Cost of War

Who should be blamed for U.S. unemployment?


Cost of War
by Ardeshir Ommani

The weekly cost of U.S. war operations in Afghanistan is $2 billion, which makes the annual cost reach over $100 billion.  So far, i.e., from mid February to April 22, the U.S. military and intelligence involvement in Libya has put a heavy burden of $1 Billion on the bent shoulders of the American working class.

These escapades and adventuresome undertakings are assumed at a time when the government on all levels: local, state and Federal are firing teachers, closing schools in working class neighborhoods, raising college tuition, threatening to raise the minimum retirement age to 70 years, cutting down on the allocation of funds to Medicare and Medicaid and wiping out a host of social services to the millions of working, unemployed and poverty-stricken population in American age-old cities and rural areas.  In contrast, all this is taking place at a juncture when corporate rates of profit along with the rate of unemployment remain unprecedentedly high.

Time and again the leaders and spokesmen of the two ruling parties, Democrats and Republicans, blame each other for not creating jobs, while both wings of the ruling class know that the secret of U.S. high corporate profit rates lie in high rates of unemployment.  More often than not, U.S. politicians blame China, and not the U.S. capitalist system with acutely unjust wealth and income distribution for the cause of unemployment and ills of the U.S. society.  However, they ignore the fact that the average annual bonus that each employee of Goldman Sachs with 32000 workforce is over $500,000 or more.

According to the most recent survey about 70 percent of the Americans think that the country is going in a wrong direction and they are pessimistic about the future living lot of their children.  Out of frustration and lack of class consciousness the majority may even vote in the next presidential election for such demagogues as Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon, who out of his "love for America" has never cast a ballot in any major election.  This cuts deeply into the capitalist nature of American democracy, in which the 'money bags' buy their way into the U.S. Congress and the White House, an example that according to the U.S. corporate media proponents and bourgeois ideologues, other nations must follow. 
But the dominant social system so far has been able to afford bearing the cost of hiring, developing and expanding a vast commercialized and quasi-private propaganda apparatus that 7-24 by every printing and electronic tools at its disposal (thanks to the power of tax collection) tries to ward off the facts and spread half-truths, barefaced lies and false consciousness.  In order to divert the public attention as to the real causes of chronically-low economic growth rates, sporadic and insignificant scientific achievements, lower rates of capital accumulation and simultaneously high rates of unemployment, not only in the U.S. but also across the most developed capitalist economies of Western Europe, the media slaves point the fingers of blame at the emerging markets in China, India, Brazil or Russia for supposedly taking the jobs away from the American labor market.

Here it is necessary to cite the ratio of unionized labor to the entire U.S. labor force.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics on January 21, 2011, unionized labor in the U.S. was only 11.9%, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier, which showed a decline of 612,000 workers in the union ranks.  Similar statistics for such countries as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden is 51.9%, 27.1%, 67.6%, 67.5%, 33.4%, 52.3% and 68.3%, respectively.  In 1983, union membership in the U.S. was 20.1 percent with 17.7 million workers.  Today, out of every 9 American workers only 1 has the support and the collective bargaining rights of a union!

But given the central motive force of the capitalist system which is to extract ever-higher rates of profit from any market regardless of its geographic whereabouts or the ethnicity of its labor force, for the U.S. policy-makers and mainstream media to blame other nations or countries for the lack of job creation in the U.S. is a sign of either deliberate misrepresentation of the main features of capital in the 21st Century or at best is a reflection of a narrowly nationalistic view of a social system that owes its very existence to higher rates of exploitation.  In a few words: capital knows no motherland.

Furthermore, "As the U.S. economy has slowed and competition has remained fierce," writes Karen Dolan of Morning Star Research Institute, "many firms have turned to emerging market economies for growth."  Additionally, Pat Dorsey searched the entire S&P market index through this lens in January 2010 and found that 40 percent of the revenues of the 500 largest U.S. corporations came from outside of the United States.  To substantiate this fact, let us examine the stock holdings of three large cap mutual funds, namely Oakmark Select (OAKLX), Longleaf Partners (LLPFX) and Clipper (CFIMX).  Among them, Oakmark had the highest U.S. weight by domicile, but the lowest exposure by revenue.  Out of its 21 stock holdings, only three showed all of their sales in the U.S.  The top position of this fund, Discovery Communications, earns 35 percent of its revenues abroad.  Another holding in Oakmark Select Portfolio, Texas Instruments, is well known among U.S. consumers, but only draws 11 percent of its overall sales from the U.S. market.

Among many, two of the large holdings of Longleaf Partners – Dell, a major computer, monitor and printer manufacturer, and Yum Brands, the world's largest restaurant along with its subsidiaries and retail outlets A&W, KFC, Long John Silver's, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – earned 47% and 60% of their revenues, respectively, outside the United States.  Driven by the outstanding China and Emerging market performance, Yum Brands on April 18, 2011, announced the opening of 400 KFC franchise restaurants in Jakarta, Indonesia.

From the two above-mentioned cases, among others, three major conclusions could be drawn:

1) The purchase, use and consumption of the finished products of Dell and Yum Brands by the people in the developing countries, in this case, China and Indonesia, cannot be realized unless the products are grown, prepared and manufactured locally, employing the indigenous population;

2) This method almost eliminates the high cost of transportation both ways – export of raw materials and export of finished goods, which results in higher rates of profits for the corporation and it provides a market for the raw materials produced by the local mining companies and farmers;

3) The by-products of the concentration of labor and capital, vertically and horizontally, make the job of organizing the labor in powerful unions and socialist parties much easier.

In the sample of three mutual funds mentioned above, Clipper is a large blend fund.  As of its most recent portfolio, the fund held 86% in the stocks of U.S.-domiciled companies, but the cut of revenue from foreign holdings remained as high as 65 percent.  If the stock exchange indices are any indication of economic cycle and secular trends, then the above figures could be used to calculate the multiplicity of growth of the emerging economies in comparison to the mature capitalist economies. No wonder tens of thousands of western industrialists and financial directors daily visit such countries as China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, Peru, Thailand and South Africa to mention just a few.

Let us be reminded that according to the official sources, in the first quarter of 2011, the U.S. economy annually adjusted had a growth rate of only 1.8 percent, while the average growth rates of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of China, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Tanzania were 10.4 percent, 8.65%, 7.8%, 10.95%, 11%, 6.68%, and 6.77% respectively.

The U.S. is not the only country among developed economies that chronically suffers from insufficient rates of economic growth and high rates of unemployment.  For example in 2010, the economic growth rates of the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan, Israel and Belgium were 0.42 percent, 0.29%, 0.37%, 1.00%, 0.80%, 0.325%, 0.625%, 1.265% and 0.525% respectively.  The anemic growth rates of these countries are the prime causes of continuous high rates of unemployment, national debt and budget deficits.  Among others, the organic compositions of capital, militarization of the economy, addiction to war, the highly inequitable wealth and income distribution which results in lack of sufficient and effective demand are the major causes of periodic recession and secular (long term) unemployment. 
While the corporate media focuses on glorifying the killing of Osama bin Laden and creating near 'hysteria' about the Arab uprisings, the European Union and western developed economies are facing massive debt and crisis in the economic realm.  On May 3rd, Portugal, now the third eruozone country to be bailed out of a sovereign debt crisis, reached a deal on a €78bn rescue package.  Coupled with loans from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), thus far the price tags on the bailouts come to $157 billion for Greece, $122 billion for Ireland, and most recently $116 for Portugal, the total of $473 Billion!

As we see, the developed capitalist countries of Europe, suffering from the unhealthy economic system of capitalism continuously are forced to be on "life support", with more loans  and bailouts before plunging into debt and social unrest.  It is not only the Arab countries who are engulfed in citizen upheavals, demanding socio-economic changes.  On May 6th, police confronted protesting doctors in Greece and striking civil servants in Portugal, as the unions and people protest the cut-backs in social services. 

