Thank you for reading thecheers.org's political articles.
I am from a farming community near Fresno, California. It's so small that it's not even an incorporated town. The post office is a window in the drugstore. I have lived here the majority of my life, and love it here because the people are very warm and friendly. I have a passion for social justice that probably came partly from seeing Mexican farm workers toiling in vineyards. My grandfather, a farmer, always treated his farm workers like family and they loved him. However, there were farmers who did not and the contrast was quite apparent to me, even as a child. I love to write, and that's why I got a degree in journalism. I am also passionate about the environment and taking care of it.

In this article Gina-Marie discusses Private Contractors are Nothing New.


Private Contractors are Nothing New

 article about Private Contractors are Nothing New

A week ago an article appeared in the New York Times titled, "The fourth branch of government: contractors." According to the article, "spending on federal contractors has soared during the Bush administration . . . fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina." Private contractors hired by the federal government are nothing new.


 


Private contractors were used during the removal of Native Americans from the southeast. In 1831 thirteen thousand Choctaws made the long, forced trek from their home in Mississippi to the arid prairies of the mid-west. Howard Zinn said, in his book, A People's History of the United States:


 


The army was supposed to organize their trek, but it turned over its job to private contractors who charged the government as much as possible, gave the Indians as little as possible. Everything was disorganized. Food disappeared. Hunger came.


 


When the Creeks of Alabama made their forced trek to the same arid lands, private contractors were again used. Zinn writes of their trek:


 


Private contracts were made for the march, the same kind that had failed for the Choctaws. Again, [there were] delays and lack of food, shelter, clothing, blankets, medical attention. Again, old rotting steamboats and ferries, crowded beyond capacity, taking them across the Mississippi.


 


Creek warriors who had been seduced to fight against the Seminoles of Florida in exchange for being able to stay on their land in Alabama were instead forced westward. The warriors and their families were herded on an old steamship called Monmouth. Zinn cites a New Orleans newspaper account of the time:


 


The fearful responsibility for this vast sacrifice of human life rests on the contractors…The avaricious disposition to increase the profits on the speculation first induced the chartering of rotten, old, and unseaworthy boats, because they were of a class to be procured cheaply; and then to make those increased profits still larger, the Indians were packed upon those crazy vessels in such crowds that not the slightest regard seems to have been paid to their safety, comfort or even decency.


 


Flash forward to the present. Private contractors are used more now than ever. According to the New York Times article the "most successful" contracts are given not to "those doing the best work" but to those who have the right connections within the Bush administration. Although it has not been widely reported in the mainstream media, FEMA outsourced hurricane preparation and evacuation in New Orleans to a private company, in other words a private contractor.


 


Just as thousands of Native Americans died because of private contractors, to say nothing of the inequity of their forced removals, many died after the levees broke in New Orleans. Now, as it was then, money is more important than human lives. As the New Testament states, "The love of money is the root of all evil."


 


 





have your say


more in Politics
Al Qaeda’s Hidden Weaknesses - Why Al Qaeda can't succeed
Private Contractors are Nothing New

Highly dangerous cults of hate like Al Qaeda are social mutations that grow virulently and seem unstoppable. But they are not invincible and are bedeviled with contradictions that can eventually consume them. Much depends on them having the right conditions to flourish. To live they must kill, to survive others must die. But still they are ultimately doomed by the futility of their very existence.

The Wild, Wierd and Ferocious Counter-Surge
Private Contractors are Nothing New

Helicopters falling from the skies, cult uprisings, "Mission Impossible" adventures and "Grozny"-style battles all make this surge different. Already in preparation the insurgency is showing itself ready and prepared to fight back. The madness of war is everywhere in a reckless, belligerency, mixed with new found professionalism that threatens a great conflagaration.

The Sisyphean Surge – Petraeus and the making a Greek Tragedy
Private Contractors are Nothing New

They say that whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. It is also said that madness can be defined by doing the same thing again and again and getting the same wrong result, without ever changing. Sisyphus was one such poor soul in question. Condemned by the Gods to roll a rock up and hill and watch it fall down again, and then continue to repeat the hopeless process for the rest of eternity. His crime had been to try to cheat the Gods, by cheating death and becoming one of them. Likewise the US is now condemned for trying to cheat defeat in Iraq, to repeating the same old mad policies over and over again. If once there was method in the madness, there is now madness in the method. This dysfunctional behaviour can only finally result in some unspeakable abomination.

UNITED NATIONS DESPERATELY NEEDS HUMAN RIGHTS REFORMS. SURVIVAL OR COLLAPSE? TIME WILL TELL.

To say that the United Nations human rights processes are a farce is to state the obvious rather mildly. Human rights abuses, war crimes and other crimes against humanity put the U.N. in danger of collapse.

Decision '08: Obama Officially Joins the Field
Private Contractors are Nothing New

The freshman senator from Illinois made his major move to campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination with a public announcement.

thecheers.org

Welcome to TheCheers! We've been around for a long time now, since 2004, publishing articles by people from all over the world. Roughly 300 people from 30 different countries have written for us over the years. Should you want to become a volunteer contributor, be sure to contact us!

Educational resources
Entertainment Blogs
get in touch

You can contact us via The Cheers Facebook page or The Cheers NEW Twitter account.