CNN’s Money is reporting that Haliburton has won the contract to rebuild Iraqi oil fields. No real details are available but it seems that the Department of Defense is in charge of awarding the contract worth, according to Money estimates, 4-8 billion dollars. Haliburton is the company CEO’d by Dick Cheney before he became a vice-presidential candidate. It also made a killing doing similiar work in Kuwait under Cheney (then former Secretary of Defense under Bush I). The subsidiary involved is Root & Brown. These folks also build military facilities and are involved in various support activities involved in both the Iraq war and the war on terrorism.
Meanwhile, The Arab League’s 22 member states voted to demand American and Britain leave Iraq immediately and called the war illegal. Libya’s foreign minister got a standing ovation when he spoke of Iraq’s bravery in resisting aggression. Voting along with Libya and Iraq are such regional troublemakers as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They’re also calling for an emergency meeting of the security council. The one abstention was Kuwait who wanted mention made of the Iraqi missiles lobbed at them - still, even Kuwait didn’t vote against the measure.
I just caught an update on this. Haliburton got the contract to “put out the fires and rebuild the infrastructure.” I don’t mind this so much because they did the job in Kuwait 10 years ago. I saw a documentary on it and, man, I doubt those Dutch companies could put out those fires.
Here’s a thought: The world doesn’t want the war. The world won’t help rebuld Iraq. The world wants our money when something happens to them. The world wants our assistance when they get fucked. The world comes to us when they have a problem. The world always wants a piece of the reward but isn’t willing to put out any effort for it.
Do we see a bit of a hypocritical cycle here? Gee, Jason, did you ever stop to think how sad it is that France won’t assist in the war, and certainly won’t help rebuild Iraq unless they get a piece of the pie? Or did that not cross your little pro-everywhere-but-America mind?
I largely agree – although if we handle the diplomacy well, they might help rebuild Iraq.
I think this is just the price of being the one remaining superpower. People know we have economic strength and overwhelming military superiority. Other countries don’t like it, but they also know sometimes we’re the only ones who can solve certain “problems”.
Man, I think Halliburton should have been disqualified from bidding due to their past connection with Cheney.
I’d prefer to see much of the rebuilding done by Iraqi firms. We could give them an initial injection of cash, but they can finance the rest with their own oil money. The U.S. should get out as soon as possible.
It’s not like companies that can perform this type of task are a dime a dozen. This is going to take a huge amount technical expertise and managerial skills. If we want it done quickly, we are going to need a lot of skilled labor applied in parallel. I hate to be negative here, but I seriously doubt there are any “Iraqi firms” that could handle anything near the scope of what we’ll be trying to do. Worldwide, you could probably count the number of firms on one hand.
Clearly it smells awful that Cheney’s old company is winning a major contract whether or not there’s anything nefarious about it and qualifications aside. We already have a frigging huge credibility gap in the world and the last thing we need is to look like the profiteers and exploiters everyone already thinks we are. If we use Iraqi oil, managed by ourselves and American firms, to fund a reconstruction that’s handled by big American corporations then, well, how do you think it looks? Maybe the average Iraqi is better off than before but the folks over there are keenly aware of being commercially exploited by colonial powers before directly and foreign capitalist energy concerns indirectly. We’re not exactly trusted, our close alliance with Israel doesn’t help here, and the British are best known for drawing up the maps that made these messes in the first place.
Yes, Haliburton’s contract seems pretty limited but the fact is that most of Iraq’s oil infrastructure is far overdue for modernization. These guys are going to be raking in massive profits. And I’ll bet they’ve kept the old CEO chair warm for our dear vice president.
Strange that CNN Money reports about this two weeks after the fact. And now that I think about it, Jello Biafra ranted about it when I went to hear him speak (err. Rant…) a month ago. Of course, it doesn’t stop there- if you look back a few years, Haliburton- while Cheney was CEO, mind you- did extensive business with Saddam, violating those Precious Sanctions he’s always on about. Why no one picks up on any of this is anyone’s guess…
They’re certain to use local labor for construction/modernization. They aren’t going to ship in American, unionized contruction workers when they can get locals for pennies on the dollar. Lots of American Engineers and specialists. though.
It’s hard to fault them for choosing a company with so much experience in the field. You’d rather we hand contracts to French ass-holes? Or the Bin Laden family?