Iraqi invasion yields lucrative contracts for U.S. companies |

Iraqi invasion yields lucrative contracts for U.S. companies

Dear Editor,

Just before the war, President Bush appointed Riley Bechtel to advise the government on how to create markets for American companies overseas. Subsequently, Bechtel was awarded a $600 million Iraq reconstruction contract.

Since Vice President Cheney still owns stock in Halliburton, he will benefit from the $292 million in Iraq-related revenue reported for the second quarter. Halliburton’s contracts alone will cost taxpayers an estimated $2 billion.

American taxpayers are also paying $4.8 million to Stevedoring Services of America for management of the Umm Qasr port and $2.5 million to Skylink Air and Logistic Support Inc. to manage Iraq’s airports. Keep in mind that these functions were formerly handled by very competent Iraqi firms.

After the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqis rebuilt hundreds of bridges, buildings, communications and power grids. Despite the ability of Iraqis to rebuild their own country, contracts worth billions have been awarded to American companies.

When the Coalition Provisional Authority wanted estimates for replacing the New Diyala Bridge in Baghdad, a prominent Iraqi engineering company bid $300,000, which included plans, locally acquired materials and labor. But the bridge contract was given to an American company whose estimate, using imported materials and labor, was around $50 million!

Absent any credible evidence of an imminent threat to the United States, it is now clear that the war in Iraq was purely a financial venture designed to enrich the corporate-connected thieves in the White House, at the expense of the Iraqi economy and the American taxpayer.

Sue Gray


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