Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Boycott American Cars!


Ok that title was just to attract more visitors..


Either way, this post has been long overdue and I'm surprised that it took me so long to actually get to writing it. I will now speak of the atrocities in Gaza and the American sit-on-my-butt attitude towards Israeli genocide. BUT, before you draw conclusions, this is the first of two posts about the topic. The second topic shows the equally stupid non-helping Arab countries. So don't be that quick to draw your conclusions. On GFWMG I try to be as unbiased as possible.

THIS post however, is for those who want to help Gaza and anyone else oppressed by the American (Read: Bush) War Machine and the Bush Administration's foreign policies, that will soon be rendered obsolete once BO is in power. But just to be safe.

Whenever I spoke to anyone regarding Gaza, even though the conversation was full of heightened emotions and opinions, there was always this lingering aftertaste of helplessness. Sitting at our coffee shops, cafes, pool bars, bars (for a few), there was only that much bitching and moaning that one could do before you just ran out of excuses and this horrible feeling of dread would take over you as you realized that there really was nothing much you could do. And I'm sure we've all been through it, both pro-Palestinians and pro-Israeli (ie, in terms of pro-peace) people alike.

However, my brother mentioned this to me and at the time I did not think of it as much of a deal. On his saying, I did some research and it turns out there's a pretty decent way to make a difference. You know how everyone keeps rambling on about "Boycott *insert random country* Goods!" Well, that really does make a difference with regards to the American Economy. Let's start with a little background.

Want to help Gaza? Want Israel to stop it's atrocities? If you want to kill a snake (Being totally metaphorical here) cut off the head. The first country to recognise the State of Israel in 1948 was the United States Of America, under the leadership of Harry S. Truman. The country that gives the most in terms of foreign aid, both direct and indirect, military and non-military is the United States of America. What I'm trying to establish is, that if people were to apply decent amounts of pressure on the government of the USA, we would actually be able to take a step towards helping the people of Gaza.

Lemme give you some numbers. American fiscal aid to Israel began in 1948 itself with Harry Truman setting the bar. Every president since, the bar's only gone higher. Since WWII Israel has been the largest overall recipient of American aid.
  • Between 1948 - 2006 Israel has received more than$156 billion in Direct Financial Aid.
  • Until 2003, Israel received a third of the annual US Foreign Aid Budget.
  • The US also 'loaned' money to Israel, but waived them before repayments even began. The tally of waived loans only stands at $45 billion, up to 2003.
  • During 1996 - 2006 Israel received more the $24 billion in Financial Military Aid from the USA.
  • 50% of the USA's Foreign Military Financing (FMF) budget is directly allocated to Israel, who can spend more than 26% of that in buying weapons produced by Israeli arms manufacturers, keeping that percentage of money in their economy.
  • In August of 2007 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the USA and Israel, guaranteeing them $30 billion over the next 10 years in military aid via the FMF.
I could go on about these facts. A lot of them are easily available over the internet, from reliable sources. One such source summarised it like this, "The Real Cost of US Aid to Israel: $3 Trillion."

I'd take that with a pinch of salt, but it's still quite a number.

Now it's safe to assume that poking and prodding at the American economy could cause ripples big enough to affect Israel.

Disclaimer: I understand that Barack Obama's term as President may not see the same support, and would hereby render this post obsolete, but these are the facts. If, in the coming months, you see no difference in American Foreign Policy towards Israel and the Middle East, I don't see why not.

Let's get straight to the point. 1 out of every 10 American jobs is directly linked to the automobile industry. If Detroit, America's autmobile manufacturing stronghold, were to fall, as many as 3 million jobs would be affected. Now while the number of jobs lost due to GM, Chrysler and Ford's deaths could be cancelled out by the aggressive capture of the market by Japanese giants Toyota, Nissan, Honda and even Hyundai, it is not the jobs that would kill the American Economy.

GM, Ford and Chrysler control about 40% of the global automobile industry, worth $450 billion, and control over 60% of the domestic market, worth roughly $300 billion. I'm going to say this part slowly. The size of the domestic US auto industry controlled by foreign brands is the same as the share controlled by American auto manufacturers in the global market. ie, American auto manufacturers sell enough cars overseas to counter balance money lost to the sales of foreign cars (ie imports) in the USA. If Detroit were to fall, this dynamic economic balance would die with it and the American economy would have a direct negative effect of roughly $450 billion. And when the entire cookie crumbles and all the bits have fallen off, the cascading effect of this fall could shave of well over a trillion dollars of the American GDP annually.

