After the torrent of pro-St Athan propaganda in the Welsh media when the privatised murder academy was first announced, today’s Western Mail has finally given a few words to the opposition. At least WM readers will now know that one of the partners in the consortium behind the academy, Raytheon, have been implicated in the delivery of cluster bombs.
Needless to say, Raytheon’s refutation of this has been printed without comment, as has the latest blast of wind from First Minister and chief apologist for mass murderers Rhodri Morgan (see WM article).
What did Raytheon actually have to say on the subject?
“Raytheon has never manufactured cluster bombs, but in the past we have been associated with their manufacture because of our contract to produce a missile that can carry different types of munition payloads, determined by the customer. One configuration allowed it to carry cluster bomb payloads, which were not produced by Raytheon. But in any case, Raytheon has completed its contracted production run for this particular missile, and we have no plans to resume production.”
In other words – yes, we made the delivery system for cluster bombs. Of course we knew the delivery system would be used for this purpose. But we’re not making any more at present because the US and Israeli air forces have enough to continue maiming civilians for the forseeable future.
Do Raytheon say they will never make these delivery systems again? No. Do they regret making them in the first place? No.
However, the case against Raytheon does not rest entirely on their involvement in cluster bombing. Raytheon also make the delivery systems for depleted uranium weapons, whose consequences are far more widespread and long-lasting, including the horrific deformities now common in newborn Iraqi babies, a huge increase in adult cancers, and a carcinogenic legacy which will last 4,500 million years.
That’s not to mention Raytheon’s latest pet project, the ‘Silent Guardian’, which uses “millimeter wave technology” to take out demonstrators, fleeing refugees etc – ideal, maybe, for dealing with protesters against the wholesale militarisation of South Wales.
The protests, however, will not be going away, and now that PR have won the Stop the War Coalition to the fight against St Athan, we have every intention of preventing Raytheon and their partners from enjoying one penny of public money.