[Marxism] Burn & Loot

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 9 07:18:11 MST 2004


New Yorker Magazine
CONTRACT SPORT
by JANE MAYER
What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?
Issue of 2004-02-16 and 23

(clip)

George Sigalos, a Halliburton executive, recently gave a speech at a 
conference in Washington for businesspeople who hoped to obtain 
government contracts in Iraq. Many in the crowd had paid nearly four 
hundred dollars to attend, drawn by descriptions of Iraq as “the next 
Klondike,” as James Clad, an official with the U.S. Overseas Private 
Investment Corporation, a federal agency, put it. Sigalos began by 
pointing out that private contractors supplied the bullets that the 
Continental Army used in the American Revolution. “This didn’t begin 
with Halliburton,” he said.

Halliburton’s construction-and-engineering subsidiary, Brown & Root 
Services, started working with the U.S. military decades before Cheney 
joined the firm. Founded in Texas, in 1919, by two brothers, George and 
Herman Brown, and their brother-in-law, Dan Root, the firm grew from 
supervising small road-paving projects to building enormously complex 
oil platforms, dams, and Navy warships. The company’s engineering feats 
were nearly matched by its talent for political patronage. As Robert A. 
Caro noted in his biography of Lyndon Johnson, Brown & Root had a 
symbiotic relationship with L.B.J.: the company served as a munificent 
sponsor of his political campaigns, and in return was rewarded with big 
government contracts. In 1962, Brown & Root sold out to Halliburton, a 
booming oil-well construction-and-services firm, and in the following 
years the conglomerate grew spectacularly. According to Dan Briody, who 
has written a book on the subject, Brown & Root was part of a consortium 
of four companies that built about eighty-five per cent of the 
infrastructure needed by the Army during the Vietnam War. At the height 
of the resistance to the war, Brown & Root became a target of 
protesters, and soldiers in Vietnam derided it as Burn & Loot.

full: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040216fa_fact
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