War is Hell

A favorite quote from today’s New York Times article on Qusay’s $1 billion cash withdrawal from his dad’s personal bank:

“Sometimes they [the Hussein kids] would come in for small amounts, maybe $5 million,” the official said.

One of the theses of my Israel Essay is that every Third World kleptocrat has a doppelganger among the managers of America’s public corporations.  Derrick Jackson identified Qusay’s counterparts as the CEOs of American defense contractors in this Boston Globe editorial.  Here are some comparisons from the article:

“… the average army private in Iraq earns about $20,000 a year, the average CEO among the 37 largest publicly traded defense contractors made 577 times more money in 2002, $11.3 million.

“Since 2000, the 37 defense contractor CEOs … have taken home $1.35 billion. That may not be Bill Gates, but it still means that just 37 men have made enough money in the last three years to, for instance, pay for two years of running the Boston public schools.

(Despite the Federales’s fondness for buying weapons and applying them to recalcitrant foreigners, the shareholders of defense contractors aren’t doing especially well, as evidenced by this five-year comparison of the infamous Halliburton versus the S&P 500, or consider Northrop, Lockheed, and Raytheon.  But if there is pain among the employees or owners it is not being shared by the top managers and Board members…)

5 thoughts on “War is Hell

  1. Yup, I was wondering what the heck a doppelganger was too….”They are prepared to listen and give advice to humans, either implanting ideas in their heads, or a sort of osmosis.” Obviously mine is sleeping on the job.

  2. I think the doppleganger’s left ear is bigger than the right ear in that picture..

    is this the real doppleganger at all? in any case.. I’m certain he has a “Facial expression of mass destruction”..

  3. OH MY GOD!

    You mean a CEO with years of education that shoulders the responsibility of an entire corporation earns more than a kids fresh out of high school who’s most well developed skill is how to shoot someone? Damn! Where is the justice in that!?

  4. > Where is the justice in that!?

    Well, the CEO is only risking his status and other peoples’ jobs. The soldier is risking his and his buddies’ lives.
    And it’s not a question of the CEO earning more, that’s a given, since there aren’t that many CEOs and there are a lot of soldiers. It’s the CEO earning 500+ times more. So he can wear 500 times more shoes, eat 500 times more food, than the squaddy.
    And his kids can go to 500 more schools. This massive difference in income is very recent. It hasn’t led to social stability, partly because the very rich, who call all the shots, are living in a different country, the models in their heads are different.

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