It’s not often I’ll agree with Ron Paul. The Republican/Libertarian has, by the very nature of his ideology, suggested that the only role government should have is an invisible one. He also criticizes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, fought for an end to all regulations on businesses, and as recently as the last Republican debate, suggested that airlines are best equipped to stop terrorism. All things I strongly disagree with.
But on his website, Ron Paul wrote about his feelings on the 10th year anniversary of September 11th, and something he said had me nodding in agreement. He said;
We should never forget those in our government who used the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history as an excuse to launch completely unrelated wars, to do unprecedented damage to Americans’ historic liberties, to run roughshod over the Constitution, and to betray the Founders’ vision by savaging some of our most deeply held values.
A clear swipe to the Bush Administration who, instead of using the opportunity of September 11th to get the terrorists responsible for killing almost 3,000 people, preached fear to the American people and began a war with Iraq, a country that had no link to the destruction caused by Osama Bin Laden.
The war in Iraq ended up costing the lives of thousands of American troops, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and over $1 trillion. But war is a business, and someone made millions from the decision to use September 11th as the reason to invade Iraq.
Dick Cheney – the Vice President in Bush’s Administration, and one of the most influential voices for the war in Iraq – was CEO of a company call Haliburton. Dick Cheney insisted that he severed all ties with Haliburton in 2000, but after the war started in Iraq, Haliburton was awarded no-bid contracts worth millions for “rebuilding Iraq.”
In 2004, Cheney appeared on Meet The Press and was asked about his relationship with his former company, to which more denials were given. But Time Magazine uncovered internal Pentagon emails proving that Cheney was not being the least bit honest. According to the report, the emails showed that these no-bid contracts were going through Cheney’s office. From the report;
The e-mail says Feith approved arrangements for the contract “contingent on informing WH [White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP’s [Vice President’s] office.” Three days later, the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton the contract, without seeking other bids.
So yes, in this particular case, I wholeheartedly agree with Ron Paul. The war in Iraq was not one of necessity, but one of choice. There were billions of dollars to be made, and no-bid contracts by unscrupulous government officials was the way to do it.
And the lives lost in the process? Cheney recently said that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t change a thing. In other words, in war you lose some then you lose some more. But the profits gained… priceless!