A Must Read Book.
In the late fifties President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex and people listened to what he said. In consequence, when it came to later military conflicts such as Vietnam, many kept a wary eye on the opinions of those who stood to profit from war.
But in the nineties, a Washington big hitter and Halliburton executive, Dick Cheney, began the process of reducing the number of soldiers in the US military and arranging for the privatisation of military support services. Needless to say, Halliburton got a large number of the available contracts.
However, after this there was a problem. Halliburton and other corporations had many lucrative contracts which would only become active during a time of war. But there were no significant wars in the offing and so no opportunities to capitalise on the contracts.
To maximise their profitability these companies needed war and in consequence, they began the process of trying to pressure President Clinton into regime change in Iraq. If America deposed Saddam with military force, there would be a great need for privatised military support services. In the beginning these lobbyists, who included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, were very successful and even persuaded respected broadcasters such as Alistair Cook to support the idea of toppling Saddam. But sadly for them, the succulent lips of Monica Lewinsky blew their plans out of the water and for a while at least, the whole idea of invading Iraq was forgotten.
However, in 2000 George W. Bush became the new president of the USA with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld as top aides and one of his first acts was to downgrade the importance of Al Qaeda as a threat to America. This infuriated many of the governmentís top security staff, including Richard A. Clarke, who saw Al Qaeda as a very serious threat to the American nation. But a presidential decision was a presidential decision and in consequence, the amount of time and effort devoted to keeping an eye on Al Qaeda was substantially reduced. Some say this was just an unfortunate political decision but others feel it was a very deliberate decision because those who stood to gain from war, many of whom were the presidentís closest friends and advisors, wanted Al Qaeda to do something which would give America the excuse for war. So they pressured the president into believing that Clinton had overestimated the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and his organisation.
But Osama bin Laden has since turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to the military industrial complex which, in 2000, included all those corporations involved in military support services. Blackwater was a later beneficiary of the ensuing wars but I do believe that reading this book will help you understand how the situation developed and why some big corporation in America not only wanted war, but actually got lobbyists to pressure the government into courses of action which led to war and, for them, fabulous profits. After all, a fact that history has proved correct, only low ranking American military personnel were going to die.
Tony Blair, according to the BBC, earned £12 million last year and paid just over £300,000 in tax. A lot of money for a retired prime minister to earn and remembering his passionate support for the war and the question is, how much came form the military industrial complex?
To try and hide from its disreputable past Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services LLC and then to Academi and, if you look at Academi's website, you'll see the words falling over themselves in an effort to convice visitors that the company operates with the highest levels of integrity.
But, as they say, if you believe a person's own self-hype you'll believe anything and then you'll deserve everything you get.
---January 5, 2012---
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