“I died for freedom, this I know,
For those who bade me fight have told me so.”
~ Lines from a poem published in England during the early months of WW1
Can you smell it too? For a moment I thought it was the mangrove swamp.
Time to find out what’s polluting the shades of America. It’s been stinking up the U.S…. and the world… for six years now. How could anybody miss it? It’s reeking to high Heaven. Behold: a monstrous Rodentia Giganticus that chews glass and eats its young.
Folks, what we have here is a massive scam that’s just like all the others our government has been pulling on the taxpayers since… well, let’s just go back as far as 2000 when our Dear Leader, Bush 43 (George W. Bush), was handed the presidency by Bush 41′s (that would be Bush The First, George H.W.) supreme court.
We have been — and are still being — scammed.
It’s the oldest Federal game in the book. Convene a war, rally the plebes to their "patriotic duty," and then sit back and watch the Fat Cats’ profits soar. The U.S. government has been engaged in this dodge since… oh who’s counting?
Major General Smedley D. Butler of the Marines, twice decorated with the Congressional Medal of Honor, dedicated his life to defend democracy abroad. One day he woke up to smell the afore-mentioned Rodentia Giganticus. Written in the wake of World War One, his book’s title says it all: War Is A Racket.
Who pays? The same helpless, naïve, conned taxpayer: You. Who profits? The profits go to the same place from which the propaganda derives: those slimy bloodsuckers in league with the devil: the Industrial-Military Complex.
Former British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin referred to these people when he described the 1918 House of Commons as "a lot of hard-faced men who look as if they had done very well out of the war." Baldwin is also famous for saying that: "War would end if the dead could return."
But I digress.
I’m not even going to mention the dead, mutilated and mentally ruined soldiers and their families who have paid with heartache. I shall forgo discussing the meagre wages, the post-traumatic stress, the broken down equipment with which they fight and the dearth of graves back home in which to bury them.
I’m talking about those who get off easy by only having their pockets picked to death and about those who pick the pockets.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no different from the ones in which Major General Butler served, except that the causes of George’s wars are more blurred, shadowy and secret, in short, devious, than any past U.S. wars. Still, there is cause for joy in Mudville: for some the outcome has been more profitable… if you are a mercenary or other war profiteer, that is.
Not counting subcontractors, there are today in Iraq and Afghanistan an "army" of 100,000 private contractors hired to serve the U.S. military. Where do they come from? One account states that the US is furthering its pursuit of offshore outsourcing by drumming up these soldiers of fortune in Chile and South Africa. What do they do? They provide security for our multi-million dollar army. Say what?!
The DOD must think war is like a computer game.
Why does the professional mercenary company Blackwater USA provide security, which is really the military’s job. What security? Last I heard, our beloved leader could not get into Iraq to meet Prime Minister Maliki. Due to insurgency activity, the Baghdad airport was closed.
One wonders if mercenaries buy innocent civilians from warlords and then turn them in to the military, for a reward, as "terrorists"? As it is, we do know that hapless Iraqi and Afghani civilians are whisked away to Gitmo for permanent vacations. Gee, that sounds like a good racket to me. The mercenary would get paid twice for the same job! Bounty hunting has never been so good. Who cares if the captured are innocent or guilty?
What else do contractors do in Iraq? Some peel potatoes for the troops. Whatever happened to that time-honored military tradition? Many of these contractors are "rebuilding Iraq." Rebuilding Iraq?! What the hell! What a load of codswallop! We haven’t finished destroying it yet! Isn’t that a little bit like putting the Howitzer before Der Kublewagen? You bet it is. And it’s not by accident either. It’s by design.
How many of those private contracting companies are actually doing honest work?
Let’s see, Parsons Corp. have robbed congressionally approved borrowed money to build such edifices as the fabulous open-sewer Baghdad Police College. Offshore outsourcing at work! Providing microbe-infested water in support of the troops, Halliburton is the most famous for tax-dollar travesty.
How about all that oil that was supposed to pay for the war? Ignore for a moment the fact that stealing, smuggling and selling oil across the border has turned out to be a cash cow for the insurgents. Just how was this oil money supposed to pay for anything anyway? It wasn’t. The "Holy Grail" of the oil industry was always slated, and still is, if they can find a way to get their hands on it, to be the sole property of Big U.S. Oil.
Did any of those Iraq war money bills passed by Congress state that the money would come from Iraqi oil? Or was that funding to be conjured out of thin air? In other words, conjured out of your taxes, present and mostly future. That means your children and grandchildren will carry the brunt of paying for George’s war.
This seems an awfully shabby trade off for a war created by lies and deceptions. And we’re not even winning it! Of course "winning" isn’t really the idea. The profits come to an end if we "win." "Maintaining" the war is the idea. Let the good times roll.
And what’s this? The Pentagon wants what… more money? What a surprise! Well, why not? We have to "support our contractors," er "troops." The Pentagon wants at least another $100 billion. Now that’s staying the course! But God forbid we should consider spending less of the taxpayer’s money. We may be getting ripped off to a tune of at least $4 billion a year through corruption. Seems like a rather low figure to me. I’d say "corruption" is ripping us off by at least $348 billion and counting so far.
Oh well. All that tax money going into the pockets of the Bush Dynasty, Cheney Family "Trust" and the other slimy bottom feeders is all for a good cause. We’re paying to defend a slogan — The Global War on Terror!
Major General Smedley D. Butler must be turning over in his grave. Considering the circumstances, he must be glad he’s six feet under and not fighting George’s war "over there."
Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this story.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.