by Ed Felien
Don’t give me no shit about
Blood, sweat, tears and toil
It’s all about the price of oil
Why did George Bush invade Iraq? What was worth the loss of 2,000 American and 100,000 Iraqi lives? We know now it wasn’t weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaida. Americans have been forced to recognize the reality that the rest of the world saw years ago: It was all about the price of oil.
Let’s look at some Bush family history:
Samuel Prescott Bush was president of Buckeye Steel Castings. He manufactured
railroad couplings for railroads owned by the Morgans, Rockefellers and Harrimans.
During World War I he was on the War Industries Board and chaired the section
on forgings, guns, small arms and ammunition, and he got to work with people
from Dupont, Remington, Winchester and Colt. Sam founded and became the first
president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a pro-fascist organization
whose principal cause was defending industrial capitalism from the scourge of
unions. He became an indispensable part of the military-industrial complex,
and he sent his son Prescott off to Yale where he could play with the sons of
all his new friends in the Skull and Bones fraternity. Prescott’s most
famous college prank in 1917 was leading other Bonesmen to desecrate the grave
of Geronimo, steal his skull and bring it back to their “Crypt.”
Along with his college chums Prescott joined Brown Brothers Harriman after college
and started making serious money. The biggest buck to be made in the 1920s was
in re-arming Germany. Harriman & Co. set up Union Banking Corp. with Prescott
as manager to trade with Nazi financier Fritz Thyssen. They bought a steamship
line to ship Remington arms to Germany through a dummy corporation in Holland.
Harriman & Co. bought Dresser Industries (manufacturers of oil pipeline
equipment) in 1929 and Prescott became a director, and he continued to run Dresser
from the board for the rest of his life. They, along with John Foster Dulles
and others, bankrolled Hitler as a shrewd business strategy. But it wasn’t
just business for Prescott. He and his father-in-law, George Walker, hosted
the Third International Congress of Eugenics on Long Island in 1931. The purpose
of the conference was to call for the forced sterilization of 14 million Americans.
Many of the proposals discussed at the conference were later adopted and implemented
by Nazi Germany. Prescott became Managing Director of Union Bank in 1934 at
the height of trade with Germany. In 1939 he took direct management of some
of the slave labor camps in Poland to aid Nazi armament, according to Dutch
In October of 1942, the U. S. government seized the assets of Union Bank and
three other of Prescott’s industries: the steamship line, the Seamless
Steel Equipment Corporation (suppliers of steel, wire and explosives to the
Nazis) and the Silesian-American company (the coal mining company he managed
along with John Foster Dulles on behalf of the Nazi economic minister). This
didn’t really close them down. Once the war started they simply started
supplying the other side.
During the War, Bonesmen were active in forming the OSS and its later incarnation,
the CIA. Prescott’s relationship with Dulles would become very useful
during the Eisenhower years, with John Foster as Secretary of State and his
brother Allen Dulles as Director of the CIA. Prescott and Dresser Industries
were kept well inside the loop. Hans Gisevius, the German intelligence agent
who acted as the go-between with Allen Dulles in Switzerland and Admiral Canaris
in the German High Command, after the war acted as go-between with Dulles, Dresser
Industries and Prescott Bush.
George Herbert Walker Bush (“Poppy”), Prescott’s son, improved
on the CIA connection to the point of becoming its director in 1976.
Poppy tried to get a real job on graduating from Yale. He applied at Proctor
and Gamble but was turned down. He always tried to say he was independent, striking
out on his own, but the truth was he went to work at his daddy’s firm,
Dresser Industries. Eventually, with money from Brown Brothers and Harriman
(his dad’s parent company), he set up his own company, Zapata. It was
really a CIA front. The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 was probably George’s
operation as much as it was Allen Dulles’. The CIA code name for it was
Zapata. Two of the boats that carried the invaders from an island that was leased
by George Bush to Cuba were named Houston and Barbara.
ran for Congress in 1964 by campaigning against the Civil Rights Act. He didn’t
get elected that year, but he did get elected the next time he tried. When he
was Chair of the Republican Party in 1972 he set up ethnic heritage groups within
the party. These groups were havens for ex-Nazis.
While vice president under Reagan, Poppy was Chair of the Special Situations
Group responsible for defeating the Sandanistas in Nicaragua. He and Ollie North
set up, financed and armed the Contras through an elaborate and highly secretive
scheme that saw private planes flying cash to Iran, buying Soviet-made guns,
flying guns to the Contras at a private CIA airstrip in Costa Rica, trading
guns for marijuana and cocaine, then flying the drugs to a private U. S. airbase
in Homestead, Fla., where the drugs were traded for cash.
George Bush, Poppy, was vice president under Reagan from 1980 to 1988. He was
elected President in 1988 and served one term until 1992. Dick Cheney was his
secretary of defense. When Poppy lost, Cheney went from being secretary of defense
to being CEO of Halliburton, probably the largest supplier of goods and services
to the Defense Department. The revolving door connecting the military to the
industrial complex seemed to be well-greased. A few years later Cheney came
back through the door to be vice president for George Bush the younger.