The day is not far off that the working class of America will demand righting the wrongs: stopping endless wars, halting the culture of glorifying violence and militarism, stopping the process of jailing millions of poor men and women across the country and finally ending the process of enriching the tiny layer of billionaires while the majority of the society suffers higher costs and chronic unemployment.

Ardeshir Ommani is co-founder and president of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC), he writes articles of analysis on Iran -U.S. relations, the U.S. economy and has translated articles and books from English into Farsi, the Persian language. Contact: 


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Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Paykar Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Man maniye osdad ro midoonam. Sepasdaram shoma lazem nisst tarjomeh konid :-)


Ostad VPK

by Paykar on

We have more in common than meet the eye. (Ostad is an endearing term we use to use in our student days. Any bache Ehyaei around?)

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I just sent in the membership renewal check :-) I am a card carrying member of the ACLU! 

Regarding rage: when someone defends and praises the IR I do get filled with rage. When someone talks about the "myriad" of wonders of IR I get mad. Does anyone think that my points were untrue? Are they not hanging people off cranes? Do they not stone women? Did then not burn down Cinema Rex. Did they not ruin our economy. If anyone does not get upset at these actions then I wonder about them. Mr. Ommani likes to have monologues. He says his thing and refuses to respond. 

What good has the IR done for Iran?

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Mr. Ommani and President Ahmadinejad

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

On September 20, 2010 Mr. Ommani participated in the dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On September 21, 2010, Mr. Ommani participated in another gathering with Ahmadinejad in New York.









Incognito: Regarding your comment here

by Bavafa on

I often wonder about the same thing, or worse when an individual claims that has not read the article yet comments about it.

Thanks for writing about this and bringing it to the attention.


Masoud Kazemzadeh

Civil Libertarianism, Mossadegh, StruggleAgainst Fascisticregime

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on


1. My comment was addressed to Ms. Samani. I was NOT discussing the merits or demerits of the article by Ommani. I was discussing the content of Ms. Samani’s comment.

2. You do NOT understand the meanings of McCarthyism and civil libertarianism. You do not understand what Dr. Mossadegh did. Let me explain the meanings of these.

Civil libertarians defend the RIGHTS of all to express their views. Civil libertarians may strongly OPPOSE the content and the actions of the said group. For example, the ACLU defends the rights of the KKK to express its views. At the same time, the ACLU opposes the racists views of KKK. And the ACLU strongly condemned the KKK lynching African Americans, and their intimidations of others.

McCarthyism was about bringing people to COURTS, sending them to prison, and firing them from their jobs, and black-listing them.

Dr. Mossadegh defended the RIGHTS of those with whom he disagreed such as the Tudeh Party, Islamic fundamentalists, and monarchists. At the same time, Dr. Mossadegh fought against their policies and condemned their harmful policies.

I defend the rights of Ms. Samani and Ommani to express their views. At the same time, if I see what they says is harmful for democracy, freedom, and human rights, I will criticize and condemn those views. If I see them support the reactionary fascist fundamentalist terrorist regime, I will condemn their actions and policies.  In a free debate they can show whether my writings are right or wrong.    This is called exchange  of ideas.  If they write a powerful argument and prove me wrong, then I accept their argument.  If I make a powerful argument, then they should accept that I am correct.  They write something, and then I write something.  So far, Ms. Samani ran away from the debate.  I did NOT demand that the views of Ms. Samani and Ommani be censored. I did not demand that Samani and Ommani be banned from posting on this site. I challenged the content of their views and their policies. This is what democrats do: challenge the views of others they disagree with. In a free debate about ideas and policies, the readers can see which idea they like or dislike.

In conclusion, my posts are fully consistent with those of the ACLU, Dr. Mossadegh and any civil libertarian. To call criticism of bad views McCarthyism, is like calling Orwell’s Animal Farm or 1984, McCarhtyism because he challenged Stalinism. I SUPPORT Orwell in his struggles against Stalinism via his writings.

