.....Or, the real reasons behind this exercise.
Print this article out and refer to it everytime you see these names, groups and companies pop up in the news
"Since the beginning of the year, America has had its reconstruction plan in place. Answering directly to Centcom commander General Tommy Franks,
retired Lt Gen Jay Garner will be in command of the reconstruction effort. He will be aided by a series of military hardmen, diplomats and Republican
party place-men who will help the United States create “Free Iraq” – aided by exiles who are returning to get their share of the spoils.
This isn’t a selfless exercise. In a special Sunday Herald investigation, we have charted the network of financial kickbacks, political pay-backs,
cronyism, self-interest and ferocious ideology that underpins the entire reconstruction scheme.
The US denies that men like Jay Garner are in effect the first wave of a military occupation. The Bush administration insists that it wants these men
to work their way out of a job as quickly as possible. Some have mentioned three months as the possible length of their tenure in Iraq – others, more
realistically, claim five years is a more likely term, taking the length of the US occupation of post-war Japan as the best comparison. America will
be entrenched in this nation for decades to come. The colonisation process has begun already.
In this investigation we have traced the roots of the reconstruction process back to the ideologues – the neo-conservatives now in the ascendancy in
the US government – who devised the scheme. These men see the US military as the “cavalry on the new American frontier”, they wanted Saddam “regime
changed” long before Bush took power and they have long dreamt of a permanent US satellite in the Gulf. They have also been brutally honest about
having a say over Iraq’s oil fields .
Ideology is ideology, but in the US government political theory goes hand-in-hand with big business. The end result of the lofty musings of Republican
hawks fashioning the concepts behind the new world order is money-grubbing for the yankee dollar. The world isn’t just watching the spread of a
political philosophy in Iraq, it is watching a conquest by and for US big business as well. The term “military-industrial” complex brings to mind
crazy conspiracy theories , but let’s consider the term again. Each and every one of the companies in the running or in posession of contracts to
reconstruct Iraq are either major Republican donors or have government staff working for them. The donations to the Republican party – and also to
George W Bush himself – run into millions ."
Almost certain to win $900m (£573m) in contracts. The total amount of business from Iraqi reconstruction could total $100bn (£634m). Bechtel has
donated $1.3m (£820,000) to political campaign funds since 1999, with the majority going to the republican Party. George Shultz (see power-brokers) is
Bechtel’s former CEO and is still on the board of directors. Other Republicans linked to the company include former Reagan defence secretary Caspar
Weinberger. General Jack Sheehan, retired Marine corp general, is its senior vice president, he also sits on the Pentagon’s influential Defence Policy
Board. In the 1980s Bechtel proposed building an oil pipeline through Iraq with Rumsfeld as a intermediary for the company to Saddam.
International Resources Group
The Washington-based company has won a $70m (£44m) contract to establish the humanitarian aid programme in Iraq. Obviously this involves an
exceptionally close working relationship with USAid, which awards the contracts. Four of IRG’s vice-presidents have all held senior posts with USAid,
and 24 of the firm’s 48 technical staff have worked for USAid.
Other players tipped to win contracts include Washington Group International, bidding for the capital construction job, which gave $438,700 (£270,000)
to the Republicans – along with a donation to Bush, and the Louis Berger Group which gave $26,300 to the republicans and is implementing the USAid
Croatia development programme.
This was D. Cheney’s old oil company until he joined Team Bush, walking out the door with a pay-off worth around $30m (£19m). There have been deferred
payments of $180,000 (£120,000) a year.
Halliburton’s subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, was the first company to be awarded an Iraqi reconstruction contract by the Pentagon to cap burning
oil wells, the deal is reportedly worth $500m (£320m). The contract was awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers without any open competitive bidding
process thanks to federal laws allowing the negotiations to take place in secret in the interests of national security. KBR has won a string of
lucrative contracts despite failing to control the cost of work in the Balkans and being fined $2m (£1.3m) following claims of fraud at a military
base. KBR is also one of two contractors chosen by the Defence Threat Reduction Agency to undertake the disposal of weapons of mass destruction – if
they are ever found. Since 1999, Halliburton has given 95%, or just under $700,000, (£448,000) of its political donations to the Republican party. It
also gave George Bush nearly $18,000 (£12,000). KBR has subcontracted some of the work to two Houston firms – Wild Wells, and Boots and Coots, which
is close to bankruptcy. Boots and Coots have a capital deficit of $17m (£11m).
They were recently given a $1m (£634,000) loan from a Panama-registered investment company, Checkpoint, run by Texas oilmen. It claims Boots and Coots
defaulted and wants it to file for bankruptcy.