Iraq for Sale
Atrios has a good review of Robert Greenwald's latest movie Iraq for Sale. I actually had an opportunity to work on this one, but the timing didn't work out and they were only offering 3rd editor status. If I was in on it earlier, I probably would have taken it, because it's an important story. As Duncan says:
Bush and the Republican congress used the war as an excuse to hand over billions of dollars to unaccountable companies who aren't doing the jobs they were tasked to do, all of which has had a tremendously detrimental impact on American troops, troop retention, and of course the Iraqi people. Why those on board for Little George's Grand Imperial Adventure aren't more outraged by this stuff is truly bizarre.
Indeed, there are stories of crap like this in the paper every day.
Halliburton executives ordered a big-screen TV and 10 large tubs of tacos, chicken wings and cheese sticks delivered to Iraq for last year's Super Bowl and then billed U.S. taxpayers for their party, according to a lawsuit unsealed Friday.
The Houston company also defrauded the government by double- and triple-billing for Internet, food and gym services to troops, according to the lawsuit by a former employee for Kellogg, Brown & Root, or KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary that ran dining halls for troops in Iraq.
War is now less a necessity than a corporate demand. We have massive institutional pressure to keep the war machine going for economic reasons. I saw "Why We Fight" recently, which features President Eisenhower's warning about the rise of the military-industrial complex. That fear has been made reality. And the fact that Bush hired a bunch of inexperienced loyalists to manage the postwar situation basically helped the contractors steal, because the people charged with oversight didn't know what the hell they were doing. Political polarization also innoculated the Halliburtons of the world from criticism, as every time (and there have been a LOT of them) Democrats try to get some understanding of where taxpayer dollars are going it's dismissed as partisan sniping.
Iraq as a war is a tragedy, but Iraq as a reconstruction project is nothing more than thievery. And the American people need to throw the rubber stamp Republican Congressmen who endorsed this debacle right out of office.