Saturday, March 21, 2009

SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF "SHOCK AND AWE"

The sixth anniversary of the USA invasion of Iraq was a couple of days ago, and if you blinked you missed any mention of it in the popular media. I guess the AIG bonuses are much more important news than a six year war that is, we hope, winding down now that we've "won."

I've written before about what "victory" in Iraq means, and the major disconnect between why Cheney-Bush told us we were there and the real reasons. I'm also on record as one who thinks that the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States was illegal and an act of naked aggression against a sovereign country for no plausible reasons.

But the sixth anniversary of this war really should be about the victims:

- the tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who are injured or died;
- the millions of Iraqi refugees who have been uprooted from their homes and lives;
- the 4,300+ American military men and women who died;
- the thousands of injured American military men and women;
- the families of American service men and women who continue to suffer in a variety of ways as a result of multiple deployments, disrupted lives, inadequate services and benefits for veterans and their families.

And let's not forget the rest of us. In the midst of the most extensive economic crisis in over 50 years, we forget - and are not reminded - that the Iraq war contributed to this economic disaster. The true cost of the Cheney-Bush war is estimated to be three trillion dollars ($3,000,000,000,000). Where does this money come from? Duh.

The big winners of the Iraq war - the real "victory" - are the companies contracted by the US government to provide the materials and services of war and reconstruction - the military-industrial complex. And let's not forget the oil companies.

Below is a list of the top ten money makers in the Iraq war (source)

10 companies making the most in Iraq* (millions of dollars)
Rank CompanyAmount


2003

2004

2005

2006

Total

1.

KBR Inc. (KBR, news, msgs) and Halliburton (HAL, news, msgs)

$2,550

$5,809

$4,505

$4,362

$17,226

2.

Veritas Capital Fund

0.7

208

850

386

1,444

3.

Washington Group International (WNG, news, msgs)

111

205

533

82

931

4.

Environmental Chemical

0

192

360

326

878

5.

International American Products

58

283

310

108

759

6.

Fluor (FLR, news, msgs)

116

413

123

105

757

7.

Perini (PCR, news, msgs)

72

312

185

81

650

8.

Parsons

0

248

120

172

540

9.

First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting

0

7

469

24

500

10.

L-3 Communications (LLL, news, msgs)

1

9

148

201

359

*Goods and services contracted specifically for Iraq. Source: Eagle Eye

I haven't taken the time to look them up, but I'm guessing that the stock prices of these firms are doing very well. (Hmmm, I wonder if there is a defense industry index fund.....) This is war profiteering at it's best. And let's not overlook the fact that a number of high-ranking and lower level Cheney-Bush administration officials are connected to these firms.

The war in Iraq has been a big factor in the shock and awe to our economy. The folks responsible for this historic debacle have made out like bandits, with big profits in their pockets, and no accountability for the damage they've done. I'd like to see the Iraqi and American families most injured by this war get compensated for the damage done to their lives, and I'd like to see it paid out of the pockets of those who profited from this misadventure.

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