In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush called for the nation to back the war in Iraq and to "stand behind the American military in this vital mission."
No matter how one feels about this particular conflict, war always has winners and losers ó on both sides. There's the human toll, of course, which Mr. Bush acknowledged. Whether democracy and freedom will, over all, be winners, only history will divulge.
But some indisputable winners are clear now: military contractors. Suppose an investor were endowed with that golden instinct for spotting bargains and bought 100 shares of each of the top six military contractors at their lows of the last six years ó lows reached by four of them in March 2000, before the election, before Sept. 11 and before any hint of war. That basket of shares would have cost $12,731.50. On Friday, it would have been worth three and a half times that: $44,417.
Little wonder. Just look at the money machines these contractors have become as the war drags on.