America: A Beacon, Not a Policeman       America: a Beacon, not a Policeman

Beltway Bombers and the War Party

Who They Are and How They Benefit from Wars

Americans Against World Empire

 War Benefits the "Beltway Bombers" email to a friend

(Note--This was written in 2000 before the attack on America, which itself was instigated by our foreign policies.  The attack is resulting in over $200 billion of new military spending (not including the Iraq war), amounts beyond the early dreams of The War Party)

by Jon Basil Utley

      As Washington reverbrates with opinion columns about China being a new great threat, America now prepares for massive military budget increases.  It's now also sending troops to Colombia and Ecuador, plus continuing a naval blockade and air strikes from its first Iraq War.  We wonder sometimes who really benefits. Cui bono is the legal expression used in court, taken from Latin, meaning "Who Benefits?"

      Inside the Washington Beltway are many. First, of course, is always the President.  Anytime any President faces problems or criticism at home he can start a war to take media attention away.  Any critic then fears to "undermine the war effort." Then there are the Congressmen getting much more media exposure as they debate the important matters of life or death. Then there’s the media, watching ratings soar as readers and TV watchers hang on their every word.   Every atrocity story makes good "news."  TV is ideal for the misery of war, just as local news programs always stress murder, rape, and fire.

    But there are other "Beltway Bombing" or what some call "War Party" interests. Of course, there’s the defense establishment getting new appropriations, honor, new weapons systems, the chance for some excitement and the opportunity to try out their new technological marvels in real wars. One thing they, of course, don’t have to worry about hardly at all is getting hurt, much less killed. Added to this is, of course, the old NATO bureaucracy, tens of thousands of high caliber men and women,  looking for a new mission.

      Then there are the police and intelligence agencies. The FBI, CIA, ATF, etc. all growing with new promotions and pay raises as they go out to to protect America from terrorism by guarding against friends of the assorted foreigners we kill  In the old days there were only a few militant Palestinians and Arabs to watch. But as we bomb more and more nations, now they must shadow Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Sudanese, and, particularly, militant Moslems from all their lands from the Phillipines to Algeria.  The NEW YORK TIMES, 1/14/00, lists "Malaysians, Algerians, Egyptians, even Americans who have come to view the United States as their enemy, an imperial power propping up corrupt and Godless governments." 

       And now there is Colombia, with some of the most vicious criminal gangs which have even replaced the Mafia in many areas.   It's not rocket science to assume that, if the Colombian rebels are pushed hard by the American military, they could facilitate alliances with Arabs ready to commit suicide missions to kill Americans with Colombian drug runners,  who know all about how to cross U.S. borders and move safely within America.

    It should be noted that personnel for the security services are well paid and often can retire after only 20 years work.  Thus each one can cost a good two million dollars a piece for taxpayers.

    Another Beltway group to benefit from wars are the Think Tanks. They get new grants to publish learned papers about how to "win" or what to do after we "win." Their experts are called onto TV for weighty discussions and called to Congress and the White House for advice. As Pat Buchanan wrote (Washington Post 4/13/99) "Maybe the foreign policy establishment needed a second Cold War, as anything is preferable to irrelevance." 

    And of course, there’s still the military industrial complex, old timers who have been hurting from cutbacks since the collapse of communism.   Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, for example, has been doing much to exacerbate the Chinese threat to Taiwan so that the U.S.  will sell the Taiwanese Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which are manufactured in Lott's hometown of Pascagoula, Miss. by Litton Industries.  It is now part of Northrop-Grumman, which is one of Lott's top 10 contributors. 

    The above is not just theory. Recent Congressional votes reflect these interests. For example, last year's (1999) 213-213 split over approving the bombing of Kosovo showed Virginia’s Beltway Republicans, Frank Wolf and Tom Davis, in favor. But downstate Republicans joined the Republican majority voting against it.  Senator McCain’s go-to-war in Kosovo amendment, tabled by the Senate, was favored by McConnell, Lugar and Warner, all old Beltway Senate Republicans, against newer Senators. Equally most of the Freshmen and Sophomore Republicans voted against bombing, while older, long established Beltway ones voted in favor.

    The "Beltway Bombers" intellectual foundation is provided by a group called "Neo-conservatives."   These are mainly former leftists politically linked to European Social Democrats who also started the war.  Their principle organs are the WALL STEET JOURNAL, WASHINGTON TIMES, COMMENTARY, NEW REPUBLIC, and WEEKLY STANDARD.  They dominate the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institute and other key sources of influence (they are very powerful at the Heritage Foundation) in Washington.

    A further aspect of the attack on Yugoslavia was its undermining of Washington's prestige as arbiter of nuclear proliferation. Together with bombing China's Embassy it has atomized efforts to restrain China and Russia from shipping nuclear and missile knowhow to 3rd World nations. America, the attacker, now inspires every nation to try to go nuclear so as to have a defense against America.

    "For those determined to designate China as our next great enemy," writes NATIONAL INTEREST Editor Owen Harries (NYT 5/16/00), "this (China’s reaction to bombing Serbia) will be good news." Harries writes further, "With U.S. ability to overawe diminished, Washington will have to resort to force even more often.

    The "Beltway Bombers" will benefit as new studies, greater budgets, and more wars will be needed against newly proliferating enemies of America overseas and at home. War always benefits big government and big government is Washington’s business.

Copyright 2000, All rights reserved

Mr. Utley, a long time conservative activist, is Chairman of Americans Against World Empire and editor of   He was a former foreign correspondent and Asso. Editor of Times of the Americas and Conservative Digest.