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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > War > Exploitation > Iraq For Sale – The War Profiteers (2006/Documentary)

Iraq For Sale – The War Profiteers (2006/Documentary)

 

Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B     Documentary: B

 

 

Only now that Democrats have taken over both houses of Congress, there is a “sudden” report and mainstream media news interest in the expenditures taking place in Iraq.  It is “shocking” they say and after tens of billions (with a ‘B’) have disappeared, questions are “being asked” from a “report” that has “broken” this “unbelievable” news.  Well, it is far from new news and Robert Greenwald’s remarkable documentary Iraq For Sale – The War Profiteers (2006) is easily one of the best of the year, even though it joins Who Killed The Electric Car? as among a list that did not get a Best Documentary Oscar nomination.

 

One complaint about Vietnam was the idea of staying in an area and in an unwinnable conflict to sell things and cover it up with a conflict considered both necessary and patriotic.  Right-wing rollback groups have been trying to eliminate Vietnam Syndrome ever since starting with their think tanks in 1973, Neo-Conservatism since 1980 and building a propaganda machine to quell dissent.  This has culminated into what the second Bush Administration has done since the growingly suspicious events of 9/11.  Now, no matter what you think of 9/11, the wasted lives and American money that is borrowed from China (forget the tax dollars, since they are already spent) to conduct the sloppiest military operation in U.S. history.

 

Why?  So Bush could appease his Religious Right friends who want to see The Rapture in the return of Jesus?  So Donald “good job Rummy” Rumsfeld can experiment with lightly armored U.S. troops in small groups to conduct operations multiplying both the dangers and obstacles to success to “see what would happen” at a time when there should be no fooling around?  To hide from the public that entire mall complexes for the military are being built that look much longer like places for permanent stays that a military operation most Americans want done ASAP?

 

The mainstream media has not only ignored this beyond belief in their greatest journalistic failure ever, but has some of this blood on their hands.  Some journalists being injured or killed is incidental to this.  This runs a strongly compelling 90 minutes and we see this empty check money paying for cars that are incinerated when they are no longer operational, though these cars have the quickest death rate in motor vehicle production history because they do not change the oil on these vehicles after initial use!

 

You read that right.  They don’t go to soldiers, Iraqis or anyone who could use them, since the next vehicles will be free.  What about bathrooms that are never clean for the troops?  Clothes that cost $99 a load to do and come back dirty, none of which you are allowed as a solider to clean yourself because of contracts?  $45 per can of Soda Pop that soldiers could get free elsewhere and was not even imported but made with dirty water there?  And water so dirty that you lose track of all the disease soldiers bathed in and who knows what else?  And what about those no-bid contracts?  Don’t Neo-Conservatives always talk about free enterprise?  Is that not contradictory?  The con artist line is that companies like Halliburton do what no one else can do.  Just what is that?  Steal money with ease because Vice President Cheney used to be their CEO?  They have reported strategic losses, but that is just cookin’ the books.  We see the best layout yet of their corruption, including their own subdivisions who also do their dirty work.  Where is the rebuilding going on?  Nowhere!

 

Worst of all is the establishment of companies like Blackwater, a new security firm that is part of this not-too-clever “outsourcing” that only seems to benefit friends of the Bushes and Cheneys.  Besides the name potentially being a sick joke (the Whitewater scandal never turned into one for The Clintons) politically speaking, they and similar companies that have “suddenly materialized all of the sudden” have been hired at for more billions to do the dirty work of the administration to get around the Geneva Conventions of human rights standards for prisoners of war since a private security firm would not be bound like U.S. Soldiers in their behavior.  Again, when did you hear of this on the news?  And when any soldiers did anything bad, all they were doing was reflecting the immorality of the lack of leadership all the way to the top.  And you think this is not about oil?  The program also tells us about less-covered but equally sanctioned profiteering outfits like CACI and Titan.

 

And that is just the tip of the iceberg in this very thorough piece of balanced, fair and thorough journalism that just begins to document why The Bush Administration took one of the ugliest crisis in U.S. history and turned into the great piece of war profiteering ever.  We are now less safe and secure than ever and if the U.S. should suffer, it will effect everyone but this rich new neo-elite who could care less who dies.  Getting to charge for each truck trip as a shipping job, empty vehicles are being constantly sent across Iraq in the most dangerous places just to pump up the bill to the U.S. and many have been unnecessarily killed just to line someone else’s pockets.  All this from people who never even fought in a war and then they turn around and talk about sacrifice.  All the companies responsible are featured.  We look forward to a few sequels!

 

The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image is rough as expected for a documentary and that some of the footage is in as good a shape as it is in is amazing, but the content far outdoes any image flaws, smartly edited into this fine piece.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is often stereo, though some sources are obviously limited.  Extras include a strong full-length audio commentary by Greenwald, an abridged version of the film for crash study purposes and the featurettes "U.K. Confidential", "Important Votes" and "The Invisible Workforce".

 

For more strong documentary work by Greenwald, read about Unprecedented at the following link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/162/Unprecedented:+The+2000+Presidential+Election+(Documentary)

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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