Turn off CNN and look out your window. If you look closely, you can see the gears of the NATO war machine turning right here in Moscow. Yes, you heard right: the Balkans aren't the only military theater in the world where NATO is active. In this age of global economics and vanishing borders, the American military machine is now more than capable of being anywhere and everywhere at once, including our illustrious Russian capital.
The map above shows the locations of the Moscow representative offices of just some of those American and/or multinational corporations that produce weapons systems currently being used by NATO in its Yugoslavian bombing campaign. Doubtless most of these companies are here in Russia mainly to conduct legitimate civilian business, and of course one has to assume that exactly none of them are actually producing weapons on Russian territory. Nonetheless, they're here, and most of them are paying their rents with the massive profits each has accumulated over the years through sales of some of the world's deadliest weapons systems, many of which were originally designed to kill the civilian populations of the Soviet Union and her allies.
Ten years ago, of course, it would have been unthinkable for these companies to even consider opening offices here. Today, their presence here is many things at once: irritating and vaguely inappropriate, but also embarassing to a few left-leaning expats, and a source of genuine consternation and outrage to those patriotic Russians who are today being proved wise in their decision to never fully discard their distrust of their cold war enemies . The companies themselves sense this, which is why some of them are reluctant to give out their addresses (see map).
Our intent in publishing this map is to demonstrate, to the more morally lazy of our expat readers, that the Yugoslavian war actually isn't at all something that's going on somewhere far, far away, beyond their ability to influence. On the contrary: Moscow's expats should know that their own community is taking an active part in the war. They should know that the party of snickering self-serious suits in the next booth at the Starlite might very well be big earners for a monster armaments company, one which jacks up its profits each time the number of civilian casualties its products inflict increases. And they should know enough to be appropriately outraged at being linked in the eyes of Russians with people like those suits during an immoral and murderous war like the current NATO campaign in Yugoslavia.
Here's our advice, expats: if you want to make sure of keeping your Russian job, your Russian life, and your Russian friends, urge your arms-dealing acquaintances to quit or leave town. Sooner or later, you'll find there ain't room enough for them and you both in this saloon.
Why publish this list of companies in map form in particular? For one more good reason. It's our guess that these companies would have a much harder time operating here if they weren't so inconspicuous and hard-to-find. If more Russians knew they were here, and and at the same time knew in greater detail how these companies aid the NATO forces, they probably wouldn't stand for it. And because we're against the war, we want to do everything we can to make it hard for these companies to stay in business here. So we're making a map. As far as we're concerned, it's like turning the lights on on a bunch of thieves lurking in the shadows. Arms dealers, like vampires, prefer to remain in the dark.
So here it is, a sample list of some of our biggest military contractors, with a guide to how they're contributing to the war, and where you can find them here in Moscow:
1. RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL
1-aya Tverskaya-Yamskaya, 23 (252-79-89)
This Massachusetts-based firm produces some of America's most celebrated and oft-used weapons systems, including the absurdly overpriced and ineffective ugly duckling of the Iraqi Gulf War, the Patriot missile. In the Yugoslavian war, Raytheon has made its presence felt mainly through NATO use of its Tomahawk missiles and laser-guided bombs. If it hit a house full of dozing peasants or a maternity ward, it was probably made by Raytheon.
2. GENERAL ELECTRIC
Kosmodemiyanskaya Hab., 52, str 1 (935-72-11)
The leading American manufacturer of military aircraft engines, General Electric has established itself firmly in the American imagination as one of the true poster-children for corporate benevolence. A groundbreaker in the 1980s union-busting movement (it crushed the NABET Television technicians' union when NABET went on strike at GE subsidairy NBC), GE, whose motto is "We Bring Good Things to Life", has been branching out into Death lately through its sales of military aircraft engines. Perhaps best known for its "F404" model, used in Hornet jets and the F-117 Stealth fighter, GE deployed over 5,000 engines in the Gulf War, powering everything from F-14s to A-10 tankkillers to C-5s to Apache helicopters. While it has provided Serbs (and later Russians) in the current war with one Easter gift in the form of an engine from the downed Stealth figher, its most extensive playing time has come under the hood of NATO F-16s--which have been bringing a whole lot of "good things" to Serb civilians on an almost daily basis since the start of this war.
3. PRATT & WHITNEY UNITED TECHNOLOGIES
Leningradsky Prospekt 45, Kor. 5 (157-0522)
America's second-leading provider of military aircraft engines, Pratt & Whitney has been seeing plenty of action in the Kosovo campaign. Among its main contributors is its F100-PW-220 engine, which is one of the other engines the Pentagon tucks in its F-16s.
4. ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
Strochenovsky Bol. Per. 22/25 (230-60-10)
Best known for its seamless...er, almost seamless performace as a designer of the U.S. Space Shuttle, Rockwell also makes toys for the U.S. military. Among other things, it designs complex integrated communications systems for use in aircraft, ships, and ground battle units. Among its stud products is the "Collins JTIDS Class 2 Terminal" , which Rockwell calls a "highly sophisticated information distribution system that provides real-time, jam-resistant secure transfer of combat information and relative navigation between widely dispersed battle elements." Whatever that means. Aside from its contribution to building conventional weapons systems, rumors abound that Rockwell may assist the U.S. government in a less traditional plan to destroy the Serb economy by offering to build for the Serbs, at their taxpayers' expense, a line of useless and hugely overpriced re-usable spacecraft.
5. BOEING OPERATION INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Gazetny Pereulok 17/9 (797-3400)
Big company, big planes... small, hard-to-find office. When the eXile called Boeing to find out what its address was, we discovered what appeared to be a clever company strategy to defend itself against terrorists through the use of an obstinate receptionist. Fortunately, the eXile was able to find a crack in the system: eXile: Hello, is this Boeing? Boeing: Yes. eXile: Yes, could you please tell me what your address is? Boeing: (pause) Excuse me, but who are you? eXile: (pause) This is Bjorn Borg of the New York Times. Boeing: Oh, okay, we're at Gazetny Pereulok...
Phew! That was close. The threat to journalistic endeavor now thwarted, we can continue with a few facts you might not know about the world's most famous friendly neighborhood passenger plane-maker. Not only does Boeing make the legendary B-2 Stealth bomber, but it has other hobbies, too--including the production of sub-launched cruise missiles that have been used extensively in the Yugo campaign. With these two products alone Boeing has more than adequately serviced the lofty ideals of today's button-pushing American fighting man, who likes to be dozens of miles away, invisible, and/or underwater when he strikes his death-blow against the fearsome and unpredictable kerchief-clad Serbian civilian.
1st Kolobovsky Per. (926-4037)
Sieg Heil! Daimler-Benz is one of a few companies which had a hand in building the German Tornado jet, a masterpiece of European technology. A few more improvements in the Tornado design, and who knows? The flag just might fly over Paris again!
7. ROLLS-ROYCE INTERNATIONAL
Mamonovsky Per., 4 (200-1320)
Better-known for its storied line of you-can't-afford-them-on-your-shitty-salary custom-assembled luxury cars, this U.K. company boasts "the world's largest range of military aircraft engines", which power most of Europe's top-of-the-line combat planes. The go-to guy in Rolls-Royce's current engine lineup is probably the "RB199", which is used in the German Tornado fighter jets. It's hard to imagine a better symbol for the global economy than a British company making engines for use in warplanes bearing the German iron cross, which in their last tour of duty were often spotted flying over fresh craters in greater London.
8. YOUNG & RUBICOMyour future--in the army! Hey, where have I heard that before? Well, if you're an American, chances are you've heard it about 5,000 times before, in the eerily-effective "Be All You Can Be" series of army recruitment ads, which have used the same slogan for decades. The brains behind this most famous of U.S. government advertisng campaigns? Young and Rubicom, which was good enough to open an office in Moscow. So what's wrong with a recruitment ad, you might ask? How can you even put them on the same page as armament manufacturers like the monsters at the head of this list? Granted, it's difficult to justify, but consider this: at this very moment, while you read this newspaper, some half-bright teeenage American moron with $31 in his checking account is going to spot the latest "Be All You Can Be" ad during a commercial in a basketball game, pack his bags, and head across town to throw himself at the mercy of his neighborhood recruitment center. Then, six months from now, if events surrounding Yugoslavia continue to unfold in the current vein, that same moron is going to be dropped behind enemy lines and hacked to pieces by Serb partisans before his 20th birthday. Or else, failing that, this poor loser is going to press a button somewhere in Greece and minutes later succeed in killing hundreds of citizens across the Adriatic. When a murderous and immoral war is being prosecuted, even recruitment becomes a felony accessory charge.
Krasnopresnenskaya Nab. 12, TsMT (258-2188)