War Profiteering

Todd Lorenz By Todd Lorenz, 7th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3mre04hs/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Politics

This is a brief discussion about the price we pay for war profiteering.

War Profiteering

The following quotes are from War is a Racket, by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Major General Smedley D. Butler .

"In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War.

"...the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year...their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918...Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit...An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent. 

"International Nickel Company...showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly....An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

"American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded."

Those numbers, while probably obscene to most, are paltry by comparison to the mountains of money made recently with the war in Iraq. Consider the following figures taken from an article on businesspundit.com:

Halliburton’s KBR, Inc. division bilked government agencies to the tune of $17.2 billion in Iraq war-related revenue from 2003-2006 alone.

Veritas Capital Fund has raked in $1.44 billion through its DynCorp subsidiary.

The Washington Group International has parlayed its expertise the repair, restore, and maintenance of high-output oil fields into $931 million in Iraq-related revenue from 2003-2006. 

Environmental Chemical has stockpiled $878 million by the end of fiscal 2006 for munitions disposal.

Aegis' Pentagon contract for coordinating all of Irag's private security operations is good for $430 million.

Those are just the top five companies. The article lists another 20.

I know we’re in a capitalistic society, and I understand that the very nature of capitalism seems to be to make as much as you can, as quickly as you can, in any way you can. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, and I find it both deeply troubling and offensive that such obscene profits continue to be made at time when many people are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. Even more horrifying is the number of people who have died in pursuit of those almighty dollars. As of this writing, Antiwar.com places the total number of American deaths involved with the war in Iraq at 4,488. The number of Iraqui deaths is more controversial. Iraqbodycount.org places the current number as 114,835 – 125,956. They state that “The count encompasses non-combatants killed by military or paramilitary action and the breakdown in civil security following the invasion.” However, the number on justforeignpolicy.org is listed as 1,455,590. More details and an explanation are offered on their site. But, even the smaller numbers are enough to make my blood boil.

We wound up in Iraq based on a lie about weapons of mass destruction. It would be foolish to think that profit was not a motive. Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about it on his way out of the White House.

Maybe...just maybe…we as a people should consider making the act of profiting on the backs of dead soldiers and civilians illegal, particularly during war.


Budget, Politics, Profit, Profiteering, Truth, War

Meet the author

author avatar Todd Lorenz
I'm a lifelong songwriter, and am now getting into freelance writing. I have a way with words I hope will translate nicely into prose.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
8th Oct 2013 (#)

These are facts of life and remains a blot on our conscience. This world is really hypocritical. Hans Blitz maintained right through that there were no WMD in Iraq. But the war lobby prevailed. Where is the hallowed democracy and freedom when few dictate the agenda? siva

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author avatar Todd Lorenz
12th Oct 2013 (#)

Pretty sure most of the democracy don't know and don't care...though technically, we are a republic. But, your point is well made.

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