Raytheon in breach of agreement with council?

US arms manufacturer Raytheon in Derry has a small factory on the Buncrana Road employing 60 people. It was made famous recently by Eamon McCann and eight other protesters when they occupied and trashed the buildings. The following is a statement by Sinn F�in Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn has said that following a meeting between Derry City Council and Raytheon yesterday, after official disclosure that the company has been in breach of an agreement with the council:From Gerry MacLochlainn

�Following the recent disclosure in the Belfast Telegraph gained under the Freedom of Information Act that Raytheon were producing the JETTS SYSTEM in their Derry plant I requested that Derry City Council investigate the veracity of this revelation.

�Derry City Council arranged a meeting with Raytheon which took place yesterday (09.10.2006) in which Raytheon confirmed that the Derry plant is involved in producing military applications e.g. the JETTS programme.

�This use of the Derry plant in the production of military applications is in breach of assurances given by Raytheon to Derry City Council. Predicated on those assurances of non military applications Derry City Council welcomed Raytheon.

�However, in light of the revelations that Raytheon has been involved in manufacturing military applications in Derry then Sinn F�in will be calling at the next meeting of Derry city Council for Council to reaffirm and implement its adopted position – that Raytheon confine itself to �civil� development work.

Hmmm… It doesn’t say much for the perceived authority of the council. Also there is a secondary issue of underlying unemployment rates in Derry. Foyle, for instance, has the second highest level of unemployment (8.6%) after West Belfast (11%) in Northern Ireland. The NI average is 4.1%.

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  • Mick

    It was notable that the Sinner didn’t threaten to terminate the contract if the company didn’t comply with the non-military clause (which the company wilfully broke).

    The party will not take on multinationals. They are enslaved to both the US and the empoverished social position that jobs, any shitty jobs, must be maintained particularly where they are located in areas designated socially deprived.

    Sad. But at least we have Eamonn McCann, thank God.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Was this just some committment given to the Council by the company but with absolutely no legal status or is there actually anything which the Council can do about it?

    Surely unless they’re breaking a planning condition or are breaking a contract with DCC then their protests aren’t going to cut much ice.

    Also, if this was just some informal agreement you’d have to wonder why the Council put so much stock in it in the first place.

  • John Bull

    So the council welcomed them with open arms, with only one proviso. They break it and now……well nothing really. It just shows that in the current climate if your in business and american you can tell everyone, anywhere: ‘Screw your rules, we do what we want’.

    Didn’t they get public money as well???

  • arthur morgan

    Eamon McCann and several other protestors occupied and thrashed this companies offices. Is this the same incident that the IMC, in their latest report blamed dissident Republicans. Is Eamon now a dissident Republican ? Maybe Im moving away from the original post, sorry.

  • The Derry Anti War Coalition welcomes the announcement that Sinn Fein is to raise the Raytheon question at the next meeting of Derry City Council. This should open the way for other questions which need asked.

    Raytheon confirmed to Sinn Fein on Monday that the Springtown plant has helped produce the JETTS system for the MoD. As the Belfast Telegraph and the DAWC have pointed out, this fact was publicly revealed by NIO Minister Angela Smith on February 27th last. But there is reason to believe it was known to some council representatives much earlier.

    The Springtown plant is also involved in ASTOR, the bomb guidance system currently being used in Afghanistan to guide bombs to their targets. The Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign and the DAWC have been raising this for the past two years.

    The DAWC wrote last week to the council asking to be allowed to speak to the next council meeting on a series of questions which arise from these facts and which can no longer be avoided by any party on the council.

    We believe that the council should forthwith declare Raytheon unwelcome in Derry.

    We point out that: Seven months after the council resolution of January 2004 to which Cllr. MacLochlainn refers, on August 23rd that year, local Raytheon boss Stephen Lewis met with Jim McConnell of Invest Northern Ireland to discuss the MoD contract for the software component of JETTS.

    McConnell’s minute of the August 2004 meeting told: “Key issue for NISSC (the Derry plant) on this contract will the attitude of the council. Both the MOD and RSLD (Raytheon) will be looking for acceptance in principle that the council have no objections regarding this work. NISSC to write to the council and Alan McCormick will be planning to meet Tony McGurk [CEO, Derry City Council]to update him and see how best to move forward. Company will not issue a press release…

    “If the council is reluctant to back the project then the future of NISSC is uncertain.”

    The minute records that, “McCormick thanked Invest NI for its support during this period, including our input to the Derry Council situation. It appears that the current mayor (Sinn Fein)is very supportive.”

    So, the JETTES issue is by no means new.

    Among the questions which arise are: Did Raytheon seek, and did it obtain, “acceptance in principle that the council have no objections regarding this work”? Did the envisaged meeting between Alan McCormick of Raytheon and Tony McGurk of the council take place? When? Was anyone else present? Was the meeting minuted? What was the outcome and to whom was the outcome reported? Which elected representatives, if any, were informed that these exchanges were taking place? Were any council officials or councillors aware of or collude in Raytheon’s strategy of secrecy? (“Company will not issue a press release.”)

    It is now beyond question that Raytheon’s Derry plant is dependent on war production for Western armies. It is also clear that the readiness of the council to approve Raytheon’s presence is critical to the continuation of war production in the city.

    The council should now put its words of January 2004 into practice and declare that the company is not welcome here

    We call on the council and on Invest Northern Ireland to publish all documents and minutes of meetings relating to Raytheon’s Derry operation, so as to facilitate an informed public debate on all the issues.

  • carlosblancos

    Hmmm. I’m not pro arms companies, but why exactly should Raytheon have to justify to anyone at DCC what it does at its own facility?

  • Gram

    Provided an enterprise is not breaking the law it should be free to set up where it likes (within planning boundaries). It should then be up to the moral judgement of individuals to decide where they choose to work.

    While individual counsils and development bodies can provide incentives to attract certain types of business they should not be able to dictate what type of work goes on within legitimate enterprises.

    While it may have been right for the anti-war coalition to bring the activities of the company to peoples attention Derry City Council should not get involved.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Its the old jumped-up Council mentality. Yes DCC are perfectly entitled to raise whatever concerns they like – but to think that the company has to listen to them is utter rubbish.

    If DCC had obtained some kind of agreement as to whaat would or wouldnt go on at the factory then they should have looked into what legal basis this agreement had.

    Its a cheap publicity stunt – maybe the next statent from DCC will be telling which town they would prefer the jobs to be re-located in.

  • heres hoping

    Derry City Council and the parties on the council have a duty to respond to issues brought to their attention by rate payers. Derry City Council cannot and are not telling Raytheon to leave Derry but they have a right and a duty to state how they feel about any company manufacturing arms in their city. Sinn Fein are right to use their position on the council to highlight this issue.

  • Carson’s Cat

    heres hoping
    No-one’s saying that DCC cant express an opinion – its the validity or otherwise of this alleged ‘agreement’ that DCC has with the company which most comment is about.

    However, if DCC tells Raytheon that they think they should halt their current production and Raytheon says no, then what do you propose DCC says to Raytheon?

    As for SF well – no need to point out the obvious hypocrisy.

  • heres hoping

    Derry City Council should on moral grounds tell Raytheon that they are not welcome in Derry. It may not do anything meaningful in terms of production in Derry but it sends a broader message that Derry is opposed to the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction… those that do exist.

  • Gram

    DCC has no right to assume the position of moral spokesperson for the people of the city.

    They need to stay out of this. It’s potentially putting 60 peoples jobs at risk and harming future inward investment. There are plenty of options open to DCC in future to prevent undesirable companies setting up locally without being so obvious about it.

    Fact is this company is here and is not breaking any laws.

  • Lurker

    a little pointer on laws governing journalism, “Eamon McCann and eight other protesters when they ALLEGEDLY occupied and trashed the buildings

  • heres hoping

    Gram who should act as spokespeople for the people of the city and by the way in all of this debate Raytheon have two strings to thier bow, military targetting systems or civil aviation. All that SF are saying is stick to the latter as you said you would.

  • John Bull

    So what are you saying Carson’s cat and Gram?? Are you seriously telling me that ethics of an entire city should take a back seat for 60 jobs? If jobs are so difficult to come by, and ethical considerations so worthless, why don’t we legalise brothels and drug dealing??? Maybe privitise punishment beatings? Why we could have almost full employment in a matter of months. Thats bound to create a lot of jobs. If, on the other hand, you consider jobs only to be ‘valuble’ if they have some, however slight, ethical underpinning, we would not be selling out the moral soul of a town for 60 measly jobs, most of which are occupied by people from OUTSIDE of derry anyway, who are constantly telling us how their jobs are more important than being implicated in two colonial wars, one, at least, illegal. And as to doing what ‘they’ want at ‘their’ factory, well for one, they made an agreement specifically about this issue, whether legally binding or not, i would say is largely irrelevant. Is Raythons word worth nothing? If so, do we want this type of employer here? And two: Do you think they set up here for the good of Derry? Maybe you think they felt obiliged to create 60 jobs because they were so concerned about Derry’s plight, sitting in their head office in Seatle or Georgia or whereever, and felt they had to do SOMETHING about the towns plight? “Gee Randy we just GOTTA help these NI guys and their unemployment problem, i don’t care if we can make it cheaper in puerto rico, these guys deserve a chance” Or do you think, as i would imagine it, they were given government investment sweetners to set up here, on the conditions listed above and now that they have OUR money, to create OUR jobs, they feel free to thumb their noses at the agreement?

    Lets get a new DCC slogan: ‘We’re Derry and we’re bending over for you’. You people are unbelievable!

  • Gram

    John Bull as I’ve said before what this company are doing is not illegal. As far as I’m aware Drug dealing and brothels still are and while it’s been a while since I’ve visited Derry I believe DCC don’t yet have the right to setup laws within the city.

    If it was your job on the line perhaps you wouldn’t regard it as “measley”. I know Derry folk have always been a bit parochial but your use of the word “outsiders” is worrying.

    As you imply DCC should lobby government to ensure sweetners or incentives are not given in future to companies who do not meet the ethical policies of DCC.

    However is there really an ethical debate going on here or is it really anti-americanism? Will DCCs future ethical policies also exclude motor manufacturers, chemical companies and fiancial organisations with dubious records from setting up in the city? I doubt it.

  • POL

    Carlosblancos
    #

    Hmmm. I’m not pro arms companies, but why exactly should Raytheon have to justify to anyone at DCC what it does at its own facilit

    Dont know about you carlo but if a company is up to some deviousness near where i live, i think i`d like to know about it.However seeing as i live in nationalist West Belfast and we dont have to many Multi-national arms manufacturers up this neck of the woods, my sympathy does go out to the Derry public who strongly believe that Raytheon are harbingers of death

  • John Bull

    Well, the secretary general of the UN (not considered overly parocial, even in Derry) has stated that the war WAS illegal. If this is so there are a number of legal precedents that point to the fact that suppliers to illegal wars can be prosecuted, and so, while i admire your belief that it is not illegal, I don’t feel you’re right. But we know that real-politik dictates that the protaginists will never be challenged over this, although that has nothing to do with the percieved(or otherwise) legality of their actions. In fact the only people who think it is legal, and said so publically have been both the UK and US governments, I.E. the protaginists, hardly an objective voice i think most people would agree. But again, largely irrelevant. You seem to be unwilling or unable to make a distinction between ‘illegal’ and ‘unethical’. I have been assured that in some nations in Africa it is legally permissable to marry your 12 year old cousin. Even with this legal safeguard most people would still regard it as unethical, despite its enshirned legality. Legality does not equate with morallity. A fairly obvious point i would have assumed, but apparently not to you. The other point is that, are jobs to be safeguarded at any cost??? To take an extreme analogy, what if a company set up in your hometown and were planning to make torture equipment to be used in say, Iran or Syria?(better not mention the home country of raytheon, the country mentioned in the original post, lest i am blamed for anti-americanism) Supposing it was only to ‘state’ agencies in those countries. Would that be ‘ok’, because it is ‘legal’ too? “Sure, we make electric chairs, testicle clamps and stun guns to be used on the populice of country X, but hey, we can’t risk losing Wesley and Seans job now can we? Yeah sure Nation X is commiting genocide/torture etc, but with the meat plant in the town closing down we can’t afford to have a moral compass in our possession’.
    Sorry, but some of us (when given a choice) think that principles are more important than pound coins.

  • Paul

    Do arms companies sell arms for specific military actions or do they just sell arms to anyone who can legally buy them? I think it’s the latter.
    This debate is really about gesture politics, does anyone think it will matter one jot to the international arms trade if Raytheon are forced out of Derry? It would make the trendy lefties feel better, that is all.
    Would Eamonn McCann feel better if Raytheon sold missiles to Hizbullah? Are their missiles more ethical?
    Maybe Raytheon should relocate to North Korea, god knows they need the jobs.

  • circles

    “This debate is really about gesture politics, does anyone think it will matter one jot to the international arms trade if Raytheon are forced out of Derry?”

    Maybe not Paul – but does that make it alright then to tolerat it?
    The international arms trade is a scandalous filthy business, with companies making billions by selling devices designed to kill or maim people. They should have ripped the place down and chased the bastards out of town. If this (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=13) is how unemployment problems in western Europe are being solved, it really is no surprise that some people feel like doing us harm.

  • Gram

    John Bull, please feel free to answer some of my points.

    Fact is this company was making arms prior to 9/11 and the Iraq war. What they are doing is no different from what Shorts have been doing in Belfast for years.

    Whether you like it you are currently using technology born out of the arms industry (the transistor for example). Maybe thats why Eamon (allegedly) was throwing the PCs out of the windows.

  • circles

    So its generally a good thing then Gram to produce arms, because of all the handy spin-offs, as well as those great jobs?
    Not only that – but it must be fine because Shorts do it?

    “However is there really an ethical debate going on here or is it really anti-americanism?”

    Well it depends on yoru definition of ethical. Is it ethical to make your money by manufacturing articles designed to kill? Is it fine to feed your kids with the money you earned making things to kill other people?
    I fail to see how these argu,ents can be classed as anti-americanism – although I have a feeling that this accussation is hurled at anybody who dare suggest that “american” businesses can’t just do what they want where they want. If this was a chinese weapons manufacturer the argument would be exactly the same.

  • Hercules

    Fact is this company was making arms prior to 9/11 and the Iraq war. What they are doing is no different from what Shorts have been doing in Belfast for years.

    Whether you like it you are currently using technology born out of the arms industry (the transistor for example). Maybe thats why Eamon (allegedly) was throwing the PCs out of the windows.

    My main objection to Raytheon, some years ago, was their involvment with landmine production.

    Here’s what I googled today, in the context of Human Rights Watch appeal.

    Raytheon is best known for its air traffic control, fire control, communications, space and navigation systems. Raytheon has stated: “We understand well the importance of the cause you are forwarding….However, it is generally our practice not to broadly and formally renounce participation in businesses, despite the fact that this is not a business in which we participate and, when we did, it was as a minor supplier of transistors – a business we have since sold.” Thus, Raytheon acknowledged past involvement and declined when offered the opportunity to renounce future involvement.

    Then I read this:-

    Landmine arrows

    The modern military is borrowing an idea from Robin Hood to deal with unexploded landmines. Patents filed by US defence contractor Raytheon concede that current landmine clearance is ineffective, especially if mines are in sand or under water.

    But the company has developed a shell containing hundreds of steel “arrows” – 155 millimetres long and 15 mm in diameter – that can trigger landmines with a single shot.

    Each rod has a flared rear end, like the feathers of an arrow, and hundreds can be packed into a single cylindrical shell. This shell can be lobbed into a mined area and just before impact a charge behind the arrows will fire them downwards. The metal flights will keep the arrows on a straight course so that they pepper the area at high velocity and at regular spaces.

    Tests show that a shell containing hundreds of arrows can wipe out every mine in an area several metres square, even when the mines are buried under sand or under nearly a metre of water. GPS can also be used to guide the shells into overlapping patches in order to safely clear a wide area.

    I realise that this invention is primarily for clearing mine fields in a war situation as for example in the area between Israel and Lebanon, but if it can economically (and even if not) be used for land mine clearance elsewhere in a post war situation, I ‘d welcome it, except it may play hell with the plough afterwards. Better that than lost limbs and family livelihoods.

  • Carson’s Cat

    John Bull

    I actually think the Council has every right to voice whatever moral objections it has and I’d actually encourage them to do that. If they thereby persuade the company to relocate then I’m sure somewhere else will be happy to take the jobs and we can have more ‘Derry’ mopery about how terrible it is not to have a job there.

    My issue was around this agreement we’re told that the Council has with the company. DCC has no right to make agreements with Raytheon telling them what they can or cannot produce and if they had half an ounce of wit they would know that. I would genuinely like to know what this ‘agreement’ we are told about in the headline of this thread actually is!

    DCC can pass whatever resolutions it likes condemning the company in whatever terms it likes but its got no power to tell companies in its jurisidction what they can and cannot do (provided they are operating within the law – which Raytheon is).

    The fact that it is SF complaining just makes it bloody farcical.

  • Paul

    People will always make arms/weapons and buy/sell weapons. North Korea managed it in-house. It is nothing more than gesture politics at their most inane or extreme naivity to think Wolfie McCann and Co will make any impact on this fact of life. It might save us money if everyone returned to bows and arrows, but don’t kid yourself that it would save lives. How many people were killed in Rwanda in the space of a few days with machetes? About 800,000 wasn’t it?
    And I don’t think the militias in Dafur are using expensive missile systems.

  • harry flashman

    A few points, there is alot of “oh it’s horrible that this nasty factory is producing weapons”, right so you’re all pacifists are you? You do not believe that there should be any weapons anywhere in the world do you? Is that your position? You’re Quakers right?

    So you would have opposed the manufacture of Lee-Enfield rifles, T-32 tanks, Spitfire fighter planes, Katyusha rockets, B-29 bombers all of which were used to beat the Nazis. Fine I appreciate your consistency, however I somewhat doubt that this is your position, you just oppose US made weaponry. You have a problem with the Americans, please be honest about this.

    Furthermore can we stop referring to the “alleged” vandals who destroyed Raytheon’s office as “anti-war”. It is my understanding that among the ringleaders was a man who has spent the last forty years calling for class war (if you think that doesn’t count as war ask the victims of Stalin’s gulags, Pol Pot’s killing fields, Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Kim Il Sung’s famines how they feel about class war – oh that’s right you can’t because they were all murdered, millions of them) as well as prominent members of the 32 County sovereignty movement who last time I checked were very much pro-war.

    So you’re just against American weapons, you do not want the Americans to win in their current wars. Despite the fact that the campaign in Afghanistan is supported by the democratically elected Afghan government and is backed by both the United Nations and Nato and despite the fact that the United Nations also recognises the current democratically elected government of Iraq as the legitimate government of that country and that government has specifically requested the US and UK forces to remain in Iraq to assist them.

    So in conclusion you do not want the Raytheon plant to make weapons systems in Derry because you want the head hacking, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, lunatics who scream “allahu-ackbar” before they cut the throat of anyone, Muslim or otherwise, who doesn’t sign up for their seventh century death cult to win. You support slavery and religious fundamentalism but lacking the balls to go to Afghanistan and sign up with the Taliban you prefer to help them here, behind enemy lines.

    When this war is over the lick-spittle appeasers of the Talibanistas are going to have a fuck of a lot of explaining to do to the families of their victims.

  • Greg

    Paul,
    Let’s be honest, this issue would not be up for discussion in the mainstream media and SF would not be bothering its barney about what is being produced in Raytheon’s Springtown facility if McCann and Co had not put themselves at risk of prison by their “gesture politics”.

    Re Rwanda etc., what I find most disgusting about Raytheon’s activities is how it is working on developing more and more lethal weapons which can be ‘delivered’ at a greater distance i.e. no need to see the children when you decapitate or vapourise them.

  • heres hoping

    “as well as prominent members of the 32 County sovereignty movement who last time I checked were very much pro-war”.

    I would hardly call a fire in B&Q a war.

  • circles

    No they’re using AKs.
    But paul to argue that it would not save lives to reduce the international weapons trade is pure nonsense – you are painfully naive if you honestly believe that it makes no difference whether someone has access to a machine gun or a machete.

  • nmc

    I put in for a job there years ago. At that point they were making billing systems, presumably to bill whoever buys the weapons. I got knocked back, naturally.

    If Derry was happy enough at that stage because the systems developed here weren’t capable of delivering more than an envelope, I don’t see why there should be a problem now. At the end of the day whatever they create, it’s still work for the company. If they develop billing systems here, it frees up time to develop nukes elsewhere.

    At the end of the day the Derry plant is a small part of the overall complex of Raytheon plants worldwide. (Head office Tucson, Arizona). Whatever Derry creates it’s just a part of the overall effort that business makes to generate money. In the end that means nukes and landmines are created, with Derry’s help, regardless of what part of the overall system is created here.

    In conclusion, I agree that it is the moral obligation of the people to decide if they want to work there, (from my first sentence you can guess where I stand on that one). I believe it is hypocrisy for Derry to object now, it’s too late for that.

  • Rory

    What I find intriguing in this debate is the eagerness of those who support the rights of business to do what it likes unfettered by any constraints to eagerly champion the poor workers who might lose their jobs if any conditions are placed on the business’s operations. It is as though the “Hanging Home Secretary”, Henry Brooke, of the 1950’s were to be found weeping into his gin over the economic plight of the poor redundant public hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, after capital punishment was ended in Britain.

    I take all the arguments of the “Nimbyism” school which say if we don’t make ’em here they will only be made somewhere else etcetera. But opposition to these dealers in death has to start somewhere and it may as well be Derry.

    It is to be remembered that those who trade in weapons of war must have as their primary purpose the encouragement and perpetuation of war.

    Harry Flashman argued very passionately, and well, that it is only because U.S. armaments were being manufactured that there is opposition but simply misses the point that it is U.S. armament components that are being produced. The Taliban do not have an armaments production unit in Derry.

    In any case he seems to have forgotten that the armed proficiency of the Taliban is largely thanks to U.S. supply and training. The U.S. should at least be proud of their teaching methods as it seems that their Taliban pupils are playing merry havoc with the British forces in Southern Afghanistan at the moment.

  • Paul

    Rory and Circles, so this is where worldwide, everlasting peace and brotherhood breaks out, Derry? Who is being naive? There will always be conflict and there will always be weapons. Nobody buys weapons to vaporise children , they might end up doing that but that’s not what they are bought for. Are you saying Israel should not be allowed to buy weapons? The Bosnian Muslims had that one pulled on them, I don’t remember peace breaking out there. Their enemies sent in soldiers and murder squads and massacred thousands. The same fate awaited Muslims in Kosovo before the US took decisive military action, using big, bad weapons.
    Do you think if Israel did not have guided missiles the recent war in Lebanon would not have happened? They would have just have dropped bombs from planes. Weapons manufacture will only stop when the world is free of conflict, and that, unfortunately, is never going to happen. You may as well try to uninvent fire.

  • Gram

    Rory, strange metaphor but I hope you enjoyed reading the sunday papers.

    As I’ve said before the company is doing nothing that is against the law and DCC have no powers to make them change. Who next on the moral hit list Seagate because their hard drives are being used by Ratheon to store SW used in the manufacture of weapons?

    How moral is it to put other peoples jobs at risk?

  • billwoo

    Spot on. Raytheon are not the hypocrites here. They’re doing what it says on the box. The problem is the council were too stupid to read what it said on the box – welcoming an arms firm then saying they wouldn’t do military work. The council, not Raytheon, are at fault because they’re saying one thing and doing another, and they’ve been caught with their heads in the sand and their arses in the air

  • heres hoping

    Just listened to SDLP councillor Gerard Diver on Radio Foyle take a very similar stance to SF. So with a combined 24 seats out of 30 on Derry City Council it looks like the Sinn Fein position will be adopted.

    The position of the council was a very sensible in that they took Raytheon at its word and Raytheon lied. Now the council have the high moral ground and the right wing lobby who have always supported Raytheon will find it hard to argue against a very reasonable position that the council adopted.

  • circles

    Harry Flash – have they hidden your medication again?
    Firstly I think it would be a good idea if you were not tbe so arrogant as to suppose you know exactly what everybody means, when you haven’t even bothered your arse readying their posts
    “So in conclusion you do not want the Raytheon plant to make weapons systems in Derry because you want the head hacking, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, lunatics who scream “allahu-ackbar” before they cut the throat of anyone, Muslim or otherwise, who doesn’t sign up for their seventh century death cult to win. You support slavery and religious fundamentalism but lacking the balls to go to Afghanistan and sign up with the Taliban you prefer to help them here, behind enemy lines.”

    Where did you get that bollocks from? Have you been having a hard time lately or something?

    The problem I have with this company (indeed all weapons producers) is that I have problems with people making a fortune devising new ways of killing people. I don’t think its an honorable profession.

    “So you’re just against American weapons”
    No, just weapons – I wasn’t aware they had passports or nationalities, and I detest AK47s as much as M16s.

    Paul – People buy weapons to kill and/or incapacitate other people – maybe they haven’t worked out exactly when and how they’ll use them at the moment of purchase. For example, as you referred to Israel buying weapons, we can maybe look at how they use them too. In the recent “war” with Hezbollah, according to the UN Jan Egeland, UN Under-SecGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, “what’s shocking and completely immoral is: 90% of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution”. According to the UN, up to a million of these remain unexploded.
    Of course if Isreal did not have cluster bombs they would probably still have went to “war” on the people of Lebanon (acting as a stand in for the much harder to hit Hezbollah) – but there also wouldn’t be a miion of them lying around to blow vaious body parts unfortunate civilians.
    It has bog all to do with your trite depiction of everlasting peace and brotherhood – its about stopping people geting killed.

    Raytheon don’t just do those notoriously “accurate” smart weapons – just google raytheon and cluster bombs.

  • Paul

    Right wing lobby? What right wing lobby?
    There are easy political points to be scored here. Everyone is anti-war, everyone is pro-peace, everyone loves dolphins. And everyone is anti-weapons trading, until they need them to protect their lives and liberty. It is gesture politics, nothing more. The involvement of physical force republicans shows it up for the nonsense it is.
    I’ve heard “Anti-War Coalition” people say, “it’s only 60 jobs anyway”. What if it turned into 100 jobs? 500 jobs? 1000 jobs? Would SF’s and SDLP’s moral distress be so evident then?
    In what way would it make the world safer if Derry, alone among all the places in the world, were to opt out of the arms/defence trade, or any trade or manufacture that might possibily be of assistance to the manufacture of arms, to satisfy the egos of a small vocal group of Trotskyites?

  • Paul 2

    “Do arms companies sell arms for specific military actions or do they just sell arms to anyone who can legally buy them? I think it’s the latter.”
    You think wrong. The International trading of arms restrictions governing the sales of weapons for Western European countries mean that you can only sell weapons to the countries the Government says it ok to. So now you can sleep easy knowing that the good old reliable Government…errrrr….can’t you…..

  • Rory

    This gross immoral evasion of moral responsibility by alluding to the “lawfullness” of any action simply will not wash. All and any who have ever had any education in English law will be only too aware that the very first thing that all lecturers impress upon a new class is that “the law is amoral”. And so indeed it is and perhaps in this imperfect world must always remain. But amoral it is nevertheless and so it is that we strive continually in every time to change it, to reform it, to address its failures of previous times to give protection for those who were grieviously abused for the profit or dubious comfort of others. Remember the slave trade, boys up chimnies, infant prostitution (now returning with a vengeance under the new capitalist order)?

    What is this disingenously naive argument of Paul: “Nobody buys weapons to vaporise children , they might end up doing that but that’s not what they are bought for”?

    What are they bought for then, Paul, what are they deployed for if not to “vaporise children”? What is the very purpose of their manufacture other than to sell them to those who wish to maximise death and terror at least risk to themselves? Is it the vaporised mother suckling the infant at her breast who bears responsibility or the vaporised father showing his boy how to nourish the first tender shoots from the planting? Or is it he child’s fault for being so irresponsible as to be close to its parents while profit sends down its rain?

    What man or woman in Derry faces such a threat to the welfare of their children that it becomes necessary to that continuance of provision of welfare that they must assist in the destruction of other poor people on the other side of the world?

    Armaments manufacturers must foster war and destruction for their very survival. These manufacturers do not exist to make weapons of war – this is not a hobby for them – – they exist to profit from the trade in weapons of war and without war and destruction they have no reason for existence.

    And finally, please, please, please, those of you whose hearts are openly bleeding for the poor workers who might be displaced – do just please piss off. The champions of immoral profiteers (and all profiteers are immoral by definition) are, indeed must be, absolutely ruthless in cold indifference to the sufferings of others. The God of the rate of profit is devoid of mercy and his angels simply look silly attempting to fake it.

  • Hercules

    Circles:

    I did google Raytheon and cluster bombs and yes I found this:

    The Advisory Council on Ethics for the Norwegian Government Petroleum Fund

    Oslo, 16 June 2005

    (Unofficial English translation)
    Recommendation on Exclusion of Cluster Weapons from the Government Petroleum Fund

    Introduction
    The Advisory Council on Ethics for the Government Petroleum Fund recommends that the companies General Dynamics Corp, L3 Communications Holdings Inc, Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, Alliant Techsystems Inc, EADS Co (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) and Thales SA be excluded from the Petroleum Fund because they are presumed to be involved in production of cluster weapons.

    (EADS is no longer involved in the production av cluster munitions, and this is therefore no longer a basis for excluding the company from investments. Reference is made to a new recommendation on EADS from the Council on Ethics of 18 April 2006)

    In the Ethical Guidelines’ point 4.4, first sentence, it is stated:

    “The Advisory Council shall issue recommendations on negative screening of one or several companies on the basis of production of weapons that through normal use may violate fundamental humanitarian principles.

    ‘Cluster weapons’ is the common description for weapons which consists of a canister (read missile ed) that contains bomblets or explosive devices. Size and type of canisters, as well as type and number of bomblets, varies. The weapons are being made with the intention of spreading the effect of bombing over a large area. They are therefore often labeled “area weapons”

    Raytheon Company produces, according to its own web-site, 3 JSOW (Joint Stand Off Weapon), and cluster munitions to these: “JSOW integrates the BLU-97 combined effects bomblets and the BLU-108 sensor fused weapon submunitions for area targets or armoured vehicles”. These are considered as cluster weapons. This information is confirmed by Jane’s Information Group. The company has not replied to the communication from Norges Bank.

    The Advisory Council recommends that Raytheon Company should be excluded from the Government Petroleum Fund.

  • Paul

    Rory, governments buy weapons for defence.Particularly if, like Isreal, you are surrounded by countries and armed groups all dedicated to your destruction. The missiles fired into Lebanon by Israel were fired in response to missiles fired at them by Hizballoh. Hizballoh located their firing sites in built up areas. The Israelis made every effort to target the firing sites. If they just wanted to “vaporise children” they would have done what Hizballoh did, basically lob unguided missiles into cities. It would be pointless using guided missiles in such a way.
    Curiously, the “anti-war coalition” did not make any noise about Hizballoh’s actions. In a march in Dublin some people were chanting, “we’re all Hizballoh now.” Fair enough, but don’t call yourself “anti-war” when you are really, “anti-Isreal fighting back.”
    I am not a warmonger, unlike many people in the so-called “anti-war coalition” I do not support the use of violence and murder to further political ends. However, we live in the actual world, not the make-believe world, conflict exists and it will not go away if Raytheon are forced out of Derry. I don’t even think it would the least difference to Raytheon.

  • bishop

    I am bemused by Mick who wrote about this issue a few posts back. He seems to think that Derry City Council have a contract with Raytheon. I am not sure but even Raytheon supporters might be unhappy with Derry City Council buying guided missiles and cluster bombs.
    No Derry City Council have no contract with Raytheon and have no authority over who opens a factory or business within their jurisdiction. It seems that in this case Derry City Council are expressing a moral and ethical position on their attitude to such work being done in their area.
    This is a valid position to adopt and is no more ridiculous than the Derry and other Councils declaring themselves to be Nuclear Free Zones. It is an expression of their views and of course Raytheon will do as they please.
    Derry City Council in withdrawing their welcome on the basis that the company has been doshonest puts them on the moral highground and supports those who are campaigning against the arms trade.

  • circles

    Paul – I suppose you also believe that the title “Minister of Defense” isn’t actually a euphemism? The funny thing is that if weapons were actually designed to defend, rather than attack, then I imagine they wouldn’t be jam-packed with explosives and little sharp pieces of metal designed to rip the flesh of bones. They might resemble something quite different.

    Regarding the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, you managed to completely ignore the fact that 90% of the cluster bombs were dropped by Israel when it was clear that attlement would be reached. Cluster bombs are not defensive by any stretch of the imagination – they cannot be targetted specifically, despite what you might imagine. Although it is clear that you do have quite an tive imagination. To claim that “The Israelis made every effort to target the firing sites” is absolultely outrageous. Only one example of this is this http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,19916610-5005961,00.html – unless of course these guys were in on it to. Sure “aren’t we Hezbollah now”?
    A slogan which I personally find disgusting.