The ACLU, Mossadegh, Orwell fought against bad views. That is what democrats and roshanfekr moteahed (committed intellectual) do. It is the most honorable thing one can and should do.

REALITY: We Iranians are engaged in a STRUGGLE against the fascistic fundamentalist terrorist regime. In this site, we conduct part of that struggle. The fundamentalist regime’s tools include assassinations, torture, rape, executions, paying money and hiring agents, propaganda, etc. Our tools are our words, our logic, and our arguments. Your notion that we should not challenge various posters on the prime issue of our time is weird. This is a forum. We challenge each other on this main issue of our people: where they stand on the struggle between the fascist fundamentalist terrorist regime and those who fight against the terrorist regime.





by Paykar on

He is not going to respond. I think I had some questions for him when he had a different article up.

If a writer refuses to answer questions, I propose after giving him a certain amount of time, the article should be removed until such time he/she responds to questions. There are always "bad" questions, just come out and say you don't like the question(s). Surrogates not allowed.



Mr Ardeshir Ommani, where are thou, Sir!

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Why dont you answer a simple question from a fellow "lefty"? Why  do you allow evil zionists like VPK and masoud misrepresent you! I am all ears, please enlighten me!

And no, "Vali_faghih's " response  would not do. I want to hear it from you, the God almighty himself!! 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


From Mossadegh to McCarthy

by incognito on

I was about to ask MK, why an educated person like him should write more than 750 words of comments attacking the author of this article, and thanking those who agree with him, without even once bothering to debate the merits or demerits of its subject, namely “war economy”. Then VPK, as always, volunteered an answer, “When I read people like Mr. Ommati I am filled with rage.”

I do not know Mr. Ommani, and am not here to defend him. He might be a “lefty”, or an “ommati”, or both. He may even deserve everythings said about him by his opponents here. My question is, do we deserve that? Those of us who read articles and blogs on IC, and take time to even read the posted comments, do so hoping to learn something useful. We the readers, as adults, deserve to be allowed to read the author’s point of view, and commenters’ counterpoints and to draw our own conclusion. We do not deserve to be caught in the crossfire of those “filled with rage”.

I do not know if Ommani was involved in Stalin’s purges, or in Mao’ revolution, or he might have even supported such exercises of brutality. What I know is that what MK is practicing here is McCarthyism. And, that is a shame for someone who claims association with Mossadegh’s intellectual and political heritage. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Left & Right

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Dear Friends,

I view myself part left and part right in many ways. For example I believe in:

  • Free government paid education as far an you go.
  • Socialized medicine with private option available.
  • Social safety net that provides a minimum standard of living.
  • Free child care, and pre birth care.
  • Progressive taxation.
  • Maximum limits to wealth so no one gets to be super rich.

I also believe in:

  • Allowing people to open business and entrepreneurship.
  • Allowing people to reap the fruits of their own work.
  • Giving people the right to make money.

I do not believe in

  • Not hating America.
  • Being allied with so called leftists like North Korea.
  • The so called peace movement which supports Ghaddafi and his ilk.

The left needs to mature and become more moderate. Allow for democratic elections and if they lose accept it. In a new Iran policies will be made by democratically elected officials. These people change when we have elections. As they do so do policies. When right leaning ones win policies shift to right. When left wins policies shift to left. But the basic tenants remain. Taking care of our people; allowing no one to starve and allowing people to enjoy fruits of their work.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Roozbeh Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I will tell you some of the "Myriiad" of changes:

  • Inflation: I used to buy a book for 25 rilals. Now it is 25,000 rials.
  • Women are forced to wear hijab.
  • Gangs of thugs running around beating people.
  • People hanged from cranes once used for building.
  • Massive unemployment.
  • Shortages of necessities.
  • Massive drug addiction. 
  • Wasting Iranian funds onterrorist gangs.
  • Ruining our international standing and reputation.

When I read people like Mr. Ommati I am filled with rage. These are worse than Mollahs. Shameless and without any sympathy for the suffering of Iranians.


Masoud Jaan

by Paykar on

I did not know about this book. I wil read it. You know that when people like me, who started their serious political "education" in a tilted student organization, breaking away from dogmatic views is very diffcult, if at all possible. However, witnessing  tendency of these organization for totalitarian, cult like control, I broke away.

Marxists like Luxamburg, Antonio Gramsci, and Eric Fromm opened a new door for me ( Nowadays, I am fascinated by neuroscience as it pertains to social psychology and interpersonal relationships).

It has to be said that ,probably, the majority of Stalin's victims were communists themselves.

Thanks for your encouragement Masoud.



What can I say?

by Paykar on

"In my view, it is common courtesy to respond to those who read and
comment on one's writings.  In my opinion, it is rude to not respond to
questions and critiques from the readers"


I am in total agreement Masoud. I will not post on comments and articles from people who lack this common courtesy.
You and I both asked HFB to elaborate on her claim regarding  one of your posts; although she appears couple of times a day to respond in this public forum to private e-mails; she has been silent so far (she has done the same on one of Azad's articles.). Go figure. I wonder what Hafez says about pretentious people who just love attention; oh wait, I remember something; it goes like this: "Ay kootah Astinan Ta Chand Deraz Dasti."

Sorry for High jacking your post. 

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Roozbeh jaan

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Roozbeh jaan,

I will be honored if your read my book (more like a long pamphlet). 

Khas o khashak should not ask soalhay boodar.

In my view, it is common courtesy to respond to those who read and comment on one's writings.  In my opinion, it is rude to not respond to questions and critiques from the readers.

Best regards,




Dear Masoud, thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

 Likewise, I have developed a great deal of respect for you, your honsety and focus on the real issue facing  Iran today, the Fascist Islamist regime, and the need for unity of all Iranians of different political persuasions in order to defeat this evil of our time...

I am very much looking forward to reading your book Masoud.

Having said all that, I wonder if the author of this blog ever going to answer my honest question of him. Or am I just another "khas o Khashak" not worth an answer from someone who robs shoulders with the leaders of the islamist regime of Iran :) 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Democratic Socialism vs. Genocidal Stalinism

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Roozbeh jaan,

Thank you for your honesty and integrity.

We in the JM work with and fully embrace socialists who accept democracy, civil liberties, and human rights. We in JM regard democratic socialists as our allies.

I personally have studied Marxism and have great respect for Marx and Engels (see book on the subject). There are democratic Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg, those in the Frankfort School (including Erich Fromm), and those in the New Left (such as Habermas, Marcuse, both also regarded as part of FS).

In Iran we have had great democratic socialist Marxist intellectuals such as Khalil Maleki (left Tudeh, and became one of the very top leaders in JM). We have also had democratic socialist Marxian parties such as Shoray Motehad Chap and Sazeman Vahdat Kommunisti.

Unfortunately, most of our Marxist-Leninists were not democratic. And that is a tragedy in our history and politics.

I hope the new generation of our leftists learns from the past. First and foremost, study the actual texts of great Marxist intellectuals. Second, our leftists embrace democracy, civil liberties, and human rights. Then, they will have JM as their closest friends and allies in the struggles to overthrow the ruling fascistic reactionary terrorist regime, and construct a progressive and democratic polity in our country.

My book on the subject:



Do NOT buy the book. I will post a pdf copy of my book on this site. And will discuss my views on the subject in a few weeks.

I want to express my gratitude to you and to our wonderful leftists posters in this site such as Paykar (Amir), and Mash Ghassem (Communist Party of Iran).

Best regards,




Can Mr Ardeshir Ommani also write a blog about

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

this claim on his bio: 

 "After many years of absence, he has been traveling back to Iran and is witnessing first-hand the myriad of changes in all spheres of life inside his homeland."

Could he actually spell out to the rest of us, a few of "these myriad of changes" in Iran, which has impressed him so much!!

In return I promise not to ask him to back this claim of his with some data!

"sporadic and insignificant scientific achievements in US"

Until then I reserve the right to  stick with what Fred says!

