While FOX News choses to give us the warm and fuzzy propoganda similar to the Bush administration, Ken Hughes has gotten it wrong about what Kellogg Brown and Root are really doing over there.
Some time ago, when Dick Cheney was a mere Chief Executive Officer for KBR's operations, the company was not a huge profit machine like it is today. That said, the war in Iraq, with its endless spending and bungling of said money, is a scam perpetrated on the American people and sold to us in nifty little packages to make us feel good for a minute about our troops.
I am one of those troops and I will say, while it is good to eat a meal provided by a civilian contractor, the military is doing all right without their help. You see, in the military, we have our own supply chain. We also have a system set up to sustain us. We get paid our meager wages, and they can be meager for risking our lives on daily basis, but we manage to operate in the theater of operations just fine.
The acts of companies like Halliburton are to say they can do the job of "rebuilding" but, in essence, they are just finding new ways to take the money of taxpayers and funnel it to their cause.
Some may not remember that these truck drivers and other civilian contractors in Iraq are being paid a godawful amount of money to be there. Some make nearly $10,000/month! Meanwhile, driving right next to them, is a soldier who gets a $450/month "hazard duty pay" bonus to do the same job. Some of these servicemembers are Reservist and National Guard members who have left civilian jobs that pay 3 or 4 times their military wage.
Another problem is that most of the money is not going to rebuilding but to provide security for the war profiteers. Up to 65 percent of the money they receive goes to protecting them while the majority of the money to the military goes to fuel costs and transportation of goods.
FOX news may send us signals that these civilian contractors are taking care of our troops but, in essence, these troops are only being fed to the lions to support a war for money.
And, for the record, over 1,600 of my comrades in arms are dead. Tens of thousands have been wounded. Some will never walk again, see again or function in the same mental capability they once knew. My boss in the military is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from the 36 rocket-propelled grenade attacks his base endured, one blowing up a building he had left just 30 minutes prior.
Mr. Hughes, please do not try to paint this war with honor or righteousness. Nearly 200,000 dead Iraqis are dead because we, their "liberators," killed them. The only reason they turned out for the elections was because they thought they were voting the U.S. out. You see, in your example of the war of independence for us, they are the colonists and we are the British.
So, the next time you want to be a cheerleader for the current administration, try to make sure you get your facts straight.
About the author: Nicholas Olson is a long-time journalist who has been a columnist at his college newspaper and is currently a military journalist.
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