I recently watched, for the first time the 2006 documentary, Iraq for Sale. The film was the first film to raise substantial production funds from small donations given on line, from 3,000 people in the amount of $267,892 in 10 days. The film, originally intended to be a short, became a full length documentary feature raising the ire of many around the world including Americans, Allies, Enemies, and yes, even many who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
The documentary looks at the actions of various contracting companies currently in Iraq assisting the United States Military, and according to some, the Iraqi people. The companies Blackwater, K.B.R. – Halliburton, CACI and Titan are looked at and investigated in some detail. While watching this film, I for one couldn’t help but recognize the concept of greed among many multinational corporations. I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Jesus and throughout the Bible on the concept of greed:
Jesus said to his disciples, "It's terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! Matthew 19:23
Some will ask what this has to do with the documentary, I am providing several links that will allow you to watch the movie online, free and for no charge, and at that point you can make the determination yourself. I would encourage you to watch this movie, which surprisingly enough, has few detractors disputing the facts of the movie. Despite numerous efforts, the filmmakers, through the closing credits shows ample efforts of the film makers to contact various corporations to obtain their views on the contents of the movie. This is done especially so after a blatant lie is used in the Washington Post that stated to the contrary. Thankfully the film makers have the entirety of this event on film to back up their side of the story.
The viewer is provided information that shows an effort to line the pockets of major national corporations at the expense of the lives of civilians and military serving in Iraq. The film also shows the fleecing of the American public via tax dollars and expenditures given to these corporations. From lavish motel rooms, to paying over $200,000 for the use of each automobile in a fleet of automobiles that consists of vehicles able to be purchased for $40,000 in America., we see tax payers ripped off, and taking away from the work military personnel are trained for. We also see things like charging our government $40 for a six pack of Coke that was actually bottled, and manufactured in Iraq. We see the fleecing of ideals and services that would protect troops, save tax payers money, and in the process provide opportunity of liberty for Iraqi people. There is no disputing that the contracting out of services has costs both Iraqi, and American lives, not just military, but civilian. For all practical purposes there is only one word to describe these multi national corporation executives, who draw salaries ranging from 22 Million to 45 million dollars per year, that word, is greed.
The wicked brag about their deepest desires. Those greedy people hate and curse you, LORD. Psalm 10:3
It is important we realize our own habits of greed can get us to a place where we are accepting of actions like this. It is a shame, especially when considering that after an hour and a half of research, I could not find a single web site that disputed the claims made in the documentary Iraq for Sale. I’m not saying they are not out there, I know they likely are, but do a simple google for movies like Sicko, Bowling for Columbine, or any number of others and you will find dissenting views on the first page of your google. Not so with Iraq for Sale. This leads me to the conclusion, that much of what is presented must be factual, and if in fact it is factual, there is much to be concerned about, not only for American citizens and military but all of those serving in Iraq.
By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. Proverbs 29:4
For each of us, whether it be the greed for millions of dollars or the greed for hundreds, or even small things like a car or possessions, greed is wrong. The Bible is clear on that, and all religions teach against the self serving concepts of greed. It drives an individual to the point where they no longer care about the hungry, the poor, the divorced wife or husband, the single mother or father, or any other variable of people we can think of who may be in need. It is dangerous because it places at the highest place of value on the individual of self. This is dangerous because at that point, a self serving generation can loose the very concept and nature of God. The loss is in the command to love God, and show the love to God by showing love to others who need it. Love that should be shown to a poor child, a minority being persecuted because of their skin color, or the different lifestyle of one we are not accustomed to. I would go so far as to say, we can even get to the point where it is easy to ignore the needs of those like us, and ultimately justify the hate and discrimination of those we call enemy, or “sinful.” All strange and foreign concepts when it comes to being like Jesus, which all Christians are called to do, and be.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Ephesians 5:3
In a way it is kind of funny, in another, really sad. The truth is, many are so quick to point a finger at the sins of the world centering on sexual sin, whether that be homosexuality, living together without being married or whatever. Yet, greed is mentioned in the same category of sins as those things in the Bible. I know many will be critical of this thinking it is a blast on the war in Iraq, while the truth is, it addresses the greed of those who take advantage of not only the American Tax Payer, but the Soldier serving in Iraq, and those losing their lives under the pretext that they are in Iraq to rebuild Iraq. Greed by these corporations should have all who call Jesus leader and forgiver up in active with a righteous anger. It is the indication that America, because of her lack of concern over things like this, has some serious soul searching to do. All people, especially those who say they are followers of Jesus, need to live out our talk. We can’t say we love God in one breath, while at the same time standing up and allowing The Lost, The Last, and The Least to be abused, taken advantage of, and seen as nothing more than a means to an end of getting the things some greedy people or countries want. At the point countries, corporations, or people are willing to do this, whether for oil, money or power, it is nothing more than greed. At that point, people of God have to stand up, repent, turn away, and do justice. Followers of Jesus, will you stand up or will you remain sitting on your hands? How will God respond to your answer?
But if we say we love God and don't love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don't love the people we can see? 1 John 4:20
The following links will enable you to watch the documentary Iraq for Sale. Click on the direct link if the videos don't appear, if they appear, simply double click on the video link.
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