Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Iraq For Sale

This guy named Robert Greenwald did a documentary I didn't see, but I hear it was pretty good. It was called Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price. Now he's done one called Iraq For Sale. I don't think it's yet well understood how staggeringly large and utterly craven the waste in Iraq has been, and it looks like the movie interviews the people who witnessed some of it. In the movie trailer, for example, one firm with a trucking contract is said to send empty boxes 'round Iraq, getting unprotected drivers killed for a pointless yet billable trip, and billing...umm, do you still pay your taxes? There was never an exit plan because there was never any intention to leave. Iraq is supposed to be a protectorate just like Puerto Rico, only with 100 billion more barrels of oil.

Companies have been getting away with murder in Iraq from the get-go. Wars have a way of encouraging corporate corruption (the US Civil War was a beaut) but this war is different in its conception. Difficult as it was, I accepted simple profit motive as the ideological basis of the plan to invade. Profit may have been conjoined with other objectives, but the free market sentiment kept cropping up so prominently and repeatedly in neo-con writings about Iraq that straining to deny the motive gives intellectual hernias. I certainly can't tell where "free market" ends and "spreading democracy" begins in neo-con rhetoric. They're used interchangeably. The whole strategy was to let the post-war tactics take care of themselves. Like, if we just unleash the market mechanism and set up a democracy, there's a fabulous amount of money for everbody to make, and not off the oil. That, we keep for ourselves.

Progressive blogger Christy Hardin Smith over at Firedoglake drew my attention to this new documentary by putting up a spoof clip of its director posing as the CEO of Halliburton, only coming clean.

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