Creating people's geographies
Counterpunch | Aug 3 2006
Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins has just sent around a news release proudly proclaiming that she has helped to bring big money to our state. She says the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved, for fiscal year 2007, $3.4 billion for DDX destroyer ships at Bath Iron Works and an additional $50 million for smaller military contracts sprinkled throughout the state.
This is the industrial policy of America today. Weapons production. It is our #1 industrial export product. And when weapons are your # 1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line? That’s right, endless war.
Our Congress should be fighting to bring funding to our states to build rail systems, solar and windmills. At a time when we are told that we are now having the hottest summer in the recorded history of the U.S., does it not make sense that the taxpayers should be demanding that OUR TAX DOLLARS be used to expand the production of sustainable technologies? What does more military production do to alleviate global warming? How will we be able to get to work when gas hits $4, $5, $6, $7 a gallon if we don’t have public transit?
Think of the jobs created by building the industrial capacity to put a solar system on every house and business in the U.S.! Think of the jobs created if we built a world-class rail system connecting every corner of the country. Imagine how many people could be employed while building windmill farms all across the nation.
Why don’t the peace movement, the environmental movement, and the labor movements get together and create a unified demand to convert the military-industrial complex to peaceful production? Imagine the legs that could be put under the political demand for conversion if we did come together with such a coordinated national positive campaign?
What are we waiting for? We will never end war as long as making weapons for endless war employs growing numbers of people in the U.S. This is the direction that the corporate militarists are taking our nation as they now determine that “security export will be our role in the New World Order. What does it do to the soul of our nation when we have to make weapons of destruction in order to employ people so they can feed their families?
Today the U.S. is feverishly resupplying Israel with new orders to replace the bombs, bullets, tanks shells and other weapons they are using to destroy Lebanon. All the while people work overtime at military production sites to keep up with the orders for more weapons. An endless cycle of death and destruction. Can military production workers be proud of their work? Hardly. But it’s a job.
The idea of moving the arms race into space, what the Pentagon says will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth, has the weapons industry drooling. Again, how will we ever end war as long as we allow a new arms race into the heavens happen?
The Congress is complicit in the disinvestment in American peacetime industry. We don’t make hardly anything in this country anymore. Look in any Wal-Mart store and see for yourself. But what we do make is weapons.
We must demand over and over again that we want OUR TAX DOLLARS to be used for peaceful and sustainable production. We can’t end global warming by building weapons so that we can grab the diminishing supplies of the world’s oil and natural gas. We must convert the military industrial complex.
Trains not tanks. Windmills not Star Wars. Solar power not fighter planes and new generations of naval destroyers.
We need life not death for our children and grandchildren.
Bruce K. Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He can be reached at: [email protected]