Making war is making money

Am I hallucinating, or is it really happening? Is it possible that Bush Inc. is now so pumped up on its own hubris that Bush, Cheney & Co. no longer care about how things look, that they can engage in blatant conflicts of interest, public opinion be damned? But it is happening – what I’m seeing is not a hallucination ... it’s Halliburton.

Yes, Dick’s old company! You might recall that Cheney had been head of the Pentagon during Bush the First’s war against Saddam Hussein. In that job, he oversaw the destruction of much of Iraq’s infrastructure, including in its oil fields.

After Bush the Elder lost his re-election bid, Cheney parachuted safely to Halliburton, Inc. – the huge oilfield and military construction giant. As CEO, he tripled the amount of government money flowing into Halliburton, and he even got Iraqi contracts to repair some of the damage to the oilfields that he helped cause.

Then came George W., and Uncle Dick signed on as the Veep for Bush Inc., accepting a payout of some $40 million from Halliburton – sort of a sweet goodbye kiss.

Inside the White House, Cheney was an early and zealous proponent of whomping ol’ Saddam some more, including the use of heavy bombing to destroy this hapless country’s infrastructure once again.

Not to worry, though, say the Bushites to the Iraqi people, for we’re going to spend billions to repair all of your oilfields, schools, hospitals, roads, and other basics. In fact, we’ve already awarded the first contract for rebuilding Iraq’s oil fields. Guess who got it? Yes! Believe it or not, Bush Inc. shamelessly awarded the first pile of Iraqi reconstruction money to Dick’s old company.

It’s not a hallucination ... it’s Halliburton.

The Pentagon refuses to disclose how much of our tax money Halliburton is getting, and it won’t say how Halliburton was chosen, asserting that such information is classified.

In Bush Inc., you never really leave CorporateWorld; you just find new ways to serve.



Radio talk-show host and author Jim Hightower is a former Texas agricultural commissioner.