By Paul Shannon
On Saturday, July 30th at Boston’s Fenway Park, the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign demonstrated at the Run to Home Base to highlight Raytheon Technologies’ hypocritical sponsorship of the charity event. A project of the Red Sox Foundation in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Run to Home Base raises funds to support veterans recovering from the wounds of war, a worthy cause. As runners took the final turn into Fenway Park from Lansdowne Street, they passed by banners juxtaposing the costs of war, measured in lives lost since September 11th 2001, with Raytheon’s $310 billion in war contracts awarded during the same period. The campaign presented a clear message:
“Support for Injured Veterans: YES, Raytheon’s War Profits: NO”
As presenting sponsor of the charity event Raytheon was attempting to whitewash its image. It is our hope that all the runners and fans who saw our message seriously question Raytheon’s false narrative.
Companies like Massachusetts-based Raytheon Technologies have a financial interest in neverending conflict and the political influence to keep them going. In just the last two administrations, Raytheon officials have been appointed the very top positions at the Pentagon. President Donald Trump made Raytheon’s former top lobbyist, Mark Esper, his Secretary of Defense. President Joe Biden chose General Lloyd Austin as his Pentagon Chief. Before joining the Biden Administration Austin sat on the Board of Directors at Raytheon Technologies. This puts lie to the claim that Raytheon does not make policy, but only carries it out.
With over 7,000 US service members killed in action since September 11th, 2001, and more than 100,000 veteran suicides, the need to support veterans’ health is paramount. Raytheon’s sponsorship of charity events like the Run to Home Base is not a solution. Lobbying for ever growing Pentagon budgets and providing personnel to Republican and Democratic administrations via the revolving door, companies like Raytheon have helped create and prolong catastrophic wars. Those wars have been a nightmare for veterans’ health.
Raytheon wants to portray themselves as philanthropists. Instead they are the embodiment of the military-industrial complex. They’re not heroes. They’re war profiteers.