The United Stakes of Halliburton


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.

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10 Responses to “The United Stakes of Halliburton”

  1. Frank Paolo says:

    KBR, Inc. (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) is an American engineering and construction company, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton, based in Houston, Texas. After Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries in 1998, Dresser’s engineering subsidiary, The M. W. Kellogg Co., was merged with Halliburton’s construction subsidiary, Brown & Root, to form Kellogg Brown & Root. KBR is the largest non-union construction company in the United States. From Wikipedia.

  2. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    Well thank you Frank for rememberring. If I may repeat a many times repeated quote by the guys that did come home- “It’s all about money.” Of course I hope I’m wrong and our soldiers finally win. But when they have to feed prozac to combat troops to keep them there and prozac causes people in the age group of 18-23 to commit suicide and the army’s suicide rate is in the age group of 18-23 how come people from what the professional army call worthless are the only ones that notice that? Could it be Eli-Lillies bribing of millions of dollars to prominent doctors to spread the fraudulent results of the drug testing the FDA should have done? Vietnam Vets of America-VVA- presently suiing drug companies Who yanked the cowards chain anyway?

  3. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    And no Haliburton was a subsidiary of B&R until B&R got so big it started telling it’s customers what they wanted and lost it’s number one place in the world when it lost a 700 million dollar lawsuit.However they changed the history books, I worked deck on a tug bringing barges full of 30′ lengths of undersea pipeline to a B&R pipe-laying barge while Haliburton was running a few boats doing the same thing IMCO was. I worked for B&R in the 80’s for a year as they were losing contracts. Everyone in B&R knew why it shrunk even though wikipedia may not. I also went to school for Western Wireline and learned how we hid our oil discoveries from the Gov. and other companies. And capped wells- sometimes 15 off one rig, and many levels of each well with oil, waiting for the price to go up while America sufferred with “LET THE BASTARDS FREEZE TO DEATH IN THE DARK,” Bumper stickers on Texas trucks- referring to N.Y. Cheney’s training ground- and Bushes. The did pretty good with the money they got from Adolf Hitler while he was murderring and stealing Poland. FDR had to stop him with the “Trading with the Enemies act.”

  4. Frank Paolo says:

    “The more we know, the more we know we don’t know – and never will – and would not want to know even if we could – which we surely do not – because what the fuck would we do about it anyway?” paolo.

    Just about every American over the age of 55 or so, remembers EXACTLY where he was upon hearing the news of President John Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. Two remarkable exceptions: Richard M. Nixon and George Bush, Sr. When asked, neither “remembered”. It’s proven that both were in Dallas that day. We don’t want to know.

  5. amy stahl says:

    great stuff here, guys. Thanks. :]

  6. Frank Paolo says:

    Of all the amy stahl quotes I LOVE, my favorite is “Try to keep up people!”

  7. gagorpokfam says:

    Hi, nice posts there 🙂 hold responsible’s for the interesting information

  8. Brenda says:

    I find it disturbing a few people have enough power to manipulate the world. It is literally sickening to me they actually use this power like they are playing the reality version of “Risk”. Lowly American citizens are just pawns for them to brainwash and sacrifice on a whim. I think they do for more than money too. They are drunk on their own power and they play these games to get their rocks off. Truly sick!!

    I am glad I am not like them. I am also thankful for people like Joe Belle-Isle. My uncle is a Vietnam Veteran. I don’t think I have ever seen him sober. At family functions he goes on about how he was named after my grandfather (which is strange since he was the second son) and he would talk about how he fought in the Vietnam War. Mostly my sisters, cousins, and I would laugh at his antics “Yes Uncle Jack, we know who you are named after.” Or “Stop staring at our chest, you’re our uncle for God’s sake.” We write him off for the drunk he is.

    However, when he starts talking about his time in Vietnam we don’t poke fun at him. We acknowledge his service and tell him we are proud of him even if he won’t remember it the next day. I often wonder if his service there is part of the reason he can’t put down the bottle today.

    His life may not be much, but he was willing to sacrifice it for his country. Both of his stepsons joined the Marines (like him) and they have served in Iraq & Afghanastan. I hope it was because they wanted to follow in the best part of my uncle’s footsteps.

    Happy Memorial Day Uncle Jack, Chris, Bryan, and you too Joe BelleIsle!!! I honor your service to our country. Thank you and God Bless you!! You are the best of what our country is…..unlike those suits in Washington.

  9. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    It is confusing isn’t it? From the first time we reapeat the question, “WHY?” But percentage wise more Vietnam veterans have done good with their lives than people like me and your uncle. Or an awful lot of civilians of the same era. The really hard thing in life is getting up at 4:30am to drive far enough to get to a civilian job, and make those little bastards eat the freaking hamburgers, listen to your wife bitch, and make the world work. One thing drves me nuts- Before there was fixodent, how did George Washinton hold those miserable teeth in. He wrote he hated slavery, but when you have to get the crop in you have to buy another slave. I was kind of angry with my wealthy in law with a large factory, for here. He hasn’t taken a paycheck for himself in three months to keep from laying off. That’s a rare nobility. I don’t see him as the wealthy one anymore but an American on a knifes edge. Somebody has to make it, but nobody needs to make it all. What makes me proud is the head of Homeland security now says the biggest threat to America are the veterans. Cheney had 8 years to increase security and the people he’s afraid of are the birds that won’t sit still when someone holds one up. I love you Brenda.

  10. Steve says:

    Don’t quote me, but I believe the roots of Brown and Root (bad-dum-dum) go back to even WW2 and even WW1. Maybe under a different name.
    I’m always amused, in a sickening kind of way, that throughout history…no matter what world catastrophe, where a lot of people die…

    Just like Forest Gump….George Bush, or some member of the Bush family (like Prescott in WW2) is there.

    “I find it disturbing a few people have enough power to manipulate the world.”

    -“The Queen. The Rothchilds. The Colonel. Ohhh, I hate the Colonel…oooh, yer’ gonna buy my chicken, ohhhh.”
    “Dad, how can you hate the Colonel?”
    “Because he puts a secret addictive ingredient in his chicken that makes ya’ crave it nightly….smartass!!! : – )

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