Archive for May 23rd, 2009

The United Stakes of Halliburton

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009


When younger people asked me why we stayed so long in Vietnam, I’d always say, “Brown and Root”. When they’d say, “What the hell is Brown and Root?”, I’d say “It was a huge Texas conglomerate that made billions from construction projects in Vietnam like the complete rebuilding of Haiphong Harbor and gave a few billion back to President Lyndon Johnson and his oil cronies in the ‘60’s. Kind of like Halliburton in Iraq today.”

A few years ago, one of these smart kids just shook his head and said, “Try to keep up, old man. Brown and Root is now a SUBSIDIARY of Halliburton – they bought it.” Say what? Well, I should have known. No matter how corrupt American politics gets, beneath the surface, it’s always much worse than we can possibly imagine.

Joseph Belle-Isle is a faithful reader of this blog whom I’ve never met. He gets a few laughs from it and also frequently writes comments about my posts. To me, his comment on my last post, “Chatty Cheney” is about as clear as you can get on the true nature of power and American politics. Please go back and read it.

Joseph is a Veteran and this is Memorial Day Weekend. Veterans have made possible blogs like this by protecting our freedom of speech. I hope you’ll thank a Veteran sometime this weekend – there’s no politics involved. People like Johnson, Bush, and Cheney send them into war and they don’t get the “spoils”. They get shit – and some don’t come back home.

A few years ago, I thanked a Vet (who was working in a store) for the first time in my life. I felt like a total asshole. I mean, who was I to intrude on this man’s past, and sacrifices, and service to our country? He looked me dead in the eye, smiled a little smile, and said, “You’re welcome.” Take the risk this weekend – show some balls! Thank a Vet.

Thank you, Joseph Belle-Isle.