Since World War II, dozens of U.S. companies have made a "killing" from military conflict. President Dwight David Eisenhower was the first to refer to these companies as the "military industrial complex." The financial and political clout of these companies has risen and waned through the years, depending on who was in power and what the international climate was like.
Whatever one thinks of the morality or necessity of our war in Iraq, one thing is undeniable: certain well-placed companies are making millions of dollars off the war. Two companies with close ties to the Bush and Cheney families that are reaping huge profits are the Halliburton Company and the Carlyle Group.
The Carlyle Group is so proficient at raking in government contracts that it is often referred to as the "Ex-Presidents Club." Some of the West's biggest and most powerful political leaders are helping to guide Carlyle through the muddy waters of governmental red tape and are reaping huge benefits in the process.
Carlyle's movers and shakers include such heavyweights as Former Secretary of State James Baker, Ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, Former President George H.W. Bush, and Former British Prime Minister John Major. President G.W. Bush has also held board membership. What is even more fascinating is that the bin Laden family was an investor in Carlyle.
Carlyle also has direct links to the Saudi royal family and has been directly involved in training Saudi troops to protect oil fields. It also helped build Saudi Arabia's national guard from 26,000 to over 70,000 troops. The link between Carlyle and Saudi Arabia is so strong that some have called Carlyle a "front" organization for the Saudi royal family.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Carlyle Group has reaped millions of dollars from government contracts on things such as cleaning up anthrax-infected buildings, including the Hart Senate Office Building, making X-ray scanners, providing logistics support to the U.S. military, making metal-bond structures in fighter jets and missiles, and providing employee background checks for the government.
Another well-connected company that is greatly profiting from the Iraq War is Halliburton, a company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. A Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root, just received a government contract to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq. According to Forbes Magazine, no other company was even allowed to bid on the contract. This contract alone is worth tens of millions of dollars.
Therefore, while our war in Iraq is costing billions of dollars to America's taxpayers and is also costing many American families the ultimate sacrifice of lost sons and daughters, certain well- connected companies are reaping huge profits and benefits. I sincerely hope and pray that these connections are merely circumstantial and not intentional.
© Chuck Baldwin
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