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

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians to the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
Rivera Sun
Accountability: An Abandoned American Value
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
Robert Koehler
The Heart of Order
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
August 25, 2016
Mike Whitney
The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
The Louisiana Catastrophe Proves the Need for Universal, Single-Payer Disaster Insurance
John W. Whitehead
Another Brick in the Wall: Children of the American Police State
Lewis Evans
Genocide in Plain Sight: Shooting Bushmen From Helicopters in Botswana
Daniel Kovalik
Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads
Sam Husseini
How the Washington Post Sells the Politics of Fear
Ramzy Baroud
Punishing the Messenger: Israel’s War on NGOs Takes a Worrying Turn
Norman Pollack
Troglodyte Vs. Goebbelean Fascism: The 2016 Presidential Race
Simon Wood
Where are the Child Victims of the West?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail