The Military: Closer to You Than Your Family
(The World News) -- by David Swanson --
Two blocks from my house in a nondescript little building on the edge of our residential neighborhood is an office with a small sign reading "DVBIC of Charlottesville" which turns out to mean "Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center."
Now, I'm in favor of caring for people with brain injuries. Heck, I wish we had universal comprehensive health coverage like other countries do. But it disturbs me how difficult it is in this country to get any distance away from the military. It's almost certainly closer to you than your relatives' homes.
What author Nick Turse calls the military industrial technological entertainment academic media corporate matrix is even closer than that. I am typing this on an Apple computer, and Apple is a major Pentagon contractor. But then, so is IBM. And so are most of the parent companies of most of the retail chains around the country. Starbucks is a major military supplier, with a store even in Guantanamo. Not only are traditional weapons manufacturers' offices now found alongside car dealers and burger joints in suburban strip malls, but the car dealers and burger joints are owned by companies taking in huge amounts of Pentagon spending. A $4,311 contract back in 2006 went straight to Charlottesville's Pig Daddy's BBQ.
Almost no neighborhoods lack members of the military and military supporters, Marine Corps flags and Army bumper stickers. If you wanted to get away from it, where would you go? (Please don't shout "Leave the country!" The U.S. military has troops in the majority of the nations on earth.) When one family tried to get away from jet noise in Virginia Beach by moving to a rural farm, the military quickly opened a new base right next to them. There is no escape.
Charlottesville is not "a military town" except in the sense that every town in the United States is now. Other towns in Virginia have big bases; men and women in uniforms are a common sight. But look more closely, and Charlottesville is the home, as almost everywhere is, to some obscure branch of the military -- in this case the "National Ground Intelligence Center." We're also home to a university. Most universities these days are huge recipients of military contracts, and UVA is no exception. In fact, the University of Virginia has built a research "park" adjacent to the aforementioned "intelligence" center. There's a Judge Advocate General's Legal Center attached to UVA Law School as well...MORE...LINK