Tuesday, March 01, 2005

War Profiteering and Operation Human Shields

Last night we heard some first hand stories about NGO corruption in Iraq. Lots of people are getting rich off of the blood and oil of the Iraqis, and the looting is not limited to the Halliburtons, Titans, and the rest of the mercenaries.

Forgive me, I hate to make this comparison, but what i heard yesterday (the like of which I have heard time and time again), prompts me to ask it: Are the activists and NGOs who come to Iraq as "saviors" and in turn use the suffering of the Iraqis as the basis for building their own fame and yes, sometimes fortune, all that much different, for example, than the people working as sub-contractors for the State Department or Bechtel Corp? Both types are quick to feed you some line about working for the betterment of the Iraqis, and both leave with more money and greater cultural capital/sense of moral superiority than they did when they went to Iraq.

anyway, this whole thing about stolen funds (or mis-managed funds, if i want to be generous), put me in a sore mood, and as usual when i feel awful about the state of the world, i tend to look to things to make me feel, well, worse.

which brings me to this Feb. 27th entry on a soldier's blog . This brave soldier, who brags that "insurgents are NO match for us in a confrontation" and tells us of the "VERY big guns" at their disposal. And yet, despite all his macho bragging, this is what he tells us he will be resorting to: "I'm going to probably buy alot of candy when I goto the PX in the camp. That way, I can hand it out to the kids. They'll be more likely to help us avoid things we wouldn't otherwise be able to avoid if not for them."

of all the cowardly, dispicable things that have happened during the war on iraq, you can add using children as human shields to the list. and we know it is not the first time it has happened either. (read a commentary of that event here)

please dont try to excuse this kind of behavior by telling me that the soldiers are just trying to be nice,because even if they are, it places innocent children in the line of fire. anyway, this dude doesnt seem to have any qualms about luring kids with candy, and as the practice has not been prohibited, it seems that those in charge approve of it.