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War and profit

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:(Re: Nicholas D. Kristof, “Unbearable emptiness,” Times column, July 29.)When the hawks tell us that the Iraq war was worth the price, the question inevitably arises: For whom? Certainly not for our fallen soldiers, who, as Kristof points out, hail predominantly from working-class families.The only Americans getting some kind of boon from this war are Halliburton and other corporations that have a vested interest in keeping our economy and our foreign policy subservient to the profits of big oil and of the newly privatized military industry.This profitability works both ways. The “soldiers of fortune” who make up the work force of this privatized military are starting to look a lot like the “unlawful combatants,” whose ambiguous legal status – accountable to no one – was just debated by the Supreme Court last month.When Rep. Meehan introduced the Contractor Accountability Act in Congress, he described the role of this privatized army in the following terms: “We don’t know whether the Pentagon is using civilian contractors simply because they want to disguise the size of the war, or because they are deliberately avoiding accountability.”As we have seen from a number of cases involving this administration, finding fresh and exciting ways of avoiding accountability has ushered in a whole new era of sweetheart deals that are proving to be just as rewarding for corporate interests as they are for the politicians who sponsor them.Joel BrenceAspen


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