Category Archives: Haliburton

The Blood Barters

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

-Bob Dylan “Masters of War”

Somewhere within that great morass of collective national ignorance are the great stories of our untaught and largely suppressed history and the real heroes who inhabit it. They are the real heroes whose sacrifice and efforts in building a great nation and a truly compassionate and progressive society are in direct conflict that those who have mounted a decades long drive to erase their efforts and to remake America into the cruel fool’s paradise of a militaristic, Social Darwinist, monopoly capitalist spoils system where the less fortunate are subordinated to be lesser humans, servants and cannon fodder for the never ending wars on which the engine of empire is fueled in the early days of this sordid new American century.

In our past lie the keys to our future but in the revisionist reworking perpetrated by the greatest propaganda machine that the world has ever known it will never be understood by the majority who take solace in tough talking cowboys and ‘plain spoken’ men who provide easy answers for an increasingly complex and dangerous world. History is always written by the victors rather than the vanquished and in a country where the victors have been corporatists, reactionary right-wingers and the military industrial complex it is no wonder that we are spoon fed distortions, oversimplifications and outright lies as history. The indoctrination into the warrior world of laissez-faire monopoly capitalism, the worship of the state and the acceptance of the grand destiny of God’s chosen empire begins with the constant onslaught of televised imagery, the war toys and the desensitization of violence and condoning of the exploitation of others from the earliest days of cognitive capability.

Television is the greatest tool for indoctrination and central programming that ever has been invented – bar none and to the corrupt oligarchy it is gospel. The tabula rasas of impressionable children have already been subjected to consumerism, class exploitation and the acceptance of a national mythology and the requisite violence by the time they even get to the classroom where the job will be completed by a system that no longer in any way encourages critical thinking and individualism – only acquiescence, obedience and conformity are desirable…those not adhering are then culled out and will face the lifelong stigmatism that has only two destinations, death or a place in the burgeoning network of privately owned, for profit prisons – another growth industry in America that nearly rivals that of the great war machine itself.

The blame for the dark cloud of willful ignorance upon the land over the true consequences of the waging of war lies not only with the purveyors of the immaculate Hollywood fantasies that transform industrialized slaughter into grand, glamorous adventured dripping with glory and valor but also with the media in its entirety (excluding the alternative media of course which lacks the firepower to compete with the corporate goliaths) that drums out the hypnotic cadence about the glorious potential that lies in the grand adventures that war brings along with that most precious of commodities that is American exceptionalism. Add a punditry composed of psychopathic hired guns who routinely decry pacifists and war critics as traitors while omitting the inconvenient truth that the vast majority of the luminaries of the right-wing attack machine have never worn a uniform in the service to the country.

The ongoing psyops campaign is relentless and has been far too successful in gene splicing Sinclair Lewis’ domestic fascism with a dystopian vision that not even Orwell himself could have imagined. Note this story citing a defense industry think tank that distorts the looting of the treasury and racking up of unpayable war debt like a plague upon the unborn by making the argument that the ongoing occupation of civil war ravaged Iraq as a “relative bargain”. I mean give me a fucking break, this is what happens when highly compensated ‘experts’, bean counters and paid public relations flacks are retained to use a shadowy, state run media apparatus to sow disinformation and outright lies.

The story that did not merit much in the way of real coverage from the media conglomerates, their boards packed with members of interlocking directorates who also serve the energy cabal and defense contractors is the scandalous news that Halliburton will soon be fleeing the USA to relocate it’s corporate headquarters to Dubai. When the potential for something even remotely resembling oversight on Dick Cheney’s former (and some may argue current) employer suddenly becomes possible with a Democratic Congress armed with subpoenas and questions on no-bid contracts, mismanagement, war profiteering and outright looting then HAL is outta here.

That is the way that it always goes with the blood barters in the defense industrial complex to whom the cynical jingoism and invocations of patriotism don’t mean jack shit when it comes to trafficking in human misery, death and pestilence. The blood barters only see the color of money and not red, white and blue like the miserable dupes who they always so easily exploit to send their young off to die in illegal wars fought for greed and the imperialism of a rapacious strain of militarist capitalism run amok. But hey, war is all about glory, John Wayne, apple pie and the shoveling of the big lie of spreading democracy as though it were so much manure.