Why did George W pick Cheney? Well, actually, Cheney picked himself. Bush asked
him to make a list of candidates for vice president. Cheney did, then he sold
W on the idea that he was the best man for the job.
What makes Cheney so special? So indispensable?
While Cheney was CEO of Halliburton he built up the company by buying other
companies. One of the companies he bought was Dresser Industries. Halliburton
spent $8 billion buying Dresser. When they bought it, Halliburton’s stock
dropped by a third. Wall Street thought it was a bum deal. Why did Cheney pay
so much? Was it a sweetheart deal because the owners of Dresser were his former
and future bosses?
popular image of Cheney is that he’s the brains behind Bush, that Bush
is some kind of simpleton and Cheney is an evil genius. The Dresser deal makes
it look like Cheney is still the loyal employee. He’s both the bag man
and fall guy for the Bushs. He delivers the cash, and when the Bushs get in
trouble, he’s willing to stand up and take the hit for it.
Our Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman is having a lot of fun as Chair of the Senate
Committee on Investigations. He’s investigated Kofi Annan and his son
and George Galloway, the English MP, for trading with Saddam Hussein and paying
kickbacks in the Iraq Oil for Food program. Galloway called the investigations
the “Mother of All Smokescreens.” [He also called Coleman a “common
During the 2000 presidential election Cheney admitted Halliburton did business
with Libya and Iran, but he denied they had done business with Iraq, “I
had a firm policy that we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq, even arrangements
that were supposedly legal. We’ve not done any business in Iraq since
U. N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that
I wouldn’t do that,” he said on ABC-TV’s “This Week”
on July 30, 2000. But Dresser was selling equipment through French subsidiaries
to Iraq from early in 1997 through 2000. Halliburton didn’t buy Dresser
until 1998, so, it was the Bush’s company that was trading with the enemy,
and Cheney just continued the practice. Purchasing the company also covered
up the trail.
In June of 1998, Cheney had already made the case, in a speech before the Cato
Institute, that sanctions don’t work and unilateral sanctions are bad
for U. S. companies involved in international business. The very sanctions against
trade with Iraq that he wanted lifted were the ones he was responsible for putting
in place after the first Gulf war. Although he never said it directly, he clearly
wanted sanctions against Iraq lifted: “The good Lord didn’t see
fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically-elected regimes friendly
to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things
considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business
is.” Even before he took over Bush’s problem, he was defending it.
Why doesn’t Norm Coleman investigate the Dresser trade with Saddam Hussein
that began, according to U. N. documents, as early as 1997 and continued through
2000? Did they (the Bush family) pay kickbacks to Saddam Hussein like everyone
else? Shouldn’t U. S. companies that violated U. S. laws be brought to
justice? Shouldn’t their officers and owners be prosecuted? Are we a nation
of laws, or are we a nation of gangsters and thugs?
But, instead of punishing Halliburton or Dresser for trading with the enemy,
they are actually rewarded with a no-bid exclusive contract to operate the oil
fields in Iraq. They are given total control over one-quarter of the world’s
known oil deposits.
sale of Dresser to Halliburton is intriguing. We know Prescott Bush was running
Dresser up until his death in 1972. We have no evidence of huge lumps of cash
going into either George Sr. or George Jr.’s bank accounts. Is it possible
that the $8 billion they got for Dresser was in the form of stock and stock
options? Then, doesn’t it seem possible that the Bushs and their friends
actually own the controlling interest in Halliburton?
We’ll never know any of this for sure because politicians are always setting
up blind trusts. They say it’s so they won’t know what stocks they
own and how they’re traded. The reality is that they wouldn’t put
anyone in charge of their trust that didn’t completely share their understanding
of the investment. [They trust old family friends. Poppy put William Farish
in charge of his blind trust. Farish was the grandson of the William Farish
who supplied Hitler with gas.] They know what stocks they own. The nice thing
for them is that a blind trust is only blind for the public; the public can’t
see what financial interests the politician is trying to protect.
Two Holocaust survivors, Kurt Julius Goldstein, 87, and Peter Gingold, 85, are
suing the U. S. government and the Bush family for $40 billion in compensation
for profits derived from slave labor in Auschwitz during World War II. Brown
Brothers and Harriman owned one-third interest in the Silesian coal field that
employed prisoners of the neighboring concentration camp. Prescott Bush was
responsible for managing those interests. On January 22, 1944 President Roosevelt
signed an executive order calling on the military to take all measures to protect
European Jews. The U. S. military could have bombed access to the camps and
possibly saved the lives of 400,000 Hungarians. The lawsuit claims Prescott
Bush and other business executives brought pressure on the government to ignore
U.S. government is fighting this lawsuit. It should go forward.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague should prosecute George W. Bush
for crimes against humanity for his war against the people of Iraq.
U.S. Congress should impeach Bush for causing and pursuing a war that has cost
more than 2,000 American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, now that
we know the only purpose of the war was to enrich himself and his family. Further,
he should be tried for treason for lying to the American people and betraying
the high office to which he was elected. ||
Ed Felien is the publisher of Pulse of the Twin Cities.