By Mary Francis
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Transcript’s reprint of LA Times’ 11-11-13 op-ed “Case for a deal with Iran” was an excellent review of the current situation. It is especially important to note the difference between “weaponization” and “nuclear capability” for medical and energy needs. I agree: “ ... if Iran agrees to restraints that effectively stop the clock on weaponization, the international community should be willing to reciprocate with a measured relaxation of sanctions.”
As expected, Israel’s Netanyahu is responding with “hair-on-fire” rhetoric. However, there are others with a long history of anti-Muslim talk lurking in the background.
If you have read the Aug. 27 letter to President Obama urging a strike against Syria (see Weekly Standard), you might get a déjà vu feeling. The parallel with similar letters to Pres. Bush (Sept. 20, 2001) and Pres. Clinton (Jan. 26,1998) is unmistakable.
In case you missed it, this group (Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney and others) make up the shadowy neo-con cabal Project for a New American Century, which argued (and still argues) for U.S. global domination through “military strength and moral clarity.”
Yes, global domination is their stated goal. They have urged intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran and targeting of Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority. Libya and North Korea were later added to the list.
Another war would undoubtedly maintain the shameless profiteering, as documented by U.S. Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr., who reported “... corruption remains endemic in Iraq. Unless checked, it is doubtful that many U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts will be able to achieve their intended purpose.”
Should the neo-con proposal of military action against Syria and Iran be implemented, as it was in Iraq and Afghanistan, another opportunity for corruption and profiteering would be achieved.
Of course, this would be disastrous for the U.S. economy — but not for arms industry and defense contractors Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrope Grumman, etc. They will make out like bandits.
Have we learned nothing from this so-called War on Terror, which actually turns out to be a war on U.S. troops and the U.S. economy?
During the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, other private corporations such as Halliburton, Blackwater, Titan, KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root) also made, as they say in the vernacular, “a killing.” The war on terror has become the largest war-profiteering racket in history.
However, “big oil” corporations aren’t the only ones who benefited from the misery of the Iraq and Afghan wars. China, who gets almost half of its oil from the Middle East, has acquired five lucrative Iraqi oil deals and several long-term mining contracts with mineral-rich Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our troops get to provide security and blood.
The Department of Justice investigated more than 900 cases of alleged fraud by contractors, while our Defense Contract Audit Agency is withholding $289 million billed by KBR and is asking for the return of $121 million already paid. This is barely the tip of the iceberg. In 2010, the Department of Justice filed a civil fraud case against KBR for unauthorized billing, estimated at $100 million. In spite of the fact that KBR gave troops highly contaminated water (twice as nasty as raw water from the Euphrates River), KBR is still receiving military contracts.
Tell Congressmembers Inhofe, Coburn and Cole that Congress needs to stop being the easily-taken-advantage-of patsies who authorize this.
Mary Francis is a member of the Oklahoma nonprofit Americans Against the Next War.
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