“All the Money You Make Will Never Buy Back Your Soul”--A Review of Solomon Hughes' War On Terror, Inc.
Recently, the Boston Globe reported that the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) had set up an offshore company to hire close to half of the men and women working for KBR in
Of course, this is exactly what KBR wants to do. After all, this corporation and most other companies involved in what is euphemistically called contracting in the wars in
This is what Solomon Hughes makes quite clear in his new book War on Terror, Inc.:Corporate Profiteering From the Politics of Fear just released by Verso. Hughes is an investigative reporter that does that title proud. His work has appeared in British newspapers and the journal Private Eye. What he does in this book is nothing less than rip the mask of false patriotism and concern for the world's well-being from the faces of the corporations that constitute a major part of the today's war industry. In the process, he exposes the shallow greed and willing corruption of the politicians and government bureaucrats who hand over their nation's coffers to those companies, despite their public ineptitude and chicanery—not to mention the lies the whole shell game is based on. Meanwhile, people die for no reason.
A topic of conversation amongst some Boston Red Sox baseball fans a few years ago was the revelation that a member of one of the ownership groups was a man named Philip Morse. It seems that Morse owned at least one plane that was leased to the CIA for rendition flights. This revelation didn't cause any Red Sox fans that I know to end their support for their team—given the irrational nature of sports fandom to do so would make too much sense—but it did serve to illustrate just how connected the dots are between corporate America and US intelligence. Furthermore, it showed that money is more important to those businesses involved in the military-industrial complex than morality or even legality.
Hughes' book takes these connections even further, suggesting that the corporations' drive for profits is what might very well drive the
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Hughes' work is that one can see his thesis played out in the daily news. Walls dividing neighborhoods in Iraqi cities. Airbus gaining contracts to build refueling planes and being challenged by Boeing on the grounds of unfair business practices and a false patriotism. Airplane charter services lending their services to Homeland Security to fly prisoners being held in private prisons by private contractors out of the country so they can be tortured in prisons overseas by private interrogators. Just recently, a story crossed the wires about a $30 million dollar wall being built in
War On Terror, Inc. works on at least two levels. Hughes challenges the legality and morality of the roles played by these firms and, as mentioned above, he also exposes their sheer ineptitude and gross corruption. The collaboration of western politicians in this conspiracy to not only unnecessarily continue war and destruction, but to look for new areas of governmental work to privatize is something that should be front page news and provoke the outrage of every citizen of these countries. The fact that it doesn't is witness to the effectiveness of the neoliberal myth that privatization is better than anything any government could do. The narrative in War on Terror, Inc. is proof that that myth is a brazen lie.