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The Forum > Article Comments > The pitfalls of privatising war > Comments

The pitfalls of privatising war : Comments

By Madeleine Byrne, published 12/4/2005

Madeleine Byrne argues the involvement of the corporate sector in the Iraq war and at home requires scrutiny.

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Unfortunately, privatization - of anything - has assumed the status of a sacred cow in the capitalist world-view. Or perhaps, to be more accurate, it is the hammer in the expression "to a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

Without any but the most cursory controls and balances, private contractors are invited by governments to look after the education of our children, the oversight of our prison population, the building of our road infrastructure, the management of our airports... the list is seemingly endless.

The first thing to leave the equation is common decency and morality, as the component parts of the operation are reduced to economic units. Once that is achieved, schoolchildren, prisoners, commuters and airline passengers alike become numbers in a profit-and-loss report. To be processed with an eye to the highest revenue-per-unit coupled with the lowest cost-per-unit.

Having to conform to societal and behavioural norms costs money. Rules have to be established, compliance monitoring has to be conducted, all that wussy stuff.

Unfortunately, the penalty for anyone who points this out is to be instantly branded a weak-kneed tree-hugging pinko. Hairy-chested capitalists from in front of every television set across the land scoff in unison at the idea that these companies need to be asked to behave themselves in a civilized fashion.

Where's the profit in that?
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 12 April 2005 2:42:20 PM
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It is more than likely that most wars are fought so that the attacker can gain the spoils, and in the case of the latest Iraq war, it was probably a war planned well before 9/11.

“Day one, these things were laid and sealed.” O'Neill will say officials never questioned the logic behind this policy. No one ever asked, “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” Instead, the issue that needed to be resolved was how this could be accomplished. “It was all about finding a way to do it,” O'Neill will explain. “That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this.’ ”

Iraq had few financial resources except oil, and there would be two possible financial reasons why the US wanted to conquer Iraq.
1. To obtain its oil
2. To stop other countries from obtaining its oil

An important question is which country will be next, and what reasons will be given. Or maybe the US does not want any more wars in the immediate future, but instead has placed Wolfowitz as the head of the World Bank

“So you see why it makes perfect sense to have Wolfowitz at the World Bank. He's terrific at doing wars, and wars are much more profitable than nickel-and-dime industrial projects. That's the way the world works. Always has been.”
Posted by Timkins, Wednesday, 13 April 2005 12:07:19 PM
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