Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War

Excerpts from Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, by James Risen
P. Schultz
November 16, 2014

            “In fact, endless American wars have been good for business for Amman [Jordan] and many of the Middle East’s other newly gleaming cities. Money from taxpayers in Wichita and Denver and Phoenix gets routed through the Pentagon and CIA and then ends up here, or in Baghdad or Dubai, or Doha or Kabul or Beirut, in the hands of contractors, subcontractors, their local business partners, local sheikhs, local Mukhabarat officers, local oil smugglers, local drug dealers – money that funds construction and real estate speculation in a few choice luxury districts, buildings that go up thanks to the sweat of imported Filipino and Bangladeshi workers kept on the job by their Saudi and Emirati bosses who confiscate their passports. In Wichita, Denver, and Phoenix, meanwhile, McDonald’s is hiring.” [p.124]

            One of the beneficiaries is a Palestinian named Nazem Houchaimi, who was “an asset of a secret intelligence program for the U.S. Special Operations Command.” Nazem knew about “moving money.” And he had profited greatly from his work for the U.S. He had profited so well that he was building “his new weekend estate,” which among other things would have “in-ground lighting, automatic sprinklers, a swimming pool, and a patio,” a house that “could be in Scottsdale [AZ].” [p. 125]

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