Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Of Ethics and Business Conduct

Who is DynCorp International? It's a valid question and if one were to look at their website, one would see that they are an upright company dealing amongst other things in 'law enforcement' and one of their many mottos is 'supporting U.S. interests worldwide.' If one delves deeper, one finds that DynCorp also has a 'code of ethics and business conduct.'

DynCorp International is repeatedly picked by the Pentagon to carry out everything from maintenance of its military equipment to supplying it with infrastructure. As an aside, but a funny one, is that one of DynCorp’s biggest investors and the head of DynCorp’s compensation committee is Herbert ‘Pug’ Winokur, who was also Chairman and CEO of DynCorp from 1988 to 1997.

Winokur…Winokur….Of course! None other than Pug, was ENRON’s Finance Committee Chairman. Boy do these fellas get around. It’s of course redundant to ask if he is a friend of the Bushies.

So here we have a great company doing great and ethical things for America. Or do we?

This morning’s story is brought to you by Muckraked:

“DynCorp’s site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was travelling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission........At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor’s manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.“

They might want to have another read of their 'code of ethics and business conduct' manifesto.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I haven't posted in a while for a couple of reasons. They are personal and do not figure necessarily on the scale of things, but because I have been asked by several people the reason for the hiatus, here it is.

First and foremost is that nothing of any particular note is happening. Iraq is disintegrating again as predicted and this time, probably noting is going to prevent it from sinking into total chaos.

The second is that the only news at the moment is about the primaries. Obama this, Clinton that, Obama said this, Clinton did the other. Here’s my take. I’m pretty much sick of the whole Democratic Primary debacle and I say this, in the context of the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been pulverized, to instigate a race which has simply taken on a distasteful and unpleasant odor.

If you’re an Obama fan, you might object at this point and indicate that it’s all Clinton’s fault. If you are a Clinton supporter, maybe you feel her aggressive attitude was justified and is what is needed in Washington. If you are a Mccain supporter, I feel sorry for your delusional state, but on the other hand, you are probably sitting smugly in a corner, sniggering at the Democrats making utter fools of themselves yet again.

Total receipts between Clinton and Obama now tally upwards of $440 million dollars. Receipts. That doesn’t include any money they’ve spent themselves. Four hundred and forty million dollars.

It’s utterly disgusting and contemptible. Here are two candidates speaking of doing good social deeds and are so at each other’s throats that they’ve totally lost sight of the wood for the trees. I dfind it utterly reprehensible. This isn’t even the campaign for the presidency. It’s the primaries. It’s disgusting. McCain’s $80 million pales in comparison but it isn’t as if he is any better. The Republicans would have easily, willingly even, spent ten times that amount if they deemed it necessary.

I am repulsed. That is why I have stopped posting.

In my opinion, each candidate should receive US$ 1 million at the start of the race and that should be it. Spend it as you like, but once it’s spent. You’re done with. Collectively, McCain, Clinton and Obama have destroyed half a billion dollars in their rabid attempt at getting into the White House.

Yes, I know, half a billon dollars is only two days in Iraq, but we never said that the Bush regime was anything one should try to measure down to.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

plus ça change

It’s been seven years since the Afghan campaign started. Seven years since we allegedly ‘freed’ Afghanistan. It was all going to be better.
Certainly some things are. And then other things just didn’t change. From today's

Afghanistan's lower house of Parliament passed a resolution Monday seeking to bar television programs from showing dancing and other practices deemed un-Islamic.

Part of the reason for this is the devolvement of the power and influence of the Afghan government. It’s area of influence has shrunk so far as to barely make it viable. Poppy crops are breaking records, the Taliban are resurgent and the government, in a bid to keep the radicals happy, is toeing the line.

It’s fallout from the Iraq debacle. Had the US and the UK focused on maintaining a presence there, on actually getting aid to the country, instead of gallivanting about on the Euphrates, something may have truly changed in Afghanistan.

I wonder what a fraction of the money that’s been poured into Iraq would have accomplished in Afghanistan. As of today, even Kabul only has power in fits and starts, the majority of the Afghan population is still on the verge of starvation, it still ranks as one of the country’s with the highest infant mortality rate, still ranks as one of the world’s least developed.

The right would have us believe, that the mission to Afghanistan and Iraq were both altruistically motivated. Anyone with even a glimmer of intelligence will have realized that that is not the case. But as both Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq regress into a fundamentalist framework, it becomes glaringly obvious that Western governments don’t give a hoot about the freedoms of the people there.