West Michigan Companies Profit from Iraq War and Occupation

What little corporate media coverage there has been of war profiteering in Iraq has largely focused on Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, and the “no-bid” contracts they received for reconstruction related projects in Iraq, despite the fact that numerous other corporations have profited from the war, including companies based in West Michigan. A recent article by Grand Rapids Press Business Editor Nancy Crawley (“The War’s Collateral Benefits” 03/14/04), reported that several local corporations continue to profit from military contracts related to Iraq:

  • Borisch Manufacturing, who was manufacturing radar devices used for targeting 105mm howitzers, recently finished a contract for General Dynamics’ light-armor Stryker vehicle. According to the company’s spokesperson, Matt Borisch, they cannot reveal any specifics about the product.
  • Wolverine World Wide had an existing contract for boots for military, but is currently working on a new “performance leather” being tested by the Marines as well as a bio-chemical boot being tested by special forces soldiers in Iraq.
  • Smiths Aerospace is working on a “Network Centric Warfare” system that would assist in real-time communication and redirection of fighter planes.

With the article written by the Business Editor, one should not be surprised that there is no discussion of the illegal nature of the war, civilian casualties, the ethics of war profiteering, or the lies used as justification. Instead, the article ends with a quaint little conclusion about the benefits of defense industry innovation: “The contracts which have prompted more hiring and investment in this community are important. But it is the innovations that offer the most potential for a better tomorrow for all of us.” After all, profit and progress is the American way–especially if it comes at the expense of non-white people in other countries.

More on War Profiteering and Iraq: