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Rania Masri, Chris Kromm, and Jordan Green of the Institute for Southern Studies Jana Birchum ment of the contract was 20 billion dollars. It may not seem like the 1.3 billiondollar contract for fighter jets to Israel is all that substantial. But the amount of arms transfers for the F-16 program to Israel totals between four and five billion dollars over the past five years. TO: How does Lockheed Martin always make out so well? JG: We should bear in mind that Lockheed Martin has two former executives in Bush’s cabinetSecretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principiand that one of their board members, Douglas H. McCorkindale, is the president of Gannett Media, whose flagship paper is USA Today, a newspaper that shapes our political discourse and the way we consider foreign policy questions. Although significant, Lockheed Martin is not the only important weapons contractor. There is Ray theon, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. Boeing also profits immensely from the occupation of Palestinian lands through its production of Apache helicopters in Mesa, Arizona, which are used on a daily basis against Palestinian civilians and the refugee camps in the Occupied Territories. TO: What correlation exists between the money that Texas weapons manufacturers receive and the way Texas politicians vote? JG: Southern representatives tend to be more hawkish than the rest of the country, and Texas certainly fits that. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has a zero percent rating on Peace Action’s voting record score card. It means she voted in favor of every military deployment and every military weapons program that was proposed. Senator Phil Gramm has an 11 percent ranking. The representatives that are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area all rank very low for peace issues. What I would say about Texas is that there is a particular economic relationship of the elites that is driving these major expenditures. The defense industry is very closely related to the energy and the oil industry. For instance, Halliburton Company, which was formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, just won a contract to build the forward deployment bases for the next nine years wherever President Bush decides to take the anti-terrorism war. In the last decade, that came to two-point-five billion dollars for them. Now, it will certainly be much more. RM: Representative Dick Armey, from the Dallas area and the majority whip in Congress, quite unfortunately has recently stated on “Hard Ball,” a cable talk show, that he clearly supports the mass expulsion of Palestinians from occupied Palestinian territories that are a part of Israel. People in Dallas are planning an event to respond to these statements, but I would request that all constituents continued on page 16 5/24/02 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11