By Robert A. Vella

A new Independent Lens documentary, titled “Shadow World,” is highly recommended for those interested in the mechanics of perpetual war for profit.  It not only illuminates the inherent dangers of corporatism (i.e. the close association or merger between state and corporate power), but also exposes the warped mentality of its practitioners.  These individuals see the corruption of government as both unethical and as unavoidable.  Such blatant hypocrisy is repugnant to anyone with a working moral compass.  Regardless, one official interviewed in the film callously admitted:

It’s the way the system works.

A critic of this system also interviewed in the film observed rather ominously:

We’ve privatized the ultimate function of government – war.

From About the Film:

From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair, Shadow World reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade, the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives. Based on The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, the acclaimed book by Andrew Feinstein, the film explores how governments, their militaries and intelligence agencies, defense contractors, arms dealers and agents are inextricably intertwined with the international trade in weapons, and how that trade fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracies and creates human suffering.

Through the insights of whistleblowers, investigators, prosecutors, journalists, military and industry insiders, Shadow World unravels a number of the world’s largest and most corrupt arms deals. It illustrates how the global arms trade operates in a parallel legal universe, in which the national security elite who drive it are seldom prosecuted for their often-illegal actions. Ultimately the film reveals the real costs of war, the way the arms trade drives it, and how a defense industry that is supposed to enhance security instead gives us the exact opposite: a more dangerous world.

Shadow World features compelling interviews from a wide swath of experts, including: Chris Hedges, former New York Times war correspondent; Franklin C. Spinney, former Pentagon military analyst; Cynthia McKinney, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell; and Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (retired), Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1997-2000); among others.

20 thoughts on “New Documentary details the inner-workings of Perpetual War for Profit

  1. Yes, it was good to see the Public Business Corporation allow this one through their corporate screening process, but the tagline that the global arms trade is ” the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives” is wrong by a whopping factor. All trans-national corporations fit that description. Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Tech every one of them chases billions in profits at the expense of masses of human lives.

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  2. When I watch this I will have to make sure I’ve done PLENTY of relaxation techniques & therapy, bring my heart-rate down real low, and likely have a few shots of tequila or vodka handy. Care to guess WHY I would need to maintain my own sanity this way? 😟

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  3. Thanks for the recommendation, Robert, but I’ll have to pass on this one. My blood pressure won’t survive the onslaught. Tequila, vodka or whiskey are not an option for a teetotaler like me 🙂

    We live in a shadow world, period. As Notabilia has observed, all the transnational corporations have no regard for countless lives lost or ruined in their quest for only the-gods-know-what. They already have more than enough for any mortal human.

    “It’s the way the system works.”

    Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. The system is designed to work for them.

    Now for some deep breaths to bring my blood pressure spike down.

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    • Ros, as I responded to the Professor, I do understand. We humans avert our eyes when fear and pain become too much to bear. It is a natural reaction, and I can cast no judgement upon it for I myself am guilty.

      Still, we live at a point in time when the dire consequences of our nature demands us to be something that we’ve seldom ever been – courageously principled. I’m not talking about bravado or the recklessness which leads men to battle. No, I’m talking about the fortitude necessary to take a stand on great moral dilemmas.

      We expect this from our leaders, but not of ourselves. We are like sheep who turn away when a brother, sister, or offspring is culled from the herd. We are so hypocritical in this way.

      Since this is Sunday and I am a Reverend, I’ll complete my sermon thusly:

      We are emotional creatures, and it’s hard for us not to be. But, it’s also a trap. For every warm compassionate feeling, coldheartedness lurks nearby. Our future may very well depend on us letting go of our emotional sensitivity.

      “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

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  4. I’m most likely not going to watch it, but from the short description, the thought came to mind … is this why our cheeto president is so intent upon increasing the military? And why he taunts Kim Jong-il? Is the economic gain of “perpetual war” his underlying motive? Or am I missing something?

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    • I don’t know if tRump puts that much thought into anything. The ongoing wars and military actions have helped our global war machine grow and grow ever since WW2. Those who profit form this probably do not mind tRump pushing for a war with North Korea, but tRump is too bloody dumb to be bothering North Korea simply for that reason alone. He’s just a big baby and a bully and loves tossing nastiness at ‘Lil Kimmy. Repukelicans and their donors don’t mind because it fuels the war $ machine. God bless America, and God bless blowing shit up in name of $ and freedom.

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    • Yeah, I agree with Jeff. Trump is a petulant child bereft of intellectual sophistication and plagued by mental disorders. The documentary relates to more Machiavellian types whose coldly calculating methods and convenient amorality facilitate this perpetual war for profit.

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  5. Perhaps Trump’s military/security advisers are all on corp. payrolls. He isn’t interested in what we are doing in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, not unless it relates to him personally. Since most of it doesn’t, he is probably happy to let the Pentagon make all the foreign policy decisions they want. Besides, he has probably been promised great riches for giving up military decisions. Surly his 2020 campaign has benefited.

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  6. My position is same with Notabilia and Rosaliene; it’s not just the arms business that counts its losses in human lives. Maybe it is the one where such losses are readily seen.

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    • Agreed. War, though, can be several orders of magnitude worse. What really interests me about this story is the compartmentalized amorality of perpetual war practitioners (and of applicable corporate executives). They say, under no uncertain terms, that: yes, it’s unethical; but, we’re going to keep doing it anyway.

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