While most peace and human rights activists oppose the military-industrial complex on humanitarian grounds, there is another reason to oppose it that often receives little fanfare: The military-industrial complex is among the worst polluters in the world! I'm not simply referring to battlefields either, though their record in this regard is abysmal, to put it mildly. Wherever there are soldiers stationed or munitions being manufactured, you can bet there is a serious environmental situation as well.
Take a gander at this list. I don't know how comprehensive it is, but it's quite long!
Florence Williams writing in the May/June issue of Mother Jones, The Marines' Breast Cancer Epidemic, tells the sordid tale of drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Beginning in the 1950s, for more than three decades, the worst of Lejeune's contamination intermingled with its water supply. An estimated 750,000 people regularly drank the water, bathed and swam in it, and inhaled its vapors. At Hadnot Point, where the 2nd Maintenance Battalion fixed tanks, jeeps, and other fleet vehicles, storage tanks quietly leaked more than a million gallons of gasoline, forming an underground plume more than 100 feet deep in places, and nearly as big as the National Mall. Through it all pumped Well No. 602, which provided water to thousands of people on any given day. In late 1984, when the military started routinely testing Lejeune's wells, No. 602 clocked in with 76 times the federal limit for benzene, a carcinogenic gasoline additive.You see, the military-industrial complex simply isn't dangerous for those being sent off to war or those being targeted by troops. All you need to do is to live on or near one of their numerous installations and your health and safety is at risk. It's bad news all around!