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CHAPTER 24: MILO
It is April, and Milo is busy conducting his business with a colonel in Sardinia. He promises to bring the colonel casaba melons from Damascus and lamb chops from Portugal if the colonel will lend him some planes. A fighter plane commander who refuses to fly Milo is transferred to the Solomon Islands.
Milo’s planes fly everywhere. His planes carry the name "M & M Enterprises"; he even has German bombers working for his syndicate. One day, Cathcart wants to confiscate the German bombers that Milo has brought in from Madagascar, but Milo will have none of it. Milo’s business has spread over all of Europe, except Russia.
Milo signs a contract with the American military authorities to bomb a German-held bridge and signed with German authorities to defend the same bridge from an American attack. Mudd is killed on this mission. Yossarian accuses Milo of killing Mudd, but Milo reiterates that he was merely fulfilling his business obligation. Milo receives a thousand dollars from the Germans for every American aircraft shot down at Orvieto.
The purchase of Egyptian cotton in Cairo has nearly caused the ruin of Milo’s enterprise. There is no market for to sell the cotton. Milo comes up with all kinds of innovations, including chocolate covered cotton, hoping to sell it to the American soldiers. Meanwhile, Milo has signed a contract with the Germans to bomb his own squadron. He fulfills the terms of his contract and bombs Pianosa one night, much to the chagrin of Cathcart and the other officers. Milo is condemned as a traitor, but when he opens his account books and discloses the profit he has made by bombing his own unit, he is forgiven.
Milo says that the syndicate is for everyone, but it is his name alone that is on the airplanes. He does not care that he brings about the deaths of American soldiers by signing a contract with the Germans. He even bombs his own squadron in the middle of the night. The only thing that concerns him is business. He misuses Air Force planes to make a nice profit for himself. He becomes immensely popular among the officers because he brings them all kinds of exotic and tasty food. In a moment of supreme irony, Milo announces that he would prefer his syndicate fight the war instead of the government.
As a contrast to Milo, we have Daneeka’s conscientious efforts to save the lives of the men that Milo’s planes have shot down at Pianosa. Once again, there is a description of Yossarian in the tree at Snowden’s funeral.