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Perpetual war for perpetual profit

By Jordanna Thigpen

September 24, 2006

There are plaintive and increasingly desolate cries coming from all corners, all faiths, all disciplines, for an end to the war in Iraq. It is time for the public resources that are being misspent in the private sector to be returned to the American people - but we must have an active plan for domestic improvement, if we are to avoid economic disaster.

The modern United States was built because of war. World War II caused housing and infrastructure to be built. It created the military-industrial complex, an unholy alliance which is now transforming our country into a nation dependent on perpetual war for its survival. Yet, where would our country be, if not for World War II? And where would it be, if not for the war in Iraq?

Everyone sells something to somebody. This country is now selling war.

What industry is left? Garish and fickle tourism, subject to the whims of international polity and fluctuations in major currencies? High technology, established now and soon in "developing" nations? Chemical and plastics production, shifting even from Louisiana?

There is nothing left. The high cost of health care, of living wages, of our very American existence, has forced every viable industry to make the mundane choice of profits over people. And it will continue to happen, until we agree to look at the reasons why.

By September 30, 2006, the war in Iraq is scheduled to cost this country $318.5 billion. Contractors of all stripes are raking in money - from 2002 to 2004, Kellogg, Brown, & Root (a subsidiary of Halliburton) pulled in $11.4 billion, although it has been under investigation by the General Accounting Office for non-performance of work and severe accounting problems.

Calling KBR's actions in Iraq incompetent is simply too kind. There are many egregious issues with the Iraq contract system, too numerous to mention here - but you see for yourself at the Center for Public Integrity.

The war in Iraq is the most perfect and exquisite example of war profiteering that has ever occurred. Perhaps I am spending my precious youth as a cynic, but the handwriting's been on the wall so long it's faded.

The war in Iraq is truly, madly, just for money.

What is of grave concern - what should give everyone pause - is that a sequel to the war in Iraq is being pitched up in some corners: a nuclear weapon may be unleashed on Iran. The fact that there are even whispers of such an act is evidence that this administration is entirely and completely out of control.

In the chronicles of human existence, there is no excuse for the nuclear option.

The only responsible thing to do at this point is for our country to take the billions it is spending on this desperate fiasco and re-direct the spending to domestic programs. Re-build our own cities and towns, starting with New Orleans.

Re-build our fine schools, from K to beyond. Prioritize grants in everything from the arts to physics, so that the young can develop ideas to sustain this country and help us evolve past perpetual war.

Our entire world economy depends on a robust United States. But it does not have to be a United States that is engaged in a fifteen-year Crusades - Part 2000.

District 6 resident Jordanna Thigpen is an attorney, small business owner and President of the San Francisco Small Business Commission. You can usually find her at work and she doesn't get to Ocean Beach often enough. Email Jordanna at jgthigpen@gmail.com.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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