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Time for a War Mutual Fund
Subodh Atal, Ph. D.
The Iraq war has started to pay off, at least for those close to President George W. Bush. Halliburton is busy gouging US taxpayers at nearly $3 per gallon for fuel. Iraq is being opened up for investment to the world, as long as the investors bow before King George W. Those opposed to US empire need not apply. The icing on the cake was the dispatch of James Baker to talk countries like France and Russia into forgiving Iraq's debts. It turns out that some near and dear Presidential friends such as Saudi Arabia themselves were owed debt to the now US colony of Iraq. We are of course not asking the Saudi royals to forgive Iraqi debt. Baker has considerable personal interests in the Mid-East himself, through the Carlyle Group, including ties to the Saudi royals, as the New York Times of Dec. 12th reported.
Was this war supposed to be part of the war on terror? Really? The Al Qaeda and related networks are strengthening not only in the Mideast but in parts of Europe where new transition points for terrorists are being set in place. A recent UN report says few nations around the world are following through on going after the Al Qaeda. Why should they? The leader of the war on terror, the United States has itself shown that this war was only peripheral to its interests: empire is paramount. The US itself is struggling in identifying and disrupting international sources of terrorist funding. The Taliban may be reforming, its creator Pakistan is still graduating 700,000 jehadis per year, and Pakistan's nuclear materials and know-how continue to intermingle with 9/11 figures, and open for sale to North Korea and Iran. Al Qaeda is actively looking into biological and chemical weapons, the only thing holding it back is finding appropriate means of dispersal. The recent capture of chemical munitions from a terrorist hideout in Jammu and Kashmir suggests that such a time may not be too far.
But Pakistan is the tight ally, while a half dozen other nations where the threats are several magnitudes lower are called rogue states. Now the reason why Pakistan was treated with kid gloves is very clear. Trying to tackle the real problem in Pakistan would have been a tremendous distraction from the once in a lifetime opportunity for friends of Geoge W. and their corporations to enrich themselves. Such a course of action, while mitigating many of the risks of another (and potentially bigger) 9/11, would possibly have taken a lot longer to declare an end to major combat operations than it did in Iraq. And there was after all no money to be made in Pakistan, which itself survives on loans in exchange for bartering a couple of Al Qaeda every few months.
That the Iraq war turned out to be a newly minted strategy of mixing military with business should not be surprising at all. Remember the Pentagon-proposed web site that would have allowed trading on terrorism, conflict and assassinations? The current US administration has made it clear, it can and will profit from death and destruction. American citizens have a right to demand a more equitable share of this new line of business. Why should the James Bakers and the Halliburtons, Carlyle Groups and KRBs be the only ones to participate in such economic progress? Americans should propose a new mutual fund that allows them to invest in ongoing and future wars that the nation will wage. Money that flows into this mutual fund could be applied to expansion of the military, research into which parts of the world needed pre-emption, and development of a more comprehensive colonial infrastructure that would support expansion and strengthening of the empire. Let us spread the wealth and capitalize on war and imperialism. Just don't ask if we are winning the war on terror.