FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Halliburton: Poster Child of the War Profiteers

by KEVIN ZEESE

More and more revelations about contract abuse by Halliburton come out regularly. Just last week Rep. Henry Waxman issued a report that found Halliburton overcharging in Iraq now totaled more than $200 million, see: http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/. Activists in Houston are working with national groups, including Democracy Rising, to highlight corporate contract abuse by Halliburton when they hold their shareholders meeting this May 18. In the interview below with DemocracyRising’s KEVIN ZEESE, Scott Parkin, a Community Organizer for Houston Global Awareness describes their plans and how it fits into the overall goals of the organization.

Zeese: What organization are you with? What organizations are you working with on this project?

Parkin: I am a community organizer with Houston Global Awareness, a local anti-empire global justice group in Houston, Texas. Over the past year, we have worked extensively with Global Exchange and Code Pink on the Halliburton campaign. We have also worked with a number of local peace groups such as the Houston Peace and Justice Center, Mama’s Brigade and different anti-authoritarian groups in town. We also recently connected with the Austin spokes council who does similar work in Austin.

Zeese: Is Houston Global Awareness only organized for the Halliburton meeting or is it ongoing?

Parkin: No, we originally came together in the summer of 2001 to organize for the September 2001 IMF/World Bank meetings (which were cancelled after 9/11). Since then, we have organized film screenings, teach-ins, rallies, activist skill shares and various protests and non-violent direct actions around the issues of global justice and empire. In February 2003, we began picketing and raising awareness about hometown war profiteer Halliburton and their subsidiary KBR which intensified at their 2004 annual shareholder’s meeting and beyond.

Zeese: What is the goal of the project?

Parkin: The goal of this project is to put economic, social and political pressure on Halliburton so that they withdraw from Iraq. Currently, they are contracted to build 14 permanent bases in Iraq, support the occupation with essential services such as food preparation, laundry and fuel delivery and help reconstruct the oil economy for multi-national oil companies. We see their presence in Iraq as essential to the war and occupation and ending it will seriously hinder the Bush Administration’s efforts at exploitation and conquest in Iraq.

Zeese: What is happening for the Halliburton shareholders meeting?

Parkin: At the Halliburton shareholder’s meeting, we are screening films on recent developments in Iraq, informing folks about Halliburton’s involvement in Iraq with a teach-in and using a large spirited demonstration and non-violent direct action to put pressure on Halliburton. (See schedule at end of interview.) Inside the Halliburton shareholder’s meeting, CEO David Lesar will be informing the shareholder’s about their efforts in 2004 to profit from war and corporate cronyism.

Zeese: What can people do to help?

Parkin: Folks can come to Houston and join the mobilization. If they are unable to make it Houston, they can organize anti-war profiteer actions and events in their towns to demonstrate to the power-brokers that people power still exists in this country and it will end the war and occupation of Iraq.

Zeese: What would be the key points you want readers to take away with them
concerning Halliburton and its role in the Iraq War and occupation?

Parkin: Halliburton is making a killing off the devastation in Iraq, they are actually the “poster child” for war profiteering. They are essential to the war efforts as no other American company could replace the services they provide.

Halliburton has been accused of more fraud, waste, and corruption than any other Iraq contractor — from allegations of overcharging $61 million for fuel and $24.7 million for meals, to confirmed kickbacks worth $6.3 million. Halliburton is also the only Iraq contractor currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.

Recently, media stories have come out about family members of Halliburton truck drivers killed in Iraq filing wrongful death lawsuits about as they said their loved ones were misled about safety conditions, specific jobs and pay. Another Halliburton/KBR employee was gang beat and left for dead on the streets of Baghdad by eight co-workers after complaining about safety and corruption at the Baghdad airport.

Halliburton has a pattern of corruption and deceit in dealing with their employees, the American taxpayers and the Iraqi people. Furthermore, unemployment in parts of Iraq run as high as 60-90 per cent while Halliburton imports Third World workers displacing Iraqi’s from work and contributing to their economic disenfranchisement.

Zeese: What will come next for the Houston Global Awareness after the Halliburton meeting?

Parkin: We are beginning a long term direct action popular education campaign against Halliburton that will go beyond the shareholder’s meeting. Anti-war and global justice activists here recognize that corporate war profiteering is an important pillar of Bush’s power in occupying Iraq. We will continue to make a political, social and economic climate that makes it difficult for Halliburton to continue operations in Iraq.

 

Current Schedule of Events for Halliburton Shareholders Meeting

Sunday, May 15
Halliburton Shareholder’s activist skill shares. Times, locations TBA. A day of skillshares on Nonviolent Direct Action, Knowing your rights, People Power Strategy, Media/Storytelling, Anti-oppression and Arts Organizing.

Monday, May 16
Rice Media and Houston Indymedia to present films on Iraq and Fallujah.

Tuesday, May 17
Teach-in on Halliburton featuring Pratap Chatterjee of Corpwatch, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange and Code Pink, others TBA, time and location TBA.

Wednesday, May 18
Rally, March and Protest to Stop the War Profiteers. Rally up at 1000 Crawford (Crawford & Lamar), in front of the statue of George R. Brown @ 8am and march to annual Halliburton shareholder’s meeting at the Four Seasons at 1300 Lamar @ 830am.

For more information
Houston Global Awareness Collective at www.houstonglobalawareness.org
Halliburton Watch at http://www.halliburtonwatch.org

Committee on Government Reform Minority Office http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov

Links from DemocracyRising.US under “U.S. Corporations in Iraq and the Cost of the War”

See interview with Jim Donahue of Halliburton Watch http://democracyrising.us/content/view/90/164/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
Gerry Condon
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
Weekend Edition
May 19, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Secret Sharer
Charles Pierson
Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes
Paul Street
How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
Andrew Levine
Legitimation Crises
Mike Whitney
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State 
Robert Hunziker
Early-Stage Antarctica Death Rattle Sparks NY Times Journalists Trip
Ken Levy
Why – How – Do They Still Love Trump?
Bruce E. Levine
“Hegemony How-To”: Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power
Robert Fisk
The Real Aim of Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
Christiane Saliba
Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Chris Gilbert
The Chávez Hypothesis: Vicissitudes of a Strategic Project
Howard Lisnoff
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
Brian Cloughley
Propaganda Feeds Fear and Loathing
Stephen Cooper
Is Alabama Hiding Evidence It Tortured Two of Its Citizens?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail