President Bush In Brussels
Mr. Bush is hoping to put behind America and its allies lingering ill-will over the war in Iraq, and recruit much-needed help in bringing peace and democracy to that country, reports CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante.
Brussels home of the European Union and NATO is girding for two days of protest aimed at denying European cooperation with the United States.
Deep differences remain on other issues, from the Mideast, to the environment, to Europe's plans to resume arms sales to China.
The deepest division is over how to deal with Iran. The United States has been highly critical of European negotiations to curb the Iranian nuclear program. Washington wants to take the issue to the United Nations.
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... quietly buried in the back pages last week was news that the Walker-Bush tradition of war profiteering carries on. A small brief in the Financial Times revealed that Bush-connected "reconstruction" firms Halliburton and Bechtel, now in control of Iraq's oil fields, want to raise massive bank loans using future oil profits as collateral. In other words, these Establishment grandees will pocket billions in free money that will have to be paid back later by the Iraqi people, if and when their oil fields are returned.
both companies made millions with Saddam during the dictator's murderous heyday: Bechtel helped build Saddam's mustard-gas plants, while Halliburton, under Cheney, pocketed $73 million working with Saddam's UN-sanctioned regime after the first Gulf War. Meanwhile, Halliburton--which still pays Cheney a tidy annual sum--was handed yet another no-bid Iraq contract last week: $400 million in government grease this time.
That's the way of the war profiteers, these men of "honor and integrity" who build their family fortunes, their corporate treasuries and their political dynasties on bone-ash. The grass they tread is always soft.
*Revise and Conquer Stumble It!
Monday, February 21, 2005
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