Letter from Sue Wareham, 19 December, 2016

Greg Cornwell bemoans the “anti-war mob” and its criticism of Canberra Airport’s weapons advertising (Letters, 14 Dec).   Cornwell might not be concerned with the sanitising and promotion of an industry that is pouring weapons into the Middle East and elsewhere, helping perpetuate human suffering on a horrific scale, but many people are. 

Rather than bothering himself with the anti-war mob, Cornwell would do well to recognise the existence of pro-war trends that have slipped into our national life. 

Going to war is promoted as a central part of our national identity, preparing for war is increasingly seen as an important part of our economy, and advertising the weapons of war seems to be regarded as no more consequential than advertising, say, soap powder.

The pro-war lobby wants us to equate “security” with having lots of weapons and being ready to use them.   As Australia seems incapable of saying no to any US- led war, no matter how counter-productive it is to our real security (let alone for the millions of far-off people where we fight our wars) that’s a major concern.  

It is made all the more  pressing with the election of a US president who regards all arms of the US military as having been seriously neglected (with funding at only $600 billion, around a third of the global total) and in need of major boosting.

Or is there a touching notion that, unlike every other industry, the weapons industry does not actually want their products being used?

Sue Wareham

Convenor, No Airport Arms Ads