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Iraq: Who won the war?

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:03 PM
Original message
Iraq: Who won the war?
Not the 90,000 Iraqi civilians or the 4,200 US and UK troops killed since 2003. The big winners are the money men who have made billions. Raymond Whitaker and Stephen Foley report
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/ira...

Five years ago today, Britain stood on the brink of war. On 16 March 2003, United Nations weapons inspec-tors were advised to leave Iraq within 48 hours, and the "shock and awe" bombing campaign began less than 100 hours later, on 20 March. The moment the neocons around President George Bush had worked so long for, aided by the moral fervour of Tony Blair, was about to arrive.

(snip)
So, five years on, who can be said to have won the war? Certainly not Iraqi civilians, at least 90,000 of whom have died violently since 2003, at the most conservative estimate. Other studies have multiplied that figure by five or six. Two million Iraqis have fled the country, and at least as many again are internally displaced. Baghdad households suffered power cuts of up to eight hours a day in Saddam's time; now they can expect less than eight hours of electricity a day on average. The US troop "surge" has cut the number of murders, but there are still 26 a day in the capital. The list goes on.

(snip)
In early 2003, Mr Rumsfeld mused on what might be the cost of the war to come: $50bn (25bn) or $60bn, he and White House planners thought. Five years on, the bill is already 10 times that, while here the Commons Defence Committee has just warned of a "surprising" 52 per cent increase in the cost of operations in Iraq to nearly 1.45bn in the current financial year, despite the reductions in troop levels. An unprecedented amount has been funnelled to the private sector. The big winners have been the money men.

(snip)
At one point, ArmorGroup, chaired by the former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, was getting half its revenues from Iraq. It carried out convoy protection at rates estimated at between $8,000 and $12,000 a day, and helped to guard polling stations during the country's elections. By far the biggest winner of contracts in Iraq, though, is Halliburton, the oil and related services company run by Dick Cheney before he became US vice-president and a key architect of the war. The connections between the company and the Bush administration helped to generate $16bn in contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the three years from the start of 2004 nine times as much as any other company. Halliburton decided last year to spin off the division operating in Iraq. That business, KBR, has generated half its revenues there each year since the invasion, providing private security to the military and infrastructure projects and advising on the rebuilding of the country's oil industry.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Halliburton and Blackwater
everyone else lost.
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