Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
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Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is the story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war.
Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.
Greenwald tackled a tough subject that Congress won't face ... cries out for Congress to take action. -- Houston Chronicle, September 8, 2006
a horrifying catalog of greed, corruption and incompetence -- New York Times, September 8, 2006
- Filmmaker commentary
- Abridged version of the film
- "U.K. Confidential"
- "Important Votes"
- "The Invisible Workforce"
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Top Customer Reviews
This film underscores this debate in the context of what is evidenced as real, genuine war profiteering. The war profits are reprehensible enough, often overcharging the U.S. taxpayer and under-training their men on the front lines. But I believe the filmmakers, at their core, have attempted to place blame on the U.S. government for creating this situation in the first place. Certainly private contractors have played a part in military operations for a long time now, but not to the extent to which they play a role in this war. Everything from providing water, food service, laundry service, transportation, and even interrogations are put in the hands of private contractors. And, as the film points out time and time again, these corporations have no real allegiance to the U.S. military, nor are they governed by the same codes of military conduct or the Geneva Convention. You can imagine the serious problems that can arise when private contractors, essentially mercenaries with no oversight or accountability for their actions, are fighting side by side with U.S. troops making 25% of the salary of the contractors.
Overall, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is an eye-opening and infuriating look at a situation most Americans know about already, but to which they have essentially turned a blind eye. This film simply and unequivocally illustrates exactly how great a stake corporations have in the Iraq war, which leads me to my one criticism of the film. Among the many great issues raised, I don't believe the following conclusion is ever addressed. That conclusion is this: We can assume that the #1 goal of any soldier in a war is to bring about an end to that war. The #1 goal of any corporation is to make a profit. Therefore, it is in the interest of military contractors to sustain the war as long as they are making a profit. Therein lies the most elemental conflict with the war profiteers. We put a company in roles vital to the success of the war, yet a successful conclusion to the war would likely end most or all military contracts the company would be awarded. To whom do these contractors pledge allegiance? Do they act in the best interests of the U.S. war effort, and thus risk losing these lucrative contracts in the peaceful future? Or do they act in the best interests of their company's bottom line and flirt with treason in the process.
Now tell me who is really "undermining the troops."
I think most Americans have already heard a lot of the information presented and have accepted the national news reports as true. This film exposes the enormity of the profiteering and outright fraud associated with the military/industrial complex. Of course this is not new. The same was done during the Viet Nam war. Where there is war there is profiteering for the few and calamity for the many.
I hope something can be done to stop this evil process. I have heard that other countries, such as China and Russia, are upgrading their forces to protect themselves from expected United States aggression. Much of the world thinks America is planning to rule over the whole earth using the same excuse as did the ancient Roman Empire (PAX ROMANA or Roman Peace). This means peace by destroying all opposition.
What a waste of human resources - even if another world war does not follow as a result.
The implications of the ramifications of this unbridled corruption are perhaps even more terrifying than the tragic testimonies which are recorded to justify the exposition and argument made in the film.
The film does the great service of detailing for a mass audience, with more essential specifics than presented in this medium before, the depth of the control these war profiteers exert over our elected representatives and the danger they have brought to our front door, all in the blind pursuit of more almighty dollars than anyone could ever possibly spend. Even combat veteren General Smedley Butler, who was the first, I believe to coin the phrase "WAR IS A RACKET", could not have imagined the surreal proportions to which war profiteering has been taken in Iraq, all at the expense of the American tax-payer and a bunch of innocent people now dead.
Greenwald, in my opinion, has always been a rather conservative film-maker with an ability to get to the root of the big problems, but frankly, not a whole lot of dramatic flair (ala Micheal Moore, Erroll Morris, or the makers of "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm"). Determined to reach to the hearts in the Heartland, he seems absolutely adverse to showing any sort of partisanship at all, almost too responsibly objective, a style which, to my eye, somewhat enervates the presentation. But perhaps, there is more wisdom to his approach than I would care to admit. For instance, in 'Outfoxed', while doing a pretty good job of exposing the hypocrasy, dishonesty, deceptiveness, and bullying techniques of that now venerable vehicle of fascist propoganda, he does not beat the drum for the fact that Murdock is a dangerous foreign national, with extreme right wing verging on monarchist, oligarchic, political leanings operating in the US. Greenwald, does, however, in a sort of understated way, point to the incredible danger to our Democracy presented by Fox News Network, America's favorite babysitter (believe me, more of Reagan's Robots are coming of than the Gipper ever would have dared to dream for - all nursed on Hannatty's and O'Reilly's Goebbelesque rantings. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices" was a much happier affair as an investigative documentary - really hard hitting in its best moments - and his best effort dramatically. Again, Greenwald and his crew, through a sort of explanatory expose, make us aware of the root of a REALLY BIG PROBLEM.
These films make you aware and they make you mad. 'Iraq for Sale' shares with them - the same, slow paced - non dramatic - deliberate - consciously non-partisan style. And you will get angry - furious. But, will it get the American voting public to finally do something about the problem come November?
True to the filmaker's form, "Iraq for Sale" does not spend a second on the speculation that the Iraq venture was consciously planned years in advance to profit those who are discussed in the film. It does spend almost the entire duration detailing how those profits were eventually made and continue to be made, the type of suffering so far engendered, and why no oversight has been established to stop the bleeding.
Farenheit 9/11 was released in the Summer before the 2004 elections. Although it was by far the most viewed film world-wide that season, the majority of Americans did not see it! A shocking truth. And this one, folks - for better or worse - will not jerk you out of your seat as that monumental effort did for many. Rather, like Inconvenient Truth - it's more of an explanatory type of document - and to wit - much of it is basically already known by many, though perhaps not in such specific detail - however, it's a real service to have it all in one place - to show to as many folks as possible before the November elections. One wishes, we could print millions of dvds and dump them in places like Pennsylvania, Virgina, the deep South, Texas, Oklahoma, the Sun Belt, before they all go out and do it again! But, at least, if you care, buy a copy, and show it to some people before election day (or on it - outside the polling booth!)
Unquestionably, "Iraq For Sale" is team Greenwald's most important venture to date dealing with the ROOT (no pun intended) of THE BIGGEST PROBLEM, and should be seen by every American, especially those who actually believe they're doing their patriotic duty by voting Republican -because they've bought the argument that by supporting certain American business interests, America is going to stay strong, and that somehow by not supporting them, America's military is going to be weakened. The film succeeds is revealing this deceit for what it is, perhaps the most destructive lie ever bought by the majority of American voters.
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IRAQ for SALE: The War Profiteers is a 2006 documentary film made by Robert Greenwald.Read more