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Paul B Farrell's America's Outrageous War Economy
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
We don't have "mercenaries" fighting for us ...


We do indeed have mercenaries fighting for us--Blackwater is just one example of a mercenary firm (though I understand they don't like that word, either). They are armed soldiers working directly for the US government and in some cases (like the battle of Najaf) have actually commanded US troops.

LisaW wrote:
The [i]reputable[i] ones are made up of former US military ... and usually former Special Forces, and are generally vetted heavily by people who know them, their work ethics, etc.


The very fact that the US employed an army of contractors is troubling. That they were operating outside the law is more troubling still. Donald Rumsfeld classified contractors as an official part of the US war machine, so when Blackwater faced lawsuits (like the one from the families of those poor guys murdered and mutilated outside Fallujah) Blackwater argued that they're part of the US military and can't be sued by civilians for wrongful death. At the same time, Blackwater has lobbied against having its employees placed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So Blackwater’s position was that they couldn’t be sued by civilians OR prosecuted in a military court. Thanks to Paul Bremer, the military contractors couldn't be prosecuted under Iraqi law, either. The Iraqis have since overturned Bremer's rule and have demanded that Blackwater be prosecuted for the deaths of 17 civilians in Baghdad. Last I heard, the FBI was investigating the case, but as far as I know it's still unclear where, if anywhere, the "contractors" will be tried.

LisaW wrote:
And, in the case of the hated Halliburton ... yeah, they've been given "no quote contracts" -- but check out who all did so. President William J. Clinton is on that list. Of course, seems a bit silly to go through a RFP and RFQ when there is only one organization actually doing what you asked. Have they been perfect? Of course not ... but if you don't like the job they are doing, suggest someone else to do the required work ......


RFPs might seem a "bit silly" to some people, but they exist for a good reason: to protect the taxpayer from profiteering and the soldiers from shoddy work. We’re paying unreasonable prices for, in many cases, a sh*t product--just ask the soldiers who drank untreated water or the ones who've been electrocuted in their showers. I don’t care which president started it and it doesn’t matter anyway. Administrations come and go—Washington insiders stick around forever, shuttling back and forth between jobs in the government, as lobbyists, and with military contractors. I think LLB is right--we are moving in the direction of corporate fascism. As for what to do about it . . . I wish I knew.

LisaW wrote:
This and several other threads are a mishmash ... but until you can keep Russia from attacking Georgia (or, if you are of that bend, Georgia from attacking Russia ... uh, yeah, right), Mugabe from decimating his own people, get rid of the Colombian drug runners, stop those working under a jihad to kill us and take away our way of life, you have to be very, very vigilant and prepared to protect -- either ourselves or others. The idea that the bigger guy is better prepared to win is many times enough to keep from having to prove it -- no sense poking that stick if the pokee bites, hard. And, until someone shows me someone better (and I'm pretty familiar with most of the major peoples and attitudes we have on this Earth now), I'd rather have the USA's attitudes in place than anyone else's.


What attitudes are you talking about here? Freedom, justice, democracy? Those are great if you're an American, not so much if you’re a foreigner who happens to get in the way of our national interest. If you’re living in the wrong place in the wrong time, the US will deny you any rights at all—including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Like those people living in Iran when we helped remove the democratically elected government and put the Shah in power. Or the Iraqis back when Saddam was our friend in the 80s. You wouldn't find much freedom or justice there, just a lot of fear and torture and, if you were really unlucky, poison gas dropped on your village—by a regime supported by the US. Sometimes we are the good guys—but sometimes we’re not. It’s up to the citizens of this country to know the difference and to take action when we’re headed down the wrong road.

LisaW wrote:
"Dr. McCoy: Spock, I've found that evil usually triumphs...unless good is very, very careful."


I couldn’t agree more. And the best place to start applying that is at home.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, shoot. Did I kill another topic? Embarassed Well, I guess I am a bit intense lately, it comes from reading too many books and seeing too many documentaries about the Iraq war. Maybe it's time time to pick up a romance and mellow out.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2479

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
Ah, shoot. Did I kill another topic? Embarassed Well, I guess I am a bit intense lately, it comes from reading too many books and seeing too many documentaries about the Iraq war. Maybe it's time time to pick up a romance and mellow out.


Many is the time I have felt the same LizE but I know it is not true.Wink You did not kill the conversation. It is end of summer and all conversation on the list seems to be dying to some extent as we all get ready for that dark time known as the "the school year". Crying or Very sad

But I totally agree with chilling out and reading a romance. I am reading "A Most Unconventional Match." Like it so far.

maggie b.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, maggie! I'll give it a try.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liz:

I appreciate your comments so thanks for your input. As much as I love America, one thing to remember is that our country always puts its interests first and foremost. Sometimes our interests coincides with the rest of the world and sometimes it doesn't. The Neocons approach to the 21st century as being the American century will prove to be disastrous. What disturbs me more than anything else is there desire to make our government so small that it becomes ineffectual that we might as well do away with it. All they want is a police force, military and banking system. Nothing else so where does that leave us? On our own with nothing. No safety net, no services, no semblance of the country we grew up in. Personally, I don't want to go there.

Karen
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