by Brad Wolf
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
November 12, 2022
What is it like to be so ashamed of the company for which you work that you cannot bring yourself to admit you work there? Ashamed of the products they manufacture, the innocent people those products kill, the hundreds of billions of dollars of public taxpayer money squandered in a gluttonous pursuit of profits?
This is life as seen on November 10, 2022, at Raytheon Technologies in Arlington, VA. Supporters of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, a public tribunal, served “subpoenas” on Raytheon and three other United States weapons manufacturers charging them with War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Theft, and Bribery.
The other three corporations served that same day were Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Atomics. These four corporations are representative of the modern-day piracy that is the U.S. war industry, a corporate capture of U.S. foreign policy, the Congress, the Departments of Defense and State, and the U.S. economic system.
Raytheon Technologies occupies a towering office building in Arlington, a stone’s throw from the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, two sites commemorating death and the utter failure of war. Though the Raytheon building has its corporate logo plastered in blood-red letters at the top, once inside no sign exists evidencing this corporate war profiteer. No name, no logo, no receptionist–only security guards. A sad attempt to hide their dealings in the black art of war.
When asked, the guards refused to acknowledge Raytheon was in the building. Of the dozens of employees who passed, none would admit they worked at Raytheon, averting their eyes as they hurried away. When police arrived to escort the Tribunal members and supporters off premises, the police would not acknowledge Raytheon was headquartered there. Just like the employees, they had their orders. Keep quiet, admit nothing.
It was silent as a tomb except for the voices of the Tribunal members speaking the truth about the trail of suffering and death Raytheon and its corporate brethren have left across Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and the Palestinian Occupied Territory. Meanwhile, these Merchants of Death have left the United States financially, morally, and spiritually bankrupt.
Raytheon Technologies has a market capitalization of $96 billion. According to Macrotrends, Raytheon Technologies revenue for the quarter ending September 30, 2022 was $16.951B, a 4.55 percent increase year-over-year. For 2021 it was $64.388B, a 13.79 percent increase from 2020, for 2020 was $56.587B, a 24.78 percent increase from 2019, and for 2019 was $45.349B, a 30.68 percent increase from 2018. In four years, they have garnered almost a 70 percent increase in revenue. Marketing death is good for profits if you can live with yourself. Apparently, given their silence, many Raytheon employees struggle with this very issue.
Raytheon builds some of the most destabilizing, destructive, and expensive weapons on earth. The Hypersonic Missile travels in excess of five times the speed of sound — Mach 5 — covering vast distances in minutes. It is “hard to stop and flies nimbly to avoid detection and dodge defensive countermeasures.” All these are attributes which make the missile so destabilizing to a foreign leader who has only minutes to determine whether they are being attacked with a nuclear weapon.
Raytheon makes the Peregrine Air-to-Air Missile which they claim “increases firepower, penetrates bad weather, and goes the distance.” Add to that their plans to use “high power microwaves” in war and we see the epitome of a Merchant of Death.
Boeing, General Atomics, and Lockheed Martin are the same. They too revel in blood money as they build for war and drain the U.S. economy. In fact, some $8 trillion in U.S. taxpayer money has been given to U.S. defense contractors over the last 20 years.
The U.S. War Industry plays a key role in fomenting war with their congressional lobbying, not just pushing for weapons contracts but influencing military strategy, thereby exacerbating and prolonging the anguish of civilians bearing the brunt of these wars of choice. On the issue of war in particular, Congress must be answerable to its citizens, not a handful of corporations.
With their silence on November 10, these weapons manufacturers revealed their shame. Their corporate mission statement stated accurately would be, “War Begets Profit.” For the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, the mission statement is “Come War Profiteers, Give Account.” Stand before a Tribunal and be judged.
And so, what is it like to give your talents to a corporation which hides its very existence, to give all your efforts and education and experience in the creation of weapons which kill indiscriminately? Their loss of words, their averting eyes, the damning silence offered in their corporate crypt, is the devastating answer.
Brad Wolf, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a former community college dean and Executive Director/Co-founder of Peace Action Network of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“Contempt Citation” served on Raytheon and “Subpoena to Appear” to be served on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for War Crimes
When Merchants of Death Visited Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Atomics: Photos and Videos, by David Swanson
From the archives:
Chris Hedges and Medea Benjamin: War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict
Crossing the Border into Ukraine, by Brad Wolf
Surviving the Killing Fields, by Kathy Kelly and Nick Mottern
Fund Student Debt Relief and Defund War Profiteers’ Contracts, by Tom H. Hastings
Will Griffin: The Fight Against Raytheon
The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex Study Guide, by Christian Sorensen
Pingback: Staying Alive in a Country of Death, by Brad Wolf – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Poetic Nonviolent Victory Over War, by Brad Wolf – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Chris Hedges: Ukraine, Iran, Palestine, Twitter Files, Media Censorship and Assange – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Chris Hedges and Dennis Kucinich: How The Military-Industrial-Complex Has Become The Enemy From Within – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: The Powell Memo Revisited, by Brad Wolf – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Dancing on the Edge of Hell, by Robert C. Koehler – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Ralph Nader, Medea Benjamin and David Swanson: Ukraine: Senseless Conflict – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: The U.S. Has Put Six Worse Things Than the World Cup in Qatar, by David Swanson – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Scott Ritter: America’s Hubris is Stunning and a Threat to World Peace, interviewed by Finian Cunningham – Dandelion Salad
Public naming and shaming of all shareholders, executives and weapon designers might ruffle a few feathers.
Someone knows who they are.
Everyone SHOULD know.
Interesting idea, Johnny.
Pingback: John Pilger: The US is Escalating War Tensions With China in Desperate Bid to Maintain Global Power, interviewed by Finian Cunningham – Dandelion Salad