Your Local Military Industrial Complex
by David Swanson
April 24, 2011
As in any other U.S. city, things are looking up for Charlottesville, Va., job seekers who don’t mind helping to kill tons of people for no good reason. This week’s “community job fair” features some prominent members of the Charlottesville community whom we don’t usually think of as such.
When I travel the country, people often inform me that their town is a military-industrial town as if that were unusual. I always ask them if they can name a U.S. town that isn’t — in part because nobody has yet been able to, and in part because if someone ever does I might want to move there.
Once you weed through the predictable dead-end poverty-wage, fast-food, and box-store jobs at the job fair, much of what’s left is jobs that help kill people. Whether you support or oppose what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and 75 or so other countries, you’re probably not aware that the machinery behind it dominates the local economy here, just as in the rest of the United States. The “community” at the job fair is the community of death.
And let’s hope you’re lucky enough to support what the dozens of countries that U.S. corporations sell weapons to do with them. Would you be proud of having built weapons for Muammar Gadaffi and also of having built weapons for U.S. attacks on his military? Would you take pride in building engines of death for a so-called democracy and also for Saudi Arabia? It’s still a little known fact, but our biggest business is the machinery of death, not only because the U.S. military could be cut by 85% and still be the world’s largest, but also because the United States is far and away the leading seller of weapons to other countries. Often we end up arming additional countries to fend off countries we’ve armed. Often we end up at war with countries we’ve armed. Much of U.S. “foreign aid” is actually cash with which other nations are expected to purchase U.S.-made weaponry.
At the local community job fair you can get a job “researching biological and chemical weapons,” an enterprise that necessarily involves creating such weapons. Here’s your new employer:
Battelle Memorial Institute
1001 Research Park Blvd., Suite 400
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Or you can become a cog in one of the largest weapons makers on the planet at
995 Research Park Blvd., Suite 400
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Here you could be proud of also working for one of the top violators of U.S. laws where fines of $845.7 million for 33 instances of misconduct since 1995 is just a cost of doing business. Check out #21 in that list of instances: failing to pay employees. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Other Cville area employers that would be delighted to hire you (and maybe even pay you) to help kill include Teksystems, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Pragmatics, Wiser, and no doubt others with fat Pentagon contracts. Lots of employers are recruiting here from Northern Virginia and elsewhere as well, such as Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Ogsystems, the Defense Logistics Agency, and BAE Systems. Here are a few of the products you could take pride in creating at that last one.
BAE is also another top criminal among government contractors. I don’t mean that these companies are participating in illegal wars. I mean that they are lying to the government about whether its weapons work, and engaging in other colorful abuses. For example, BAE has had the bad habit of bribing Saudi Arabian dictators to buy its killing machines.
Also on the list of employers at the community job fair is the Virginia Army National Guard, which is of course now an international outfit guarding nothing but attacking quite a few things. Then there’s the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, recruiting employees to work in a government that consists primarily of a massive military.