And leave it to the media to play down or otherwise skew the coverage of anti-war protests and the anti-war movement in general by low balling crowd counts, giving equal time to dead ender, right-wing counter protests by giving representatives (often ditto head dopes whose bellicosity and twisted world views mimic those of Michael Savage and other fascist propagandists) space in stories for their statements even if they happen to be outnumbered 100-1 in the interest of being ‘fair and balanced’ and always finding the one burned out hippie stoner in the crowd who is festooned with peace signs and carrying a guitar.

Jack Booted Republican Brownshirt Thugs?
The Washington Post’s latest bit of sleazy yellow journalism in the aftermath of yesterday’s march on the Pentagon is a perfect example of this tactic (note that while the counter demonstrators were a minority that the piece is spun decidedly to the right). Here is a portion of the story of the sort of jack-booted Republican thugs that turned out to harass the protestors think back to the Tom DeLay sponsored goon squad that terrorized Miami-Dade County in 2000 and stopped the recount – all that was missing yesterday was the Horst Wessel Song as a battle hymn (note that while the story does say that they were a minority the spin is decidedly to the right).

As war protesters marched toward Arlington Memorial Bridge en route to the Pentagon yesterday, they were flanked by long lines of military veterans and others who stood in solidarity with U.S. troops and the Bush administration’s cause in Iraq. Many booed loudly as the protesters passed, turned their backs to them or yelled, “If you don’t like America, get out!”

Several thousand vets, some of whom came by bus from New Jersey, car caravans from California or flights from Seattle or Michigan, lined the route from the bridge and down 23rd Street, waving signs such as “War There Or War Here.” Their lines snaked around the corner and down several blocks of Constitution Avenue in what organizers called the largest gathering of pro-administration counter-demonstrators since the war began four years ago.

The vets turned both sides of Constitution into a bitter, charged gantlet for the war protesters. “Jihadists!” some vets screamed. “You’re brain-dead!” Others chanted, “Workers World traitors must hang!” — a reference to the Communist newspaper. Some broke into “The Star-Spangled Banner” as war protesters sought to hand out pamphlets.

“Bunch of hooligans in motorcycle jackets!” one war protester shot back.

The large turnout surprised even some counter-demonstrators. Polls show public opinion turning against the war in Iraq, and the November election was widely seen as a repudiation of the administration’s policy.

So well-coordinated has the pro-war media become in the aftermath of Vietnam and the placement of right-wing operatives in every news outlet in America to parrot think tank created, focus group tested messages that reduce the entire anti-war movement (even though it happens to be a veritable melting pot of every demographic segment of America) into the same cartoon figures and caricatures that have been used to deviously and often subconsciously manipulate mass opinion ever since the military industrial complex and the corrupt system upon which it depends upon was deal that very serious one two punch of the fall of Saigon and the outing of Richard M. Nixon as a malevolent criminal. Nixon alas was only a symptom of a virulent stain of neo-fascism that while having long existed in this country has grown increasingly powerful in an inverse relationship to the decreasing attention spans and chronic intellectual shortcomings of the pubic at large. In reference to the media I love this line from Charley Reese (a small part of a larger overall condemnation of power from his latest column that I am stealing a portion of for my own purposes) that: … just remember that money buys whores, and whores service their customers.

Such is the culture of the Bushreich, where the sanitized, misleading and dishonest portrayal of American virtues and our divine moral superiority are exalted and those heroes from the past who spoke out have been effectively lost in a time warp. There is one great voice that does not turn up in textbooks and his message was a condemnation of the callousness of the blood barters and his voice was one that spoke from experience. He is the highly decorated (two medals of honor) former USMC General Smedley Darlington Butler.

