The baby-oil theory ...

johnhall johnhall at
Fri Apr 18 21:38:17 PDT 2003

> From: fork-bounces at [mailto:fork-bounces at] On Behalf
> bitbitch at

> Add Stevedoring to that list and I'll agree with you.

> j> If bidding is involved, 7 is more than enough.  It is no-bid
> j> that are potentially far more worrisome.
> Yea, but is it really competitive bidding when the companies were
> hand-chosen by the administration in the first place?

Yes, assuming they were actually bidding.  2 is usually enough and 3 is
always enough if they (a) can all do the work and (b) all make
legitimate sealed bids.

> j> Companies from coalition countries should definitely not be
> j> That obviously means Britain, but it also means Japan where the
> j> government was clearly supportive.
> This is (one) of the reasons folks are complaining John.  And the
> reason why merely labeling it as an exercise in American Corporations
> benefiting misses the facts.  My only real point to the article you
> submitted was that the author didn't have his facts straight.  This
> wasn't a case of people just whining because American Corps got the
> bids.  This was a case of people whining with some fairly legitimate
> grievances.  Excluding the coalition countries is just one facet.

As I remember it, he listed 3 choices: American corporations,
non-American corporations, and nobody doing the work.

His assertion was that most of the complaints seem to prefer the last

Your points don't fall into that category and I think he'd consider them
mostly reasonable.  That doesn't apply to the rant you included in your
last post, though.

> >>  Third, this was done quietly:
> >>
> >>  USAID quietly circulated a request for proposals to a select group
> >>  firms at the end of January, in order to quickly line up
> >>  without making a public announcement that would disrupt diplomatic
> >>  negotiations, spokeswoman Ellen Yount said.
> j> I thought you were of the opinion that we should be more
> Do
> j> you think asking for bids publicly would have benefited the
> j> dialogue?
> I don't see how this would hurt.  The regime is toppled. Letting folks
> in on the fact that it needed to be rebuilt would harm very little,
> and would take some of the conspiracy in this matter.  

But the regime wasn't toppled in JANUARY.

Obviously, now that the regime is toppled, there is no longer a reason
to do it quietly.  Future bids should be open to all Coalition country

> j> In your list of 6, only 2 were really significant (#1 and #5).
Both of
> j> them are relatively large corporations.
> The largeness makes less of a difference to me than the connections.

I assume that we want the work done in Iraq (a) quickly and (b) at the
lowest reasonable cost [so more work can be done with the same funds].

So I could care less if the company got the contract because it was
supplying lap dancers to the generals, provided they were also a quick
low cost supplier.

'Connections' primarily means I look to see if the game was rigged and a
company is getting overpaid for slow shoddy work.  Therefore I look
primarily (first) at the size of the contract and how it was awarded.

> I don't agree with all of his comments, nor do I
> entirely understand the Filipino Labor thing.  

America is Evil.
Capitalists are Evil.
Evil Capitalists exploit the poor and screw the worker every chance they

Therefore, when the Evil American Capitalists needed to build an Illegal
Prison for the Peaceful Political Prisoners they falsely claimed were
carrying weapons in Afghanistan they exploited Scab Labor from a third
world country rather than Union Workers.

I _understand_ it.  I bet he took the fall of the Berlin Wall really

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