September 19, 2007

468 words 3 mins read

Review – Iraq For Sale

I recently got the documentary "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" which turned out to be very interesting. I don't follow much of the regular news, I find it too depressing. I know there has been a lot of hoopla about the use of Private Military Contractors (PMC) in the U.S's recent war. Understandably so, because what a PMC is to the layman is a [Mercenary][1]. Now that isn't completely true in the Iraq war, because not every PMC, that we (the citizens of the US) are paying for, is fighting.

What really caught my interest in the documentary was not the section on Blackwater. Blackwater is, for those that don’t know, is a very large PMC that provides guns for hire. The reason why this documentary really caught my interest was how the non-combatant companies were making money — by screwing our soldiers. The docu covers the running of EMPTY transport convoys (which required armed escort). Purchasing $80,000 trucks and not installing an oil filter, just so they could blow it up and buy a new one (yes — the companies literally blew up trucks that were damaged). The sub-safe water their “water treatment plants” provided to our soldiers (bad enough to make them seriously ill, or kill them). The $100 baskets of laundry. So on and so forth.

The main fact that will really shock people who (like myself) haven’t been paying close attention to this situation is that our government reimburses “justified” costs plus a certain percentage to make a profit for the PMCs. So the companies are thrown money hand over fist. Hell, there is no reason for the PMC’s to “save” money at all. They have every reason to spend more. Great Example? When putting up people, instead of putting them up at a 1-star hotel, they’d put them up at a 5-star hotel. Because they knew that not only would they get reimbursed, the “profit” percentage would be an even larger chunk. They make money by wasting our (Citizens of the US) tax dollars.

“Iraq For Sale”, the documentary, is only about an hour and change long. If nothing else, turn it on to listen to (you don’t really need to watch it). I’d really suggest this movie to anyone in the US that wants to know some of the truth behind PMCs. If you’ve got Netflix, rent it (click the link, click “add”. 2 steps, very easy). If not, I put up the “Buy From Amazon” link. It is all of $13 as of this writing, and I think it is defenetly worth that much. Show it to your friends, family, etc. It might not be a summer blockbuster, but I can assure you — things do get blown up. And you learn something too!

Oh, and obligatory link to IraqForSale.Org.