Saturday, August 25, 2007

No profit in patriotism

From "The Great Iraq Swindle" at Rolling Stone

According to the most reliable ­estimates, we have doled out more than $500 billion for the war, as well as $44 billion for the Iraqi reconstruction effort. And what did America's contractors give us for that money? They built big steaming shit piles, set brand-new trucks on fire, drove back and forth across the desert for no reason at all and dumped bags of nails in ditches. For the most part, nobody at home cared, because war on some level is always a waste. But what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future. If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where's the incentive to deliver success? There's no profit in patriotism, no cost-plus angle on common decency. Sixty years after America liberated Europe, those are just words, and words don't pay the bills.
Col. Ted Westhusing - a man who futilely tried to put a stop to such corruption -commit suicide because there was no profit in patriotism. The LA Times reported that a military psychologist told them that Westhusing's flaw was that he "struggled with the idea that monetary values could outweigh moral ones in war."

No profit in patriotism. It makes me sick to even think it.

And what makes me even sicker is thinking of all the times this administration and/or its defenders have acted as if anything other than blind allegiance to President Bush will result with the United States of America becoming an Islamofascist state.

Especially when stuff like this is the reality.

Pork and waste. Six years after the fall of the Twin Towers, the devastating blow to the Pentagon, and the inspiring courage of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, anti-terrorism funding is an exercise in pork-barrel spending and high-profile projects of dubious value.

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