"For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" -- Mark 8:36 (NKJV)
I've just stumbled across an article by Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., the Executive Director of the American Center for International Law, which tells us quite a bit about one of the forces that drives the Bush administration's war agenda. It's not just about oil and empire. And it's not just because the president wants to be seen primarily as a commander-in-chief. There are also some family enrichment projects going on.
George “Dubya” Bush’s paternal uncle, William H.T. “Bucky” Bush of St. Louis, recently managed to profit from his nephew’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the amount of $450,000.00. How? Through his seat on the board of a St. Louis-based defense contractor, Engineered Support Systems Incorporated (“ESSI”).
“Bucky” Bush was appointed to ESSI’s Board of Directors in 2000, for which ESSI promptly remunerated him with 8,438 stock options. Over the next five years the price of ESSI’s stock soared 1,000%. Why? Largely because the Bush administration, beginning in 2002, had awarded several hundred million dollars worth of no-bid, sole-source, gold-plated military contracts to ESSI. Hence, Bucky’s stock options were worth nearly a half million dollars when he decided to cash them in on January 18, 2005.
Not bad, is it? Half a million dollars just for being somebody's Uncle Bucky! No wonder we had to attack Iraq!
But wait! It's not all about Iraq...
ESSI shows further evidence of having been blessed by Mars, the god of war, insofar as it has lucrative military contracts with those shining exemplars of democratic governance, China and Saudi Arabia.
That’s right, folks! ESSI’s patriots are selling state-of-the-art military hardware to both the totalitarian PRC and the authoritarian House of Saud [...]
It's a beautiful scam, isn't it? Bush has been lecturing Russia for selling arms to China, but at the same time his family members are making a small fortune by doing the very same thing.
You can't criticize this president for hypocrisy. He doesn't even know the meaning of the word.
I encourage you to read the entire piece here. It's very well-documented, and the links (at the bottom of the page) are excellent sources of further information.
Thanks to What Really Happened for the link to this article, and for many other good links, not only today but almost always.