And before I leave, let me say that  there is  one thing which is even more evil than Capitalism. That thing is called   Fascism!

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Masoud Kazemzadeh

hypocrisy ????????

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Ms. Samani,

Would you agree that it would be a hypocrisy to criticize segregation in the American South in the 1930s-1940s, while supporting the racist genocide by Hitler during the same period?

Of course the U.S. has done bad stuff, but to criticize the U.S. while supporting a truly FASCIST TERRORIST regime that is oppressing, brutalizing, mass torturing, mass raping our people is hypocrisy. There is no freedom of speech in Iran. There is freedom of speech in the U.S.. There is no freedom of political parties in Iran. There is freedom of political parties in the U.S. One could criticize the U.S. system, and publish his or her books and nothing will happen to him/her. Do this in Iran, and you will be imprisoned, tortured, raped, and executed.

On Indonesia. One could criticize the U.S. support in the war between the right and the communist fight there. The Communists in the USSR under Stalin were responsible for the deaths of somewhere between 4 and 20 million people. The Communists under Mao were responsible for the deaths of somewhere between 30 and 45 million people. Stalin and Mao not only mass executed people, but also sent them to labour camps, and on purpose mass starved to death targeted groups. Stalin is perhaps responsible for the murder of more Communists officials than any other person. Stalin killed his own comrades in the Politburo and Central Committee of the CPSU.

One has to condemn the U.S. when it does horrible things such as the CIA coup in 1953 which destroyed our democracy and thus been responsible for the 60 years of misery in Iran. We have to condemn the Islamic fundamentalists who collaborated with the CIA and Shah in the 1953 coup. We have to condemn Ayatollah Kashani, Ayatollah Brujerdi, Ayatollah Behbahani, Akhond Falsafi, Fadaian Islam for their collaboration in the CIA. We have to condemn Khomeini who was a secret messenger between Shah and Brujerdi. The reason Khomeini opposed that Shah was due to the land reform and female franchise. Khomeini condemned Mossadegh and said that if the U.S. did not slap Mossadegh, he would have slapped Islam. To condemn the US for the 1953 coup while not condemning CIA’s Islamic fundamentalist collaborators is hypocrisy.

But supporting the genocidal policies in USSR and China, while criticizing the US is hypocrisy. Supporting the fascistic TERRORIST regime ruling in Iran should be condemned by any decent human being. As Iranians it is OUR responsibility to take position on OUR country and overthrow the TERRORIST regime brutalizing our people.

Do YOU condemn those who collaborate with the TERRORIST regime in Iran? Yes or no.



Arezu Samani

To Fred - on Lefty Hypocrisy

by Arezu Samani on

Sir, your comment is way off! As a citizen of Iran living here in the USA, I admire the author's analysis of the connection between the worsening economy and the stupid theory that other nations, such as Iran or China, are to blame for it. Fred, you should do more reading to understand what's going on here: Naomi Klein, in her excellent work: The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism documents how General Suharto, backed by the CIA and the U.S. State Department, using money from our taxes, helped to 'hunt down' four to five thousand leftists on the CIA's hit list: In just over a month, at least a half million and possibly as many as a million people were killed, "massacred by the thousands," according to Time. Fred, have you ever been on an American demonstration in support of unions and opposing cutting the social services here? Or do you just hate the IRI so much that you can only cry "hypocrisy" because you don't understand the relation between economics and politics? Even if IRI has serious shortcomings, two wrongs don't make a right!


Lefty hypocrisy

by Fred on

“The day is not far off that the working class of America will demand righting the wrongs: stopping endless wars, halting the culture of glorifying violence and militarism, stopping the process of jailing millions of poor men and women across the country and finally ending the process of enriching the tiny layer of billionaires while the majority of the society suffers higher costs and chronic unemployment.”

This writer, Ommani, is on the record, written and audio-video, praising and supporting, in every sense of the word, failed regime of IRR, the Islamist Rapist Republic.

How does he explain the clear inherent hypocrisy in his supporting such regime and admonishing others?