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Synthesis/Regeneration 42   (Winter 2007)

Convert the Military Industrial Complex!

by Bruce Gagnon

Maineís Republican Senator Susan Collins 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? Thatís right, endless war.

Our Congress should be fighting to bring funding to our states to build rail systems, solar and windmills. After being told that we were having the hottest summer in the recorded history of the US, 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 donít 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 US! 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 donít 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 US. This is the direction that the corporate militarists are taking our nation as they now determine that ďsecurity exportĒ 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 US is feverishly resupplying Israel with new orders to replace the bombs, bullets, tank 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 itís a job.

Trains not tanks. Windmills not Star Wars. Solar power not fighter planes Ö

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 to happen?

The Congress is complicit in the disinvestment in American peacetime industry. We 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 canít end global warming by building weapons so that we can grab the diminishing supplies of the worldís 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.

Help us make this demand public.

Bruce K. Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (PO Box 652 Brunswick, ME 04011 (207) 729-0517 http://www.space4peace.org globalnet@mindspring.com)

[24 feb 07]

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