When Donald Rumsfeld set about to “modernize” and reduce the size of the US military, he was actually working to more fully privatize and monetize the US military. As taxpayers, what we get is less bang for the buck, literally.
The direct costs of the Iraq war are well over 442 billion dollars to date, and this figure does not include veterans care or benefits, lifetime medical costs for seriously inured and maimed troops, mental health care, re-equipping the military and repairing damaged equipment, the construction and maintenance of massive, permanent military complexes all over Iraq, and unaccountable future “blowback costs” associated with increased anti-US violence and terrorism. It also does not include hidden costs (black ops, covert initiatives, bribes to foreign officials, etc.), of which we know little or nothing other than they are certainly adding significantly to the overall costs of the occupation of Iraq.
This is the another in a long line of neo-con con-jobs on the American people. The US spends more taxpayer dollars on the military than all other nations combined, but where does all that money go? Powerful people are getting very rich on the war and occupation at both the troop’s, and taxpayer’s expense.
The Rove Chicken-Hawk Military Formula: Declare that “Democrats want to cut and run”, then say “the President supports the troops”, and then cut veterans benefits and leave the troops in harm’s way without an occupation strategy or an exit strategy. Don’t forget to save money by under-equipping the troops so you can hire a hundred and thirty thousand expensive contractors to do military jobs. Halliburton’s profits are through the roof. The military industrial complex is loving this war.
The neo-cons will keep attacking the Democrats for “not supporting the troops” if they cut off the Halliburton gravy train, while all the time stifling military concerns about over-deployments, under-equipment, and the unaccountability of military contractors who are creating new enemies in Iraq much faster than we can deal with them.
So the reason that our troops are under-equipped and over-deployed is simple.
When you shift the US military from a government run operation into a private, for-profit organization, you will end up short-changing the troops in order to boost the bottom line. It’s the same logic as when you privatize schools, FEMA, health care, or any other critical government function. The profit motive bleeds the system until it no longer functions properly, while costs skyrocket. Profits soar as functionality and accountability decline.
If we are going to use corporate metaphors to frame the issue, then We the People constitute millions of board members and investors for our government. We pay the taxes that make the system run, and we decide who the next chairman of the board is.
It is high time that We the Board Members of the United States government push to fire the CEO, and his CFO, Dick Cheney, and take the country back from the huge multinational corporations. It is time to stop spending our national treasure on foreign wars, and instead use it to rebuild our schools and the national infrastructure. We need to keep constant pressure on the Congress to end the Iraq war, and to de-privatize our military. We need to de-privatize the entire government. In a nutshell, we need to rapidly undo the neo-con con-job of monetizing our government for the benefit of a small handful of corporate executives. It is time to end the Bush/Cheney corporatocracy. Maybe then, military family bake sales will become a thing of the past.
Note added after Bush News Conference, 11:30am.
That should be enough to demonstrate that they want endless war, and military-industrial profits in perpetuity.