Saturday, March 29, 2003

U.S. Firms Take Lion’s Share Of Iraqi Bonanza
'U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Alan Larson defended Thursday, March 27, the Bush administration?s decision to give American firms the lion's share of juicy contracts for the reconstruction of post-war Iraq.'

'On Tuesday, March 25, the U.S. army granted the main Iraqi oil-well firefighting contract to a unit of Halliburton Co., a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, without any bidding. The Center for Responsive Politics recalled that Halliburton had poured 17,6 million dollars into Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.'

'The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has already opened bidding for eight major projects, ranging from infrastructure to public health. Other contracts could be awarded this week, particularly for infrastructure projects worth about 600 million dollars, for which eight US firms have been invited to bid. The rebuilding process may represent a pot of gold, with the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) estimating it will cost up to 30 billion dollars over the next three years.'

Chomsky has described the Bush Adminstration as a kind of Enron administration, an unusually sleazy corporate gang even by American standards. Vice-President Dick Cheney's involvement in this 'business' puts him in the firing line right after Richard Perle who has already gone down.

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