Friday, January 19, 2007

Wish Lists

What could be more upbeat and exciting than "a huge display of new weapons and defense technology?" NPR takes us to the Marine West Expo which Michele Norris tells us is "an opportunity for defense contractors to meet with their most reliable customers, the Marines who use their gear on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan."

In the story, guest reporter Alison St. John, provides a lively tour:

  • One weapons salesman proudly relates, "the products you see here are primarily shoulder-fired rockets and then the SMAI’s(?) the large enhanced-blast rocket that can be used to take snipers out of buildings; it basically knocks the building down with the sniper in it… the Marines love it." (the image above is from Fallujah and looks like it had a sniper "taken out of it.")
  • Of a high-tech 3-D tactical map of Iraq, St. John breathlessly says, "It’s almost like virtually going there before you’ve gone there."
  • When she sees a new drone she gushes, "there’s new technology that could have come out of a science fiction movie like an unmanned aircraft…it does look a bit like R2-D2."
  • As the report ends, you'd swear that it was about school kids leaving the county fair and not about people who are being sent off to slaughter and be slaughtered: "The young Marines left the expo with bags full of posters and free samples. Many of these products will be on their wish list the next time they deploy."

God, isn't war just great? As Chris Hedges noted, it gives us meaning, at least NPR thinks so.

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