Movie Review: Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers

Not that you need another reason to despise the useless, senseless, unjust waste of human life known as the "war" in Iraq, but here is an interesting film that shows just how bad those government contractors like Haliburton and KBR are at actually protecting our soldiers and providing them with essential things like food and clean drinking water.

"Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" is a 75 minute 2006 documentary by Robert Greenwald, who has also directed films like "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. This is a guy who doesn't pull any punches and delivers a powerful film that illustrates in easy to understand facts and figures just how the private corporatization of our military has corrupted and destroyed America's image as being the good guys.

A lot of people feel that the private sector does things more economically and more efficiently than our bureaucratic military might be able to do. However this film shows quite clearly that this is not the case.

The allure of companies like KBR is the money. A truck driver, for example, typically make 4-5 times what a soldier in the Army would make doing the same job. But of course, there's a catch: that pesky "war zone" thing. This film shows that the employees of these private companies are placed in harms way on a daily basis, with little or no concern for their own personal safety: No armor, the men weren't allowed to carry guns, there was little in the way of security... and these guys are rolling semi trucks through towns where people shoot at them.

Halliburton made $2 billion in net profit last year and their stock has quadrupled in value since the start of the "war on terrorism."

KBR cleared $168 million.

Blackwater Security (you may have heard of them, they've been in the news a little lately) made 21 million just babysitting US ambassador Paul Bremmer. They are now handed $200 million dollar contracts like its no big deal.

All of these were contracts without anyone else bidding. And it doesn't seem to matter if they overcharge a little bit here and there (to the tune of $1 billion from Halliburton). Since the Vice President of the United States was the former CEO of the company and continues to receive "deferred compensation" while also retaining stock options in Halliburton, there has been little to no oversight into the issue.

If this issue makes you mad - if you are incensed at the fact that private corporations are taking advantage of the US taxpayers and the fact that there is hardly any oversight into their actions, dont just sit there talking about how horrible it is: do something about it.

Brave New Films, the company that put "Iraq for Sale" together has assembled a series of things you can do to ensure that the way the government conducts business changes. The first thing is to screen the film. Find a location where the film is screening and get other people to watch it. If there are no places nearby that the film is showing, host a screening party yourself. Brave New Films will show you everything you need to know.

And if you want to do more, they have assembled an action guide comprised of 10 different companies that are actively fighting for change and end war profiteering. Go to their website and select any of the companies listed for further information.

Its up to the citizens of the United States to use their vocal chords to voice their concern to the people that have been elected to do our bidding.

As former president Dwight David Eisenhower said,

"Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together. "

Watch a clip of the movie below:

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