Deep Pockets in Iraq
By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
Robert Greenwald’s documentaries are like sledgehammers of rage against everything he finds wrong with America, including Wal-Mart, Fox News and the Bush administration. He wants to rile us up, and he’s not subtle. But then, neither are his targets.“Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers,” Mr. Greenwald compiles a horrifying catalog of greed, corruption and incompetence among private contractors in Iraq, focusing primarily on Halliburton, Blackwater Security Consulting and CACI International. Leading off with the infamous torture and murder of four Blackwater employees in Falluja in 2004 — men whose families contend were callously placed in harm’s way — the movie goes on to trace connections between the contractors and the Republican Party, assert the buying of influence and explore what it says are questionable accounting systems that encourage exorbitant waste of taxpayer money. And that’s just the first 30 minutes.
One after another, military personnel, journalists, former Abu Ghraib prisoners and former employees of the companies in question present a litany of shocking accusations, from private interrogators working without supervision or accountability to outsourced food services that allow Halliburton to charge soldiers $45 for a six-pack of soda. The movie also addresses the effect of private-sector soldiers on military retention and morale: Why work for $3,000 a month when you can earn six figures with a corporation?
A febrile blend of facts, liberal outrage and emotional manipulation (like his colleague Michael Moore, Mr. Greenwald knows the visual power of a grieving mother), “Iraq for Sale” has an us-versus-them sensibility that’s extremely effective. “Their greed goes against our grain,” says one disgusted interviewee. Indeed.
IRAQ FOR SALE
The War Profiteers
Opens today in Manhattan.
How can dems not win
against the republicans we have in office now? They are not trying or they don't care. I don't get it. I read somewhere that the two parties are just franchises through which corporate interests achieve their goals. Watching this party of do-nothings, I'm pretty sure this is accurate.
So go the democrats
Mr. O'Hehir makes the usual mistake in asking when the Dems will put forward a candidate who will send a clear message and energize their base to victory. Such a question implies that the Democratic Party aparat would even consider such a thing. Fact is, most Beltway dems and their big-money supporters would rather loose than do that. They simply don't want to owe gays, blacks, opponents of globalization and Empire, or the poor a damn thing. The DLC and its ilk really are Republicans Lite, and calling out the base would mean sacrificing the prerogatives of powerful and wealthy interests that have no intention of giving up a thing. We see every day that the Washington Dems pray not for a better world, but for the Republicans to self-destruct so that they can win without making one promise to their base or standing up for one principle. Even a modest Liberal like Dean was immediately squashed by the Democratic Party insiders. I fear that the way forward will have to be over the grave of the Democratic Party.