General Butler was one of the earliest critics of American intervention and the plundering of foreign countries for the benefit of Wall Street looters who were all too glad to trade lives for profit. Butler wrote the scathing War Is A Racket that was a no-holds barred indictment of the early military-industrial complex. Butler told it like it was, not a convenient thing for the revisionist historians who write the textbooks to indoctrinate the good little Americans in the religion of the always great, always righteous and blessed land of plenty.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”

“During those years, I had as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best that he could do was operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Wall Street has always had a vested interest in dabbling in war and death, despite all of the rah- rah red meat exhortations of patriotism or more appropriately nationalism that serve to keep the masses energized those who operate behind the scenes only real loyalty is to wealth and in maintaining the interests of the elite – those who will never lose sons or daughters in any of the hellish wars that are waged primarily for their benefit. A connection that the overwhelming majority of the rest of the peasants will never be able to make due to an incessant barrage of propaganda and corporate brainwashing via the electronic crackpipe to keep the rabble in line.

I recently had an opportunity to catch Eugene Jarecki’s movie Why We Fight that offers a very serious and dare I say bi-partisan look into the corruption of the military industrial complex and the dangers that it poses to American values. President Eisenhower warned of this in his farewell address over four decades ago but it went unheeded and the ongoing wars, military actions, occupations, weapons sales to other countries that have become a constant of American life ever since are a growing blight on our nation’s soul.

The best thing about Why We Fight is that it is immune to the sort of Rovian swift boating that followed in the aftermath of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 that had the weak kneed sissies on the DLC controlled ‘opposition party’ running for cover. The film features a cross section of neocon ideologues, politos and serious analysts including John McCain, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Gwynne Dyer, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Karen Kwiatkowski among others and is inclusive to viewpoints from both sides of the ideological spectrum. This movie is not to be taken lightly and try as they may to discredit it the Republican slime machine will not be able to make hay so easily as it was when turning Moore into a caricature (a puppet terrorist in the ultra-sardonic and overly scatological Team America: World Police) or for the Democrats to find a convenient scapegoat for their fecklessness and inability to win elections. This is a powerful, truthful and enduring film that asks serious questions that the used car salesmen and charlatans that are our ‘elected’ representatives are not going to want to answer.

Why We Fight zeroes in on the bastard relationship between Dick Cheney and Halliburton – we essentially have a government contractor as Vice President, in the movie he is referred to as a “rolodex man” Outsourcing of military duties such as cooking, cleaning etc are outsourced for profit to private contractors like Halliburton. This is one of the fundamental ways in which the military had changed under the leadership of corrupt men like Cheney. When I did my time about a quarter of a century ago we had our own enlisted men performing the often dehumanizing duties like cleaning the ‘shitters’, cooking and working in support positions such as personnel and logistics.

This use of highly paid ‘contractors’ is a criminal scam designed to bilk the taxpayers into funneling more money to the parasitical firms in Cheney’s rolodex. Now all of these functions are spun off to contractors who then bilk the American taxpayers for billions in order to perform the same functions that our servicemen and women used to do. Talk about a royal scam, this is it. The disturbing rise of private mercenaries is also quite troubling, especially at a time when our own military is being destroyed and I’m sure that I’m not the only one in America questioning the true intent of the Cheney-neocons and unaccountable private armies for hire as provided by firms like Blackwater but that is a story for another time.

The movie is even more important today as the neocon madness is about to be escalated with an impending attack on Iran that is inevitable given the goading by Israeli hard-liners meddling with the U.S. political appartus. This great column by’s Justin Raimondo along with it’s links is well worth your time in reading if only to see the extent of the danger of having a foreign government (and an extremist one at that) in the driver’s seat of the Rapture bus. Absent some very serious and immediate action by Congress to begin to reign in the monsters that have run amok then we are all in for some seriously troubling times with wars without end, continuing domestic unrest as the population is divided and pitted against one another as a diversion and the dead bodies on America’s tab piling as fast as the blood barter’s ill gotten gains. As Plato once famously stated: “Only the dead have seen the end of the war” and you can bet the house that there will be plenty of them as long as their deaths can be turned into another revenue stream.