September 30, 2006

Stop Merchants of Death

September 29, 2006
University of St. Thomas

Friday nite “Iraq for Sale” Movie by director Robert Greenwals
About 150 people attended.

Intro by Marv Davidov and Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, who gave us some of the economic dictates visited on Iraq, handed down by Paul Bremer.

The Film: Mostly about “Private security firms”. CACI, Titan ‘Black water, Etc.

Focus on U.S. loss of life.. How people were “duped” into trusting the corporations.

Also Halliburton & KBR
Families convinced that corporations knew that men were in danger of death

Attacking “no bid”. Contracts -”un-American.. “

How troops were suffering from lack of clean water, E.g..
One hour wait for food –Halliburton won’t go to 24 hour shift.
$45 for case of soda $100 for bag of laundry
Halliburton workers live in luxury, and were being paid at the same time. “Cost plus” contracts.

Get wrong equipment – burn. & destroy the equipment – buy new material.

No oversight from Congress.
“Their greed goes against our grain” “The profiteers will not easily turn into patriots.”
“Ws have to take our country back.”

After the Film

The “Time Line” is introduced by Mimi LaValley.
Two rows of butcher paper, with years marked off.
One charts the progress of the “Merchants of Death”
The other charts the progress of the resistance
Begins in 1900, ends in 2011 – 5 years from this conference
Throughout the Conference, people will keep adding to the Time Line.
By the end of the Conference, we hope to have realistic projections for resistance in the future.

Panel Discussion: Deidre Hughes, Moderator

Frida Berrigan: Speaks about her work, remarks that, 15 years after the end of the Cold War, we’re spending more on nukes now than then.

Gives dates for Time Line:
First Gulf War 1991, for every 100 soldiers, 1 private contractor
Cheney as Sec’y of Defense
1991 Hires a then-small company, Halliburton, to study the Feasibility of privatizing military logistics.
1992 report back: “privatizing is great.”
1992 – Cheney returns to private life
1995 – becomes CEO of Halliburton. Connections to both US AND Middle East leaders.
1995-2005 – Halliburton goes from 87th in Pentagon’s top 100 contractors, to 7th (with
$12 in contracts).
2000 – contract with KBR: within 72 hours of any military action, KBR will be there to serve. “Cost plus” Contract with bonuses – and the bonuses are figured as COST of job.
2001 – now for every 100 soldiers, 10 private contracts. – paid for by “emergency supplements,” rammed through Congress.
Hidden human and economic costs.

MacGregor Eddy
Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Noted that the Battle for Gettysburg, the North won because they had a hill
Space is the ultimate “hill”

In the Gulf War I, there was 1 US casualty for every 1,000 Iraqi deaths.

Now the military wants to reduce that to 1 US casualty for every 10,000 deaths
“Technological bullying”

War from Space.

Loring Wirbel
Citizens for Peace in Space

“We hide the blood better” with civilian contractors

In Colorado, they are used to link between private military contractors vs. contractors that build and make things.
New distinction: “newcomers” don’t make anything, they just devise systems.
So L-M, Boeing, etc.,

Colorado Religious Industrial Military Educational Complex

3 fronts:
Col. Springs (don’t worry about Cheyenne MT).
Schriever Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base;
also Northern Command Homeland Security
Omaha also getting Strategic Command

Downtown Denver: Buckley Intelligence Base (no room to grow)
So: contract out the secret information from satellites,
To L-M, SAIC, N-G,

Expansion of Fort Carson to 3 million acres – for training of soldiers.

David Meiran

Comment on film: both strong and weak: Appeal to mainstream audience.

No mention neoconservative, WTO, Corporate Globalization

We need to know this, because then we could join with anti-globalization forces.

Active and passive war profiteers
Back end and front end war profiteers.

Importance of activism
Note: Houston Global Awareness & Halliburton Watch influential in compelling the Pentagon to cut no-bid contracts for Halliburton.


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