“There’s no veil of legitimacy over there,” says Iraq vet Seth Manzel, referring to the ubiquitous corporate-style occupation of Iraq. Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), for those who might not know, is a former subsidiary of Halliburton and is contracted for most of the reconstruction in Iraq. It is a very profitable organization, consistently winning contracts with the US Federal Government to rebuild states since WWII. It is also the largest non-unionized construction company based in the US.

General Dynamics one of the largest military contractors for the Pentagon and also many foreign governments. It is also the contractor which builds the Stryker armored combat vehicles. Since many of its acquisitions were already unionized, some for a very long time, most of its labor to this day is still unionized.

The problem Seth points out is that, while America is trying to muster an image of strength and justice in the Iraq region, it can’t do this with hired mercenaries and it can’t do this with the long train of abuses against the people of that region. The outrageous military spending that fuels the occupation of Iraq is “just a symptom of a much larger problem,” Seth says.

This footage was spliced together from what I had left over from the coffeehouse video. Seth served in Iraq with a Stryker Combat Team (SCT) two years ago. Afterward he joined the Seattle chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Seth and the other vets are currently working to bring a GI Coffeehouse to the Fort Lewis region.