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Article published April 5, 2013
War profits terrible
Bill Neel Butler
The Butler Eagle’s horrific March 30 headline, (Defense contracts good for economy) proclaiming the bottom line value of killing, appeared to confirm what has been the open, but weak-kneed jingoism of the Eagle for years. Trumpeting of the U.S. government’s crimes in Central America and Iraq are most sad when seen in headlines on Easter weekend. Now, we find a headline singing joyously of the war profits made here in Butler County. It’s too bad we don’t have a Haliburton subsidiary here. Published reports suggest that company made over $39 billion on the war in Iraq alone. How patriotic must they be, if wealth is the measure? We, the government of the United States, refuse to count the numbers we killed in Iraq; most of death resulting from that old euphemism, collateral damage. However, we have kept tally of our own dead, even as we tried to hide their arrival on our shores. The profits for the military-industrial complex won’t make up for the death, pain and suffering to the youth of both countries incurred through these mad years. The cost to our country is yet to fully calculated. I remember Vice President Dick Cheney visiting Butler County in 2004 trumpeting the success of our invasion of Iraq. I remember President George W. Bush, in a flight suit, strutting on the deck of an aircraft carrier declaring victory soon after the war started. The most pathetic moment was Secretary of State Colin Powell selling the war at the United Nations. No one was asked to pay for our wars of choice. In fact, the Bush administration and a timid, greedy Congress twice gave huge tax cuts to mainly the wealthy and charged the war bills to your grandchildren.