Raytheon: Delay on Syria Strike is a Threat to Freedom & Democracy Everywhere

WALTHAM, Mass. – While a US-led military strike on Syrian government forces awaits congressional approval, some of America’s largest corporations are urging the president to act unilaterally and put an end to the two-year-old civil war. Companies like Raytheon—the fourth largest defense contractor in America—are calling the delay “a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere,” and are warning that a failure to intervene in the conflict would be akin to “bringing Hitler back from the dead.”

William H. Swanson, Chairman and CEO of Raytheon (which manufactures Tomahawk missiles), believes that the United States must act immediately and “without discretion” to tip the balance in favor of the Syrian rebels.  “Bashir al-Assad is a very bad man,” Swanson wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial. “Like, Adolf Hitler bad. And just as the Allies didn’t hesitate to gun down every Nazi they came across, so we must now rain down hellfire upon every inch of Syria until we’re certain Assad is a dead man.”

Swanson denied that his position was in any way related to the likely windfall that Raytheon would experience in the event of a missile strike on Syria. “I mean, yes, Raytheon will profit significantly if the president follows my advice,” Swanson said. “But if we don’t act now, Assad will only grow stronger, and eventually we’ll have a second holocaust on our hands.”

“Those are the choices,” Swanson reiterated. “Missile strike, or holocaust. I for one prefer the former.”

Last week, when it appeared that the United States would soon launch an aerial strike on Syrian forces in retaliation for Bashir al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on his citizens, Raytheon’s stock hit a 52-week high. But on Sunday, after the British parliament rejected Prime Minister Tony Blair’s plans to intervene, President Obama announced that he would seek support from congressional lawmakers before acting. Many members of Congress are skeptical, however, and Raytheon’s stock has since declined. Swanson has called lawmakers hesitant to strike Syria “Neville Chamberlains in waiting.”

Swanson also says that recent polls—which have found that Americans generally disfavor striking Syria without congressional support—are “clearly flawed.” “In fact,” Swanson said, “a poll of Raytheon employees found nearly 100% support for American action. That’s because Raytheon only employs freedom-loving, dictator-hating patriots.”

In the event of a strike leading to protracted military involvement in Syria, Swanson pledged that Raytheon would “be there to support the US military for as long as it takes.” “Tomahawk missiles are only $1 million a pop,” he said. “That’s a real steal these days, and they’re even cheaper if you buy them in bulk!”

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