Saying ‘Peace Not Going to Break Out… Anytime Soon,’ Raytheon CEO Sees ‘Solid Growth’ in Middle East

Sixty years to the month after President Dwight D. Eisenhower prophetically warned against the “unwarranted influence” of the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, the chief executive of one of the world’s biggest weapons makers affirmed that ongoing war in the Middle East is good for business.

During a Tuesday earnings call, Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors he anticipated the Biden administration would temporarily block the sale of 7,500 of his company’s Paveway bombs to Saudi Arabia, a nearly $500 million deal sealed during the final months of former President Donald Trump’s tenure. Hayes quasi-cryptically said that a certain “offensive weapons system” to a certain “customer in the Middle East [who] we can’t talk about” was coming off the company’s books.

No single sale, not even one for half a billion dollars worth of so-called precision bombs, is going to seriously dent Raytheon’s profits. On Tuesday’s earnings call, Hayes sounded upbeat: “Look,” he told investors, “peace is not going to break out in the Middle East anytime soon. I think it remains an area where we’ll continue to see solid growth.”

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‘A Blatant Violation’: Sahrawis Dismiss Pompeo’s Announcement of US Consulate in Moroccan-Occupied Western Sahara

Sahrawi independence advocates defiantly dismissed an announcement Thursday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States would open a “virtual” diplomatic mission in Western Sahara as a first step toward establishing a permanent consulate in the Moroccan-occupied territory.

Pompeo said in a statement that the US was “inaugurating a virtual presence post for Western Sahara, with a focus on promoting economic and social development, to be followed soon by a fully functioning consulate.”

The State Department said that the virtual post – which will allow US officials to conduct consular and other business remotely – will be managed by the American Embassy in Rabat, the Moroccan capital.

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Martyred Missionaries: The Lives and Legacies of Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel

From left to right – Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel. (Credit: Maryknoll Sisters)

On the night of December 2, 1980, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel, Catholic missionaries from the United States, were kidnapped, beaten, raped, and murdered by a U.S.-backed death squad while working to help the poor and oppressed people of El Salvador.

In their lives, work, and tragic, untimely deaths, the women inspired people in El Salvador who, deeply moved by their ultimate sacrifice, would at long last prevail in their freedom struggle.

Four Women, One Calling

Maura, Jean, Ita, and Dorothy were four very different women united in their common calling to serve their God and the suffering Salvadoran people. Maura, who was 49 when she was killed, was the oldest and most experienced missionary of the group. She grew up in an Irish American family in Queens, New York and joined the Maryknoll Sisters, an order of nuns dedicated to helping needy people overseas, when she was 19.

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Peace Groups Blockade Creech Air Force Base To Protest ‘Illegal and Inhumane Remote Killing’ by US Drones

A group of 15 peace activists on Saturday wrapped up a week-long nonviolent, socially-distanced protest at a Nevada Air Force base housing a command and control center for unmanned aerial drones.

For the 11th straight year, CodePink and Veterans for Peace led their twice-annual Shut Down Creech demonstration against killer drones at Creech Air Force Base to “oppose the remote-control killing” orchestrated from the military facility located 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

CodePink organizer Toby Blomé said the activists, who hail from California, Arizona, and Nevada, “were compelled to participate and take a strong and determined stance against the illegal and inhumane remote killing by U.S. drones that occurs daily” at Creech.

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Ukraine Airliner Tragedy Evokes Memories of US Iran Air Shootdown, Cubana Flight 455 Attack

"I’ll never apologize for the United States of America, ever; I don’t care what the facts are," said Vice President George H. W. Bush after the US Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, killing 290 innocent people, including 66 children.

It’s too early to tell whether or not Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after the Boeing 737-8KV took off in Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. One thing seems almost certain – if Iran did shoot down the plane, it was by accident. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson, his British counterpart, both claim to have intelligence and other evidence that Flight 752 was hit by one or more surface-to-air missiles, while US President Donald Trump opined that “somebody could have made a mistake on the other side." It’s practically impossible to imagine a scenario in which Iran would intentionally target a Ukrainian commercial flight; fortunately, cool heads seem to be prevailing ahead of investigations of the incident.

‘I’ll Never Apologize for the United States of America’

For many Iranians, the Tehran tragedy brought back painful memories of a similar incident from more than 30 years ago during a period of similarly heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On July 3, 1988 the US guided missile destroyer USS Vincennesshot down Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300 flying in Iranian airspace and carrying 290 civilians from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, killing all aboard. The victims included people from six countries, including 66 children. The US maintains this was an accident, while Iran accused the US of an intentional act of state terrorism.

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Duke Students Protest Speech by Tzipi Livni, Former Israeli Foreign Minister Accused of War Crimes

Students at Duke University in North Carolina repeatedly interrupted a recent speaking event featuring Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister who has been the subject of arrest warrants and a lawsuit in three countries for her alleged role in war crimes committed during the 2008-09 Cast Lead invasion of Gaza.

The Duke Chronicle reports around two dozen protesters interrupted Livni at the October 23 event, with one student standing and shouting that Cast Lead “was a massacre” before the ex-minister could answer her first question. As soon as the first protester paused, more students stood and shouted at Livni. Some of them read names and held photos of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. A few minutes later, the protesters began to leave the auditorium while chanting “shame” and “you don’t belong here” to Livni.

“You know what’s a shame? It’s a shame that we cannot have this discussion,” Livni countered, dismissing the demonstrators as “not willing to listen to the truth.”

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