Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Confused.

So ... my research says that if you're a German working in Iraq as a mercenary contracted by the US government, and you die, then your spouse will get $110,000 for the rest of her life from the US government.

To a citizen of another country.

But if you're an American soldier and you die, your wife won't get anywhere near that.

Is my research correct?

And an American soldier makes around $25,000 a year, while civilian contractors make $100,000 - $200,000, and sometimes higher.

There are 180,000 contractors in Iraq, and 163,000 U.S. military personnel.

Another source, an earlier one, put the number of contractors at 127,000.

Either way, I'm disturbed. And confused.

6 bonus scribbles:

Stephen Parrish 6/14/2008 01:31:00 AM  

Me too. I can't vouch for your figures, but I was a military contractor in Europe for twelve years, and I can tell you that not only are the overseas contractors capable of making squillions more than the active duty military, they don't have to pay tax on the first $80,000 of their income (the military of course do).

I was once active duty as well, so I've seen both sides. Although the number began dropping during the Clinton Administration, some military families are still on food stamps.

Edie 6/14/2008 11:37:00 AM  

Spy, I'm disturbed by this whole war. I'm so upset about it that my comments are too angry for your blog.

Erica Orloff 6/14/2008 12:06:00 PM  

Hi Spy:
I can't vouch for the numbers either. But if you look at Halliburton, you look at ANY of the companies were are doing "business" with over there, it's like Wag the Dog all over (and if you have never seen the movie, it's thought-provoking).

Like Edie . . . I can barely stomach discussing the war. When I marched on Washington with my kids against the war, I was willing to get arrested . . . and it was EARLY in the war, and neighbors called me a traitor. NOW . . . now, when I was saying the war was built on faulty logic, false intelligence years ago . . . the mainstream media and the general sheep-like public are fed up. Why? Because of the economy. But at least they're waking up.

spyscribbler 6/14/2008 04:15:00 PM  

Stephen, that put tears in my eyes. That just doesn't make sense. Is this a stupid question? Why can't we just pay our own military more, and then they won't leave to be private contractors!

Don't the active duty soldiers resent the contractors at all?

spyscribbler 6/14/2008 04:16:00 PM  

Edie, you can vent here. Safe place. :-)

spyscribbler 6/14/2008 04:22:00 PM  

See, business is the name for it. It's a little sick to me. No, what's sick to me is these companies have a vested interest in keeping the war going.

That, to me, is a conflict of interest. And that we underpay our own soldiers so drastically. That's criminal.

I was too slow to be against (or for) the war in the beginning. I was too confused. Bush was after bin Laden for 9/11 but he was invading Iraq? I didn't get it.

What is strange to me is that war is usually good for the economy, no? Why the difference, this time? I privately theorized Bush pushed us to war for the economy. If he did, it sure didn't work. I didn't buy the whole WMD excuse.