(Halliburton) Iraq Truck
Drivers Pay Starts At $125,000

By Dahr Jamail
Electronic Iraq

According to a Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR-subsidiary of Halliburton) subcrontractor working with a Lebanese company in Tikrit, the lowest paid KBR employee in Iraq is a truckdriver. This position starts at $125,000 per year. Not including administration, the pay continues up the scale upwards to $250,000 per year for other jobs working for KBR.
Along with the obscenely high pay scale comes risk, however. This is why over 40% of the employees for KBR in Iraq have left the country. Thus, one of the many reasons KBR has been unable to perform reconstruction projects in Iraq is because they simply donít have the staff. With foