THE FOREIGN POLICY COROLLARY OF SIROTA'S HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS
HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS'>HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS'>HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS'>HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS'>>HOSTILE TAKEOVER IS A FILM COMING OUT NEXT MONTH CALLED IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS'>
This morning the Washington Post is carrying an article about the severely botched U.S. reconstruction "effort" in Iraq. They don't even scratch the surface of botchism. They call it "flailing."
A flailing Iraq reconstruction effort that has been dominated for more than three years by U.S. dollars and companies is being transferred to Iraqis, leaving them the challenge of completing a long list of projects left unfinished by the Americans.
While the handover is occurring gradually, it comes as U.S. money dwindles and American officials face a Sept. 30 deadline for choosing which projects to fund with the remaining $2 billion of the $21 billion rebuilding program. More than 500 planned projects have not been started, and the United States lacks a coherent plan for transferring authority to Iraqi control, a report released Tuesday concludes.
In some cases, Iraqis are having to take over projects from American construction firms that were removed from jobs because of poor performance. For example, in Nasiriyah, about 300 miles southeast of Baghdad, the Iraqi firm Al-Basheer Co. was recently given a prison-construction contract that a huge American conglomerate, Parsons Global Services Inc., lost. Parsons was six months overdue with the project and had completed only a third of the job.
Parsons... Parsons... Parsons... where did I see that name before? Ahhh... yes; it was just last night. Robert Greenwald had invited me to see an advance screening of his new film, IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS. It comes out in September and you can watch a 2 minute clip here. Earlier in the day a mutual friend of mine and Greenwald's, who had seen the rough cut a few days ago, told me it would shock me. "You may think you know everything about what's going on Iraq. You're in for a big surprise." I did think I knew a lot. I read a lot; I have friends who have served in the military there; and one of my neighbors build the Iraqi stock exchange. But he was right: the film was shock and awe for me. And for my buddy Irwing, who doesn't read a lot and doesn't have friends who have served there and doesn't know anyone who built a stock exchange (nor had he ever heard of contractors like Parsons or Bechtel or Halliburton)... it was an earth shattering experience.
My neighbor is going to Iraq again next week. Irwing has a tape recorder and after Greenwald's chilling film last night we decided to go tape Bill tomorrow. I'll write it up soon. Meanwhile, please watch for the release of IRAQ FOR SALE. It's one of those movies that connects and it's one of those movies that no one will watch and ever vote for a Republican (again). In fact, it's the kind of movie that will help people understand why there absolutely must be trials.
Today William Rivers Pitt wrote a stupendous column called Banking on War. I recommend you read the whole thing. He starts with a quote from someone who understands war a lot better than George Bush or anyone around him, former President and General Dwight Eisenhower: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." He then goes on to discuss how tremendously profitable war is. And it certainly has been... for the Bushes, the Cheneys and their circle and the people who have financed their political careers. These people are not stealing a measly million or two here and there. They are creating generational wealth and a frightening and horrible new American aristocracy. "George W. Bush and his people can hold forth about the wonders of democracy and peace, and can condemn worldwide violence in solemn tones. Until the United States stops being the world's largest arms dealer, these words from our government absolutely reek of hypocrisy."