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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Iraq War film exposes corporate greed and corruption

Last week, BGSU Amnesty International and the College Democrats co-sponsored a showing of the new film “Iraq For Sale,” which was followed by a discussion concerning what should be done about the privatization of war.

For those who have not seen the film, I strongly urge you to do so. I am somewhat perplexed, however, as to why the College Republicans did not also sponsor the film.

Republicans claim to be the party of small government, balanced budgets, reduced taxes and increased military spending.

The privatization of war, as demonstrated in the film, has cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.

And let’s not forget about the thousands of lives in the Iraq War alone that have put members of our military in grave danger.

How any conservative could be in favor of such things is simply beyond me.

One example given in the film of how corporate greed is endangering the troops describes how a subsidiary of Halliburton has been contracted to provide the troops with safe drinking water.

And this certainly is not the most egregious example found in the film.

However, the quality of water provided to the troops under this contract is often atrocious and has been linked to illnesses in members of the armed forces.

A much more startling example, however, comes from other subsidiaries of Halliburton, Titan and CACI.

These firms have been contracted to provide interpreters, but the contract was later extended to include many different types of personnel.

As such, these firms’ employees were given broad powers in U.S. prisons in Iraq.

Many private citizens employed by Titan and CACI have the power to give orders to military personnel.

These orders include the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib.

Many of the photographs of torture we have all seen show persons in civilian clothing.

These persons gave the orders- they worked for CACI and they will never be punished for what they did.

They won’t be punished because as private citizens in Iraq, they are outside the reach of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and U.S. civilian law.

All of this death and destruction, torture and travesty…all of it for money.

The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer because of this war, these events.

Billions of dollars.

And who is to say that it isn’t by design?

A quick war, in and out in a few months, would have benefited some companies greatly.

Via arms, ammunition, fuel, and logistics, billions of dollars would have been made.

But the real profit for Halliburton and its subsidiaries, for Blackwater, Inc., indeed, for all the corporations investing in death, is a long, bloody conflict.

Three years of plunder and profit; years of driving treacherous roads for KBR truck drivers; three years of contaminated water served to our troops; three years of mercenaries contracted through Blackwater, Inc. protecting the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

And let’s also not forget the years of CACI torturers operating beyond the law.

How much profit do these companies need?

How many more years would they like to bilk the U.S. taxpayers out of money that could be spent on education or health care or work programs?

It’s a silly question, of course, because they would like to be raking in those profits forever.

It already feels like forever to many. Despite the revelations brought by this film, it’s hard to speak of the Iraq War with new outrage.

The midterm elections are fast approaching, and it seems to be all anyone talks about.

The Iraq War is quickly becoming trite, which is likely good for Republicans, but it’s not good for America. These are important issues, and they need to be discussed and acted upon.

It cannot and should not wait until after the election.

I implore everyone, especially those who are in favor of staying the course, as President Bush often advises, to see the film and consider who is really benefiting by that course of action.

Send comments to Jason Lamb at [email protected]

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