Wednesday, April 30, 2003

More On Deals With The Devil

The Scoop reports on Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, the company chosen to fight oil well fires in Iraq without competitive bidding.
Kellogg Brown & Root, the company chosen last month by the Pentagon to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq, has a long history of supporting the same terrorist regimes vilified by the Bush administration and on at least one occasion defrauded the United States government to the tune of $2 million, according to public documents.

Damning charges, if well founded, as they seem to be. Better yet, they've got a lineup of the "axis of evil" that Halliburton has cut deals with over the years.

Halliburton's dealings in six countries - Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria - show that the company's willingness to do business where human rights are not respected is a pattern that goes beyond its involvement in Burma.

I'm the last person to start making Halliburton out to be a criminal. I understand the corporate imperative, as currently sanctioned, and suscribe 100% to the pursuit of enlightened self-interest. The political side of it though rankles me, to the point where the hackles are raised. America is about freedom, and democracy, and integrity. And to sell this out for economic self-interest is not American.

The last thing we need is these guys floating back and forth from CEO of mega corporations to leadership positions in our republican democracy. We just don't. If you care to argue otherwise, bring it. I'll knock you down. Corporations and democracies by nature run diametrically opposed. It's time for the return of public servants and enlightened politician-diplomats in high American leadership positions, and the end of rule by corporate managers and agents of the military-industrial complex.