‘Iraq for Sale’


“Cash rules everything around me,” a great poet once remarked. One need look no further than Robert Greenwald’s harrowing new documentary on the Iraq war for proof of this aphorism. Both a trenchant indictment of war profiteering in Iraq and a memorial for those not included in the military’s death toll, Iraq for Sale is a work of intense disillusionment; the wounds are fresh and the testimony of civilian contractors and their bereaved family members is appropriately raw. Truck drivers who went to Iraq believing their safety to be a priority of Halliburton/KBR, only to be sent down a road to certain death, don’t mince words when talking about the kind of men they believe their former bosses to be. And as Greenwald’s chronicle of corporate greed and impropriety unfolds, a larger question emerges: At what point do these companies and the Pentagon become indistinguishable? Greenwald resists the temptation to paint with broad, incriminating brushstrokes and we only glimpse former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney toward the end of the film, even as he hovers over the proceedings like an invisible puppet master. For those who have let the war drift into the background noise of talking heads, Iraq for Sale is a much needed reminder of the criminal negligence of those who led the troops into this mess and those who have gotten rich off of it.