icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Sep, 2010 03:27

Weapons ads on Washington subway-just part of the scenery

Over $US 600 billion a year is how much the most powerful military machine on Earth spends on defense, and it is fueled by nothing other than US taxpayer's money.

Still, some Americans do not mind being in bed with the beast of war.

No where else in the world are multi-million dollar war machines being marketed like soft drinks and cell phones as on the Washington D.C. subway. There are ads for military helicopters alongside those for a gambling spot.

You would think somebody would notice, but passengers consider it a normal fact of life and just stop paying attention to it.

Drones, combat ships, fighter jets, with claims about ‘defining the future’ and nobody seems to care, nobody but a very few.

These ads are targeted at a handful of people who decide on multibillion contracts, though the subway’s regular commuters have nothing to do with this, as they are not going to run and buy a fighter jet. But maybe it does have a certain effect on them, after all.

Passengers on the subway told RT that these ads make them think the country is strong, that it needs those sophisticated weapons and that “taxes are going somewhere”.

A really big chunk of taxes, around one-third of American taxpayers’ money, go to the military and to contractors who gear up the military.

They promise dominance and talk about efficiency in killing and complete dominance strategies.

None of the military suppliers who advertise on the metro that RT contacted were willing to talk, therefore none would answer the simple question of why bother buying adverts for commuters to see?

Probably the government agencies which spend the money want people to see that and think that is the norm. Antiwar activists say the money spent on this kind of PR does not go wasted.

“It reinforces the war profiteers’ position and puts it in a positive light when in actuality it’s something that is destroying the American economy,” Dennis Lane from Veterans for Peace pointed out.

For Capitol Hill observers, the expensive ads are a signal to future decision-makers in Congress.

“We pay a lot of money for this ad. We think our programs are important. We know you are watching us – understand also that we are watching you. And if you help us out – we’ll help you out. And that helps also to contributions in general,” Winslow Wheeler, Center for Defense Information, said.

But for most, those signals pass under the radar. Nobody deeply questions the ads and, as with the situation with Washington commuters, it doesn’t take long before what is advertised becomes normal.