Likewise, according to Anderson (2004), “War, if good for anything, is great for business. It means more than just the production of weapons and equipment — sometimes faulty and overpriced. It promises billions in government revenues for increasingly privatized military training, recruiting, laundry and even KP services” (p. 155). These privatized military services all provided courtesy of the friendly folks at Kellogg, Brown & Root – and all at a hefty profit, of course. To be fair, though, the vice president is not the only one involved in this unholy conspiracy to bilk the American taxpayer while bleeding the armed forces dry. In this regard, Achcar (2004) emphasizes that the president is also implicated by virtue of his close ties with the oil and gas industry and the enormous political contributions they have provided to support his administration’s prosecution of the war in Iraq. “Besides his own personal and family ties to the industry, Bush appointed people with equally close or closer ties to it to key posts in his administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney (Halliburton) and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (Chevron)” (Achcar, 2004, p. 23).
While the pundits continue to debate the fine points of “withdrawal strategies” (something that was clearly not taken into account before the war was launched), thousands of Americans have died and countless Iraqi citizens have been slaughtered. According to Schor (2004), “The brutal destruction of Falluja in order to ‘save’ it and a recently published report that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children are suffering from acute malnutrition — an affliction that has doubled since the U.S. invasion — are just two of the many compelling reasons that stopping the Bush Administration’s war in Iraq is a moral imperative” (p. 11). This moral imperative is reinforced as well by the fact that the United States has implemented an all-but-in-name draft once again by virtue of extended tours of service for those already in-country, and the troops in Iraq can be reasonably expected to experience the same types of horrific post-traumatic experiences as their Vietnam veteran counterparts in the future, perhaps even more so (Cobe, 2004). This author emphasizes, as well, that, “When you ask a 19-year-old to die, we owe them the truth,” but the truth has been sorely lacking from the current administration’s accounts of why the country has declared an undeclared war and what price it is willing to pay for the privilege. Alas, there have been no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, just billions of dollars in profits for Bush-Cheney et al. who were calling for a preemptive war in Iraq long before September 11, 2001 provided the right fuel for their fire (Smith, 2005).
Complex questions require complex answers, and the research showed that following the money was in fact a good way to get to the bottom of why the United States went to war most recently in the Middle East. Vice President Dick Cheney may not be the anti-Christ, but he is making a good run for the title as he and his cronies at Halliburton continue to bleed the country dry while they expend the lives of young soldiers fighting a war in Iraq that cannot be won. Even if millions more troops were deployed to Iraq, it would not make any difference in the long run. The United States is an occupying military force in Iraq and someday they will leave and the people who have lived there for thousands of years will remain behind to clean up the mess. While it may have been easy to slip this one past an American public eager to exact revenge on somebody or something following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, maintaining an increasingly costly war in Iraq today under the guise of fighting the war on terrorism is getting harder and harder for the Bush administration, and to paraphrase another Skull and Boner, “Who is going to ask the last soldier in Iraq to die for a mistake?”
Achcar, G. (2004, February). U.S. imperial strategy in the Middle East. Monthly Review, 55(9), 23.
Anderson, R. (2004). Home front: The government’s war on soldiers. Atlanta: Clarity Press.
Cobe, C. (2004, July 4). Fence post. Daily Herald, 17.
Goodman, a., & Goodman, D. (2004). The exception to the rulers: Exposing America’s war profiteers, the media that love them and the crackdown on…