang of mass murderers? We should be livid that these things are produced at all. There is not a single power on this earth that can do any harm to the U.S. militarily, yet more than 50 percent of the federal budget of this wealthiest country in the world continues to be poured into the pockets of arms producers, and all their related industries. So, until the people of the United States — the organized and the unorganized labor, as well as all other community and political organizations in the civil society — find a way of fundamentally challenging the existing setup, what does it matter that a portion of this blood money gets shifted to some other location within this global network of terror?

One question unlikely to crop up in the liberal commentary is: Since all the profits of the ‘war on terror’ are pocketed by a few private corporations, shouldn’t the costs (according to the rules of ‘free market’) be paid for by the same corporations?

Of course, I know that’s not going to happen. It is still just too pathetic that the Liberals would have problems with ‘our’ workers being denied a decent subsistence based on blood money; But these same liberal commentators have been parroting the mantra of free trade and freedom of capital to fly where it wills, and the freedom of the invisible hand of the market to do as it wishes. Now they cry, “All our good jobs are being shipped out!”

Bulletin: These are about the last of the ‘good jobs'; the battle was lost a long time ago. Just in the context of last generation’s history, labor misleaders who supported (and may still do) Clinton(s) are now merely getting their due for going along with Clinton administrations, even as he was pushing NAFTA all those years ago. And they would be even more foolish now to believe that a Clinton or an Obama administration would abandon NAFTA, the WTO, or any other not-so-free trade deals in the works.

According to an article on Political Affairs Magazine website (“Did John McCain’s Lobbyist Ties Help Scuttle Boeing Tanker Deal?” March 12, 2008), International Association of Machinists’ General Vice President, “Rich Michalski blasted the Bush administration, saying, ‘President Bush and his administration have denied real economic stimulus to the American people and chosen instead to create jobs in Toulouse, France.'”

Let us not overlook the fact that, by implication, the same union vice president would have no problems with an imperialistic economic setup that would provide his fellow machinists, and all their future offspring, endless employment; as long as the jobs stayed here. As a human born in the Third World — that world which has been receiving the ugly end of the shaft fathomed by the Western defense industries — I am quite content, nay, giddily ecstatic whenever workers in such industries lose their jobs. I for one hope they never find any work in death related ‘fields’. I wish such ‘fields’ dried up all together. These ‘fields’ are sick.

To those leftists and labor leaders outraged at this deal, here is a suggestion. It is way past time that those about-to-become-ex-machinists, and millions more in other trades and industries, along with their union leaders and other ideological representatives woke up to the fact that imperialism does not particularly care about the well being of ‘its’ workers.

What the imperialists do care about is having access to the material they need in a way that is the cheapest, most efficient and comes with the least possible maintenance cost. Since the American capitalists have been shipping larger shares of manufacturing and its related research and development to other countries, they cannot compete nimbly with the Europeans, because Americans are working with depleted (not rich) infrastructures.

It is established knowledge that even in its heyday the American capitalism was not that efficient in its manufacturing department; the only reason the U.S. capital could boast big after World War II and into the sixties was due to the fact that, unlike other major industrial powers in Europe and Japan, its physical infrastructure had not been utterly destroyed by the war. The post-industrially depleted infrastructure now, however, combined with an overworked, financially maxed-out workforce, means American manufacturing will continue to decline in competitiveness within the world capitalist order. Ergo, this contract to build better flying gas stations that went to a French company, which reportedly knows how to make them better.

Of course, we must also not forget the political dimension, which as Althusser taught us, could over-determine other dimensions. As suggested by others (e.g. by Paul Craig Roberts), the contract very likely was granted to EADS as a favor to the Europeans, and particularly to a Sarkozified France, for their embrace of the current regime of imperialist division of labor.

In either case, it is past time that American workers realized that their state is not a benevolent institution at the service of the people, and started seeing it as a predator on their lives and a protector only of a class of leeches, bent on screwing the world; a state there to protect itself and its puppet masters. And if that protection takes millions of laid off workers, and the complete evaporation of rights and quality of life of tens of millions more; if, in the pursuit of imperialist objectives, efficiency and cost cutting may necessitate up to millions of lost jobs and lives in ‘their’ own country, so be it. The bosses don’t mind it a bit.

That’s the way things are. What are you going to do about it?

What does the eradication of military-based industrial jobs in the U.S. mean for the American workers and ordinary citizens? Isn’t it very strange to have a situation in which we end up complaining about the ‘horror’ of job losses in an industry that causes so much death and destruction? It seems to me like a sick predicament to have.

As far as we Third World lesser people are concerned, unfortunately there still exist hundreds of thousands too many First World workers, from technicians to the highest scientific echelons in North America, Europe, Japan, and Israel (and a few other wannabe, weasel states) who continue to flourish in the ‘defense’ industries, and whose careers, trades, and fields will be nourished by the blood of millions of black, brown, yellow and red people down south.

If you are one of those laid off workers, pray that your livelihood will never again depend on destroyed lives. I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but as a machinist you clearly have a lot of practical intelligence and creativity. Surely there are needs in you community that can benefit from the creativity that you (as well as your fellow machinists, with whom you can form cooperatives) possess.

In the general scheme of things, you haven’t seen yet a thousandth of the misery imperialism can unleash on lives. Realize now, or perish even worse lacking the knowledge, that the cause of our misery and the cause of your misery have the same name: imperialism. And that cause is not going away as long as you align yourself with the Democrats, who are some of the most cunning imperialists. Stop talking to the Democrats, and for your own sake stop begging Pentagon for jobs; how low are you willing to go?

Build your own party and start living!

Reza Fiyouzat can be reached at: rfiyouzat@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Reza, or visit Reza's website.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Kenny said on March 17th, 2008 at 6:32am #

    The point about the Airbus contract is, I think, the Israel Lobby’s need to prop up NATO at any price so as to have a legal pretext to maintain US forces and military supplies near to Israel.

    The big complaint in NATO has always been that the US imposed American equipment, particularly aircraft, thereby undermining the once mighty European aircraft industry and giving a hidden subsidy to US civil aircraft manufacturers. There has been an ongoing row between the EU and the US about this for years. This contract is a sop to Europe and, in fact, although Airbus will make some profit on the deal, much of the work will actually be done in Mobile, Alabama!

    The whole thing has got very little press coverage here in Europe, essentially because nobody really takes it very seriously. I would put it in the same category as the missiles/radar in Poland and the Czech Republic, where huge amounts of US taxpayers’ money will be spent re-building roads, railways, telecommunications networks etc. for a system which will not be switched on.

    The upside is, of course, that money spent bribing Europe is money that’s not available for killing Palestinian children, particularly with the US economy collapsing. Let’s be thankful for small mercies!

  2. D. R. Munro said on March 17th, 2008 at 7:01am #

    It may not be spent killing Palestinian children, but it will be spent antagonizing the Russians, and I’m sure the Polish and Czech civilians would rather not have foreign missile shields within their frontiers.

    That makes you a target by proxy.

  3. Robert Oates said on March 17th, 2008 at 9:32am #

    EADS—A BETTER SUPPLIER THAN BOEING FOR US AIRFORCE TANKERS?
    HAVE WE FORGOT ABOUT RECENT BUSINESS ACTIVITY?

    1. Middle Eastern buyers of A380 could exert pressure or call their orders.
    2. Middle Eastern buyers of 350-XWB could exert pressure or call their orders

    AIRBUS’S PARENT, EADS put together a plan called POWER 8 to make up for the deficits incurred with re-designing the 350XWB five times, and the delays to the A380 (spruce goose equivalent), and delays in the Military version (A300). 10,000 jobs in Germany and France are on the chopping block. In the mean-time sales are booming. The Unions in France and Germany are up in arms about the prospect of having 10,000 jobs cut when business is booming. Since the Power 8 was announced 1.) Management insider trading stock scandal has implicated the Management 2.) The A300M military equivqlent of the C-130 turboprop is at least a year behind–causing a 3rd quarter write-off of 1 billion$. 3.) The dollar decline is hurting because costs are in Euros and sales price is in Dollars$. Power 8 was envisioned to cover losses when the dollar was 1.35–it is now above 1.5 (another Billion in losses).

  4. HR said on March 17th, 2008 at 1:45pm #

    Excellent article. I hope that the author does not hold out hope for much of a meaningful, positive response from USans, though, especially not from the so-called left. The “left”, as usual, has already abandoned any truly progressive candidates, like Kucinich, Nader, and McKinney, once again attaching itself to the babble of “hope” and “change” being sold them by the two liars who serve as a front for the slightly-left-of-far-right wing of the corporate party. The left will continue to rationalize its irrational behavior by blabbering about how progressives just, “Can’t win,” in this country and throw its votes away on corporate candidates, at all levels, who are dedicated to nothing more than the same agenda of their “opposition”. A sad state of affairs.

  5. Marklar said on March 18th, 2008 at 2:54am #

    Thanks for a great article. I’m an electronics tech who lives near Boeing and am currently unemployed partially because I wil not work in defense and that’s about 60% of all the jobs in my field in this area. Increased use of sub-contractors who pay less seems to be driving down the average wage in the rest of the industry as well at a time when inflation has topped 16%, unless your using the governments criminally insane and rigged numbers of 2.5%. To tell the truth even the idea of going back to work for any corporation at all is enough to make me ill.

    It’s time for workers to start asking loud and clear why they are taking big PAY CUTS year after year. Explain that their money is now worth less so not getting an adequate raise is really a pay cut, and if you get a pay cut you walk. They take on a military contract you walk. I can do this easier than some since I don’t have a wife or kid’s I’ll admit, but they simply can’t do all this shit if enough of us refuse to put up with it and are willing to put our money where our mouth is.