This void left by GM, Chrysler and Ford, will soon be filled by foreign manufacturers and more sooner than later, foreign companies will have the largest influence on American economy in history. Eventually, the American auto industry would sputter and die, expedited by the new found power for foreign brands in economy of scales, marking it as the most tragic event in US economic history.

NOW, while the result is assumption based on facts, it still is quite possible. If you really want to start trying to help people of Gaza or any other country oppressed by the American war machine, stop talking and start doing. Stop buying Ford Explorers. Stop purchasing Mustangs. No more 300Cs. No more Tahoes or Suburbans. Buy Japanese. Their airconditioners wont die out on you.


xx


M



Ps.
I don't want the USA to die off. Really. I want to go to Harvard. But I do want to put enough pressure on them, so that they stop directly helping the genocidists that sit in powerful places in the Israeli government. The next part of this series will show how some countries *cough*middleeasternoilrich*cough* sit back and do nothing save for talk. My next post will be on that. Look out for it.


Sources:
  1. http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm
  2. http://knol.google.com/k/mic-mac/the-financial-cost-of-american-support/1xmk75xoq251y/2#
  3. What To Do With Detroit Is MoreA National Strategic Decision by A. D. Amar, Strategy & Policy Professor, Stillman School of Business.
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17 comments:

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Boycotting products from any country will lead to unemployment among people who have nothing to do with this war or the one in Iraq. If you disagree with US foreign policy, I don’t think making a GM employee pay the price for that disagreement is a good idea. We all have our opinions and my humble two cents are that both war and boycotts don’t achieve anything in situations like these. The issue is ideological/religious and lies in the patronizing stance harbored by Hamas towards Israel. If Hamas thinks Israel should not exist, sending home-made rockets to their residential areas will not make that a reality. It is wrong on every level and even though the losses have hitherto been small in number, the action is very wrong and aggressive.
Israel is answering back by slaughtering civilians right and left which is utterly wrong and simply a massacre. Their stance towards this war has been marked by an utter absence of humanity. Jews have been persecuted since times ancient and long gone repeatedly and in millions. It is almost as if they want to counter historic annihilation with more massacre. By talking about it we will never achieve anything and it is better to spend a few dollars off our credit cards on Oxfam/Red Crescent or the UN websites. War is wrong because ever single child lost is one too many. Israel has the blood of hundreds of innocent civilians on its hands, as does Hamas. They say disdainful things about Israel on television and when Israel fights back, they go into hiding among children. It is true that the international media seems to get choked whenever Israel commits atrocities, which I have always found strange. This time, fortunately the way this war was reported was different and impartial.
I am on no one’s side in this conflict but I am against all war. The millions that were spent on this war to kill innocent people could have been used to provide water to Zimbabwe and food to Haiti. Giving up Mustangs will probably deprive some other pacifist blogger of his job. It will not alter, fundamentally, the ideological and religious fabric of the region in question. History has shown that even millennia are not enough to change the ideologies.
-
Apologies for the wrong response.

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Apologies for the *long* response, not wrong lol.

MaliZOMG said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

1) I don't WANT all Americans to be unemployed, I just want a little pressure on them to try and get them to stop their unwavering support for genocide.

2) My second post will handle HAMAS and the arabs.

Thanks for your input, MUCH appreciated..

M

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Cheers.
I look forward to the next post.

biscuitinabasket said...

I agree with @ADB, however, don't you think that applying pressure on the Arab states should be on top of the list? Even pressure on the US economy will screw everyone else.You had to just pull one card out from the pack (Lehmans) and the whole world collapsed.

We need to donate generously to the charities which are doing a lot in Gaza. Also, we need to try and pressure (somehow) the ME countries to do more. One way I think would be via writing, blogging, and "critisizing" in the written media. How long can they push out the waves of critisism?

MaliZOMG said...

@biscuitinabasket

Refer to next post. Please. Lack of music is making it harder to focus. Bear with me :P

biscuitinabasket said...

I can sing @:)

MaliZOMG said...

Really? There are a couple of nice Karaoke bars here. We should go.

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