With the drums of war beating for Iran, too few questions are being asked. There are striking similarities with how the United States entered the war with Iraq. Remember how we entered Iraq based on the premise of weapons of mass destruction? We even had mysterious covert sources passing on information about the weapons, but we never found a trace when the boots were on the ground.
Now we have reports that Iran is trying to construct a nuclear arsenal with nothing to back it up except distorted quotes and grainy satellite imagery. The way many in the American public will eat this up just goes to show how quick we are to disregard other peoples’ lives for the sake of how we believe the world should be or for our own minor conveniences.
So who exactly is responsible for beating the drums of war, and what do they want? Some may point to extreme political Zionism and note the conflict between Israel and Iran. While I am sure this may play some part – or at least plays a convenient role to pandering support – there must be deeper roots to this issue. As I say with almost everything in politics: follow the money.
Following the destruction and occupation of Iraq, megacorporations came out rolling in the riches and a country was arguably left teetering in a worse position than before. These corporations include Halliburton, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and numerous oil giants. Most of these companies were involved in the sale of arms, financing, and rebuilding efforts.
Halliburton is principle among these and according to Business Pundit, raked in a whopping $17.2 billion for “the construction and maintenance of military bases, oil field repairs, and various infrastructure rebuilding projects across the war-torn nation” from 2003-2006 alone. Another company that profited greatly was Bechtel, the largest construction and engineering firm in the county. The name may sound familiar: Bechtel led the Big Dig project here in Boston, which ballooned from $2 billion to about $15 billion under their lead. As with the Big Dig, many projects in Iraq are running over budget and behind schedule. Some projects are being abandoned before they’re completed, including the rebuilding of a major hospital, but the contractor is always paid.
With big contracts and cronyism opportunities abound, it is imperative that we take a look at just who is beating the drums of war. Money talks in American politics. I do not wish to make baseless accusations, but we should face facts: the premise of the Iraq war was an outright lie that looked shaky at best and some very well-connected contractors cashed some obscenely large checks. The current rhetoric about Iran has even less credibility, and I suspect the cost will be much greater.
Iran is more developed and far more advanced than Iraq was; an invasion will not be easy. The toll on our military and our deficit will be far greater than what we’ve already seen. The American military industrial complex is alive and well, so lets not be fooled.