Update: Pentagon Terror Futures Market Plan Scrapped
Yeah, so I wrote that post right before this article appeared...
I should also note that although this particular futures market made the betting on war and misery thing particularly obvious and in-your-face (especially because it was being run by the Pentagon itself), it's nothing new for markets (and especially futures markets) to be involved with war, suffering and misery. The oil futures market (and the stock market) went nuts over the war in Iraq, for example. Diamonds, cocoa, and all kinds of commodities are tied up in bloody conflicts. And so on.
In sum: this was just an extreme government-sponsored example of the kind of thing that goes on all the time.