Veteran deproliferation activist Andrew Feinstein is one exception, saying:
“Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict…If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we’re currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being.”
A new study found that in the past eight weeks alone, the country’s super wealthy have added a further $368.8 billion to their already enormous fortunes. All this comes at the same time that the economy has undeniably imploded for working people. A record 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance, with millions more losing their employer-based healthcare plans, and around a third of the country not paying its rent. Of course, the money is not coming from nowhere. It is certainly not coming from billionaires’ hard work. It is coming from us: from our pockets and those of the global poor, who will be forced to pay for the virus and the huge tax cuts later. The fact that billionaires’ wealth is rising so rapidly in a period of economic collapse is a sign that the rich’s wealth is barely even connected to productive forces anymore and has more to do with how much wealth one can take from public coffers.
New polls show an overwhelming desire by Americans to see some kind of retaliation against China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
As a result of the media coverage, an epidemic of anti-Chinese xenophobia has also spread across the U.S., even negatively affecting many non-Chinese Asian communities. A Thai woman was racially abused on the Los Angeles subway, Indiana hotels refused to serve two Hmong men on the grounds that they probably had coronavirus and Vietnamese students in California have been bullied and abused at school by gangs yelling “coronavirus.” Racists are not known for their precise knowledge of culture and geography.
Correspondents from Bloomberg reported that under pressure from Washington, Indonesia will likely refuse to buy Russian and Chinese weapons. A U.S. State Department spokesman informed Bloomberg that the United States had asked all its allies and partners to abandon new contracts to buy Russian military equipment to avoid sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This law was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump in the summer of 2017 and has been used to justify Washington’s economic aggression against many states, especially Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
Indonesia has been a customer of Russian weapons since Achmed Sukarno was the head of the country in the early years of the Cold War. The current administration of Joko Widodo plans to buy 11 Russian Su-35 aircraft, but Washington has made it clear that if that happens, they will impose sanctions against Jakarta.