Sunday, November 1, 2015

Building Weapons of Mass Destruction Bad For Security, Bad At Creating Jobs -- But Congress Still Loves Them

Banner drop from the Sagadahoc Bridge over the Kennebec River next to the Bath Iron Works shipyards. The river is regularly dredged to permit warships built there to be put out to sea, disrupting species that live in the waters.
On October 31 in Bath, Maine 70 activists gathered outside -- and some inside -- the gates of General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works shipyard. Something scary, indeed.
Activist Suzanne Hedrick addressed the Navy brass, sailors and working class families
leaving the shipyard saying: "This is a death factory."
Maine's elected officials were inside helping to launch and "christen" yet another warship, a nuclear capable Aegis destroyer. The Pentagon public relations boys decided to name this one after a dead Marine who was the first person born in Mexico to be so remembered, Rafael Peralta.
Recruiting among Latinos willing to enlist for a green card thus got a big boost via publicity that corporate media will help spread far and wide. Corporate news puffed Peralta's "ultimate sacrifice" relentlessly in their coverage of the warship's launch.

I was asked to speak on the spur of the moment and decided to focus on the claim that building weapons of mass destruction with our tax dollars is a must because: Jobs. Here's my response explaining why that claim cannot be supported by the facts.

Click here see videos of everyone's remarks. And, here are some of the other messages from the action, including text of a letter delivered inside the ceremony to Maine's congressional delegation.

The October 31 action was organized by Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm and Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Bruce can be heard speaking in the video below to the large audience of people leaving the shipyard following the ceremonies. He's talking about the successful efforts of former BIW worker Peter Woodruff to organize workers calling for conversion from building weapons of mass destruction:

In other messaging, activist Michael Gibson had this great letter about the "christening" published in the Lewiston Sun Journal one day prior to the launch.

Mark Roman, an activist who has been at BIW launches several times in the past, observed that there were many Navy officers in attendance with especially numerous medals and other decorations on display. He said they reminded him of cartoons lampooning Soviet era generals with layer upon layer of decorations on their uniforms. "There's not enough room on their chests for all their bravery," commented Roman.

Highly paid Pentagon brass with extensive and expensive staffs have multiplied in all branches of the military since the staged terror events of 9/11. Some have termed the problem "star creep." 'Nuff said.

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