Today, CBC’s Cross Country Check-up, dealt with the issue of military procurement. The programme topic arose as a response to the eponymous Jenkins Report on military procurement. One of its key recommendations is about tying Canadian military procurement to job creation: ‘The Harper Government is committed to supporting Canadian jobs and industry by maximizing military procurement.’
At one point, programme host, Rex Murphy, enthused to his producer known as Charles about the (wildly disproportionate) numbers of ‘industry’ types who were calling in. He then added the non-sequitur: ‘What a broad range of callers!’
I also know the ‘industry’ – the real pointy end (one caller referred to the pointy end as the soldier in need of efficient killing machines) – the business end of weaponry, whether drones or grenades or landmines or sophisticated weapons systems. I work in warzones, unarmed, working with civilians in the difficult work of non-violent social change. I have seen the dead bodies and the destruction. And I weary of the technocrats who appear to know – or care – nothing of those details – whose singular concern is profits. Don’t forget what General Smedley Butler said in his ‘War is a racket’ speech. Some few bodies will make a lot of money and the world will be a more dangerous place.