Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Boeing and the Bomb Worshippers

Today is the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan by the United States.

For 69 years, peace activists have been agitating to convince the world to disarm -- and particularly to eliminate any possibility that nuclear weapons will ever be used again.

Alas, for 69 years a cabal of powerholders and militarists have done everything in their power to make the reign of thermonuclear weapons irreversible.

On this day, it is appropriate for people in Chicago to consider: one of their star corporate citizens, an inhabitant of one of those gleaming buildings downtown that Chicago is so proud of, is a central player in that cabal.

“Witches’ Sabbath of the Bomb Worshipers”, 1962
Hand painted poster by Victor Koretsky
From the Smart Museum Vision and Communism show.
Retrieved from

Many of you are by now familiar with the many ways the Boeing Corporation profits from war and killing.  You know about the next-generation drone Boeing is developing.  You know about the warplanes and attack helicopters Boeing supplied Israel for this summer's massacre in Gaza. Some of you may even know of the role of Boeing's Jeppesen subsidiary in managing the "rendition" torture flights the CIA carried out.

Did you know that Boeing is also the one making nuclear bombs just a little bit more deadly?

The B61 Project

The current push by the military establishment for an irreversible thermonuclear reign is focused on a billion dollar project to make current nuclear weapons -- specifically the "B61" bomb -- more deadly.

You can read about the existing B61 on Wikipedia. The key point is that, not satisfied with the current killing ability, and with no thought whatsoever of how to back down from nuclear threat, the military establishment is intent on spending more money to make it more deadly. Ironically, it is dubbed the "B61 (Mod 12) Life Extension Program."

"Boeing Receives $178 Million Contract for B61 Tail Kit Assembly" announces the Boeing website proudly.

The Boeing "enhancement" to the B61 will help nuclear weapons obliterate entire populations more "accurately." Great.

And, of course, Boeing is just one of the suppliers.  The entire project will be $10 billion or more. (But -- hey -- who's counting?)

On this day, of all days, Chicago residents should be sick 
to their stomachs at the sight of their "star" corporate citizen.

TAKE ACTION: Don't Bank on the Bomb provides a basis for coordinated campaigning to discourage financial institutions from investing in nuclear weapons companies ... such as BOEING.

Related posts

Now that the Israeli government's killings in Gaza are front-page news -- particularly the way military aircraft is being used to mow down innocent men, women, and children -- Boeing's involvement is in everyone's face.

(See Boeing Has an Israel Problem . . . and Chicago Has a Boeing Problem)

Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )

There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks and months about the problem of gun trafficking in Illinois, and how we will never meet our goal of stopping the violence in our communities if we can't stop the flow of guns. Maybe it's time for us to eat our own dog food . . . .

(See What If Illinois Became a "War-Profiteer-Free Zone" ? )

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