Marketplace Report

written by

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January 23, 1991
The new war is a week old.
Bombs fall on Baghdad,
missiles on Tel Aviv.
The voice on the radio says
the armament dealers of Europe
are hopeful that a longer war
will be good for business.
They say, as fighting continues
there will be wear and tear
on matériel. Spare parts
must be manufactured,
as well as replacements
for equipment blown apart,
shattered, set afire.
Prudently, the merchants
consult their spreadsheets.
They guard against euphoria
and prepare for a possible
downside to this bonanza:
the Allies are shooting
at their best customer,
Saddam Hussein. If he loses
their market will be depressed.
There is also a danger of
restrictions on sales
to angry dictators. Thus,
the longterm effects of the war
may not all be positive.

© Julie Hill Alger