As the 'War with Iraq' draws to its foregone conclusion, let's take a brief look at the...
[ WINNERS & LOSERS ]
= American Business =
WINNER: Oil-Services Companies
From 'The Wall Street Journal' (Jan. 03): ""With oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia's, Iraq would offer the oil industry enormous opportunity should a war topple Saddam Hussein. But the early spoils would probably go to companies needed to keep Iraq's already rundown oil operations running, especially if facilities were further damaged in a war. Oil-services firms such as Halliburton Co., where Vice President Dick Cheney formerly served as chief executive, and Schlumberger Ltd. are seen as favorites for what could be as much as $1.5 billion in contracts."
Further noted by Bob Herbert, in a 'New York Times' Op-Ed piece (Mar. 20, 03): "private companies are lining up to reap the riches of rebuilding the very structures we're in the process of destroying...
Companies like Halliburton, Schlumberger and the Bechtel Group understand this conflict a heck of a lot better than most of the men and women who will fight and die in it, or the armchair patriots who'll be watching on CNN and cheering them on.
It's not unpatriotic to say that there are billions of dollars to be made in Iraq and that the gold rush is already under way. It's simply a matter of fact."
LOSER: American-brand Products in the World Market
From 'The New York Times' (Mar. 17, 03), even before the bombing started, "franchised stores such as McDonald's and KFC have been attacked, threatening to halt a recent surge of investment in franchised businesses, many of them originating in the United States.
At the same time, a growing number of knock-off products have appeared in Europe, imitating popular American brands but appealing to anti-American sentiment in Europe's large Muslim population and among other Europeans opposed to American policy in Iraq."
I guess we won't be seeing a Starbucks in Baghdad any time soon either. But, a boy can still dream, can't he?
= NATIONS =
WINNER: Cuba & North Korea
The muckity-mucks running Cuba are taking this "opportunity of war" to clean house. The Castro regime is sweeping up all stray dissidents while the rest of the world is preoccupied. While in North Korea, things have been awfully quiet. Suspiciously so. It makes one wonder.
LOSER: United States
Whoever said, "What we need is a good war to bring us all together" didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Thanks to the 'War with Iraq', Americans are more split than ever - politically and socially. I'm just guessing here, but that can't be a good thing.