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May 2003
Slaughter for Profit

By Paris



The following essay was written a few days after the war on Iraq began.

March 21, 2003—Well, here we are. Bombs are dropping, the dying has started, and our country of ignorant, blind allegiance-pledging sheep has sanctioned yet another massacre for profit in the name of “liberating the oppressed.” Never mind the fact that millions of people spoke out against our non-elected Commander-in-Chief’s hell-bent course of action, or that Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix and ex-Marine and former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter stated repeatedly that weapons of mass destruction didn’t exist and that more time was needed, or that the report of supposed proof of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction presented by Colin Powell to the UN was plagiarized, or that of the 535 members of Congress, only one (Sen. Johnson of South Dakota) has an enlisted son or daughter in the armed forces, or that GOP-contributors the Bechtel Group Inc., Fluor Corp., Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Louis Berger Group Inc., and Parsons Corp. have all been asked to submit bids for the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure, again sadly proving the argument that this is indeed a slaughter for profit.

Never mind these facts; no. Never mind the fact that the Hallibuton Corporation, of which our Vice President was once CEO, has been awarded a contract to oversee firefighting operations in Iraqi oilfields, and will probably be instrumental in the rebuilding effort, just as it was after we bombed Iraq in the Gulf War in 1991, to the tune of $23.8 million.

This will probably be lost on my fellow Americans. It certainly has been lost on our conservative-bending Bush-complicit media.

I can almost hear the conservatives now. “Where were you when Clinton bombed Bosnia...blah, blah, blah...” Is this the best they can do? That’s a moot point at this juncture. People are dying in a war that is unjust and the media has simply sat on its collective hands. Where’s the independent investigation into 9/11? Gone forever, I suppose. This is now more relevant than ever because the entire chain of events which has transpired since 9/11 (the reduction of civil liberties, rampant profiteering and the demonization and imperialist invasions of lessor-developed countries) has occurred because of 9/11. How come I can find all this information from credible sources online but they can’t? Because they don’t want you to know, that’s why.

I’m sure some of them will say, “what’s a rapper doing commenting on politics...blah, blah, blah...” completely overlooking the fact that I, too, am educated, and that they, in their arrogance and inherent racism, don’t have the market cornered on analytical thought. What makes these talking heads more qualified than me to speak out? Nothing.

Understand that today’s supposed “news” is totally under the control of the Pentagon. We never see actual war footage—babies dying, families slaughtered—just blips and far-away night vision shots. The dehumanizing effect of all of this is that we are desensitized to the atrocities of war. For most Americans, it is a temporary inconvenience that we hope will be resolved quickly. A video! (Remember, most of the war hawks have never served in the armed services and most of the doves have.)

So now we are faced with the paradox of wanting our soldiers—young men and women who risk too much for too little pay—to come home in one piece. But supporting our troops while they’re fighting an immoral and illegal war is misguided and wrong. Members of our armed forces don’t deserve insults, but their role in this war doesn’t merit support either. Cheering them as they leave and holding parades when they return would certainly be misinterpreted by citizens of other countries as popular support for an inglorious enterprise—and it would make it easier for Bush to send them off again, to Iran or Libya or wherever.

Iraq has never attacked, nor threatened to attack, the United States. As his 1990 invasion of Kuwait proved, Saddam is a menace to his neighbors—Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel—but he’s their problem, not ours.

Why Iraq? Saddam’s longest-range missiles only travel 400 miles.

Why not North Korea, who has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the western United States and nuclear capability? Why not Pakistan, who just unveiled its new HATF-4 ballistic missile? I’m not calling for us to ride on these countries too, don’t get me wrong. But if disarmament were Bush’s goal, shouldn’t those countries—both of which have threatened to use nukes—be higher priority targets than non-nuclear Iraq?

Iraq isn’t part of the war on terrorism. The only link between Iraq and al-Qaeda is the fact that they hate each other’s guts. And no matter how often Bush says “9/11” and “Iraq” in the same breath, Saddam had nothing to do with the terror attacks.

That leaves freeing Iraqis from Saddam’s repressive rule as the sole rationale for war. Is the U.S. in the liberation business? Will Bush spread democracy to the numerous other places where people can’t vote, speak freely or eat much? You be the judge. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Of course, it would be great if Iraqis were to overthrow Saddam (assuming that his successor would be an improvement). But regime change is up to the locals, not us. George W. Bush has led us to commit an abhorrent crime, an internationally-unsanctioned invasion of a nation that has done us no harm and presents no imminent threat.

We have killers on the payroll in the White House.

Paris is a Bay Area-based rap artist and founder of the independent label Guerrilla Funk Recordings. No stranger to controversy, Paris is best known for his 1992 song “Bush Killa,” a fantasy about assassinating then-president Bush Sr. to avenge the neglect of the poor and oppressed. His soon-to-be released CD, Sonic Jihad, has already ruffled feathers with its provocative cover depicting an airplane about to crash into the White House. Visit to read other essays and learn more. This article was originally published as “Killers On The Payroll” online at, with links to numerous references and a section with tips on how to stop war and voice dissent. Reprinted with kind permission.


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