War has been ravaging society for thousands of years. Every single war results in thousands of lives lost, loss of land, and the displacement of people. I doubt there would be many people in the world that would argue that war is a good thing, but there are a lot of people that make billions of dollars because of it. OK, I guess those people would argue that war isn’t that bad. Here is how to make money with war.
The Bushes – Have the power to start the war
Yes, the family that gave us the wise, eloquent world leader that said ‘fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again’ was involved multi-generationally in war profiteering. I’m not even talking about recently; the first Bush family life-costing money grab was when granddad Bush helped the Nazis. US senator Prescott Bush was the director of a firm that profited from the financial backers of Nazi Germany. Circumstantial, you say? The involvement was deemed so detrimental that in 1942 all his company’s assets were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Just to make my point even, sixty years later two Auschwitz slave laborers filled a civil action suit against the Bush family for damages. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Georgie Bush couldn’t have profited too, could he? Well, kind of. First, you have Halliburton shareholder Dick Cheney being vice president at the time of the second Iraq war. Halliburton was awarded 60% of the contracts intended for the developing of Iraq, without a bid. This resulted in a 300% increase of Halliburton’s stock. That’s just scratching the surface, though; Georgie Jr.’s Uncle William (Bucky) Bush sat on the board of a major military contractor named Engineering Support Systems, which was expected even at the time to make huge profits from a potential war. Oh, and at the time of the first and second Iraq wars, Bush Sr.’s company Zapata Offshore had drilling operations in the Persian Gulf.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Basil Zaharoff – Systeme Zaharoff
Greek-born Basil Zaharoff was a bit indecisive and combined with the business ethics of a drug dealer, became an arms dealer. The reason I say indecisive is because he could never decide to which side of the conflict to sell to so he just sold to both. He sabotaged the first Maxim gun demonstrations (the first belt-fed machine gun) so he could have the rights to sell it through the armaments company he worked for. Later on, he sold Greece a shoddy steam-run submarine then, presenting the purchase as a threat, sold two to Turkey. He finally approached Russia saying that there was a significant new threat in the Black Sea and sold them two more. This became known as the Systeme Zaharoff, which basically stipulates you find to warring factions and you sell to them both.
Monzer al-Kassar – Be a liaison, then fuel a civil war
Al-Kassar circumvented international arms embargo when he sold Polish arms to Croatia and Slovenia. What happened was like a teenager trying to get someone to buy him alcohol. A Croatian couple deposited a couple million of dollars into Bassam Abu Sharif’s account (one of Yasser Arafat’s closest advisors) and Sharif into al-Kassar’s account. Al-Kassar then deposited the money into Cenrex’s account, a Polish state arms company. The transaction was declared as the payment for sugar, powdered milk, and tea to Croatia. Al-Kassar sold weapons to terrorists that hijacked a cruise-ship and was subsequently arrested by Spanish authorities with the three people coined to testify against. The first witness that was to identify al-Kassar in person changed his story and refused to confirm al-Kassar’s identity, the second fell to his death from the fifth floor in an ‘alcoholic coma’, and the third witness’s children were kidnapped by Colombian drug traffickers right before he was to testify. Al-Kassar was acquitted of all charges.
Are you a war profiteer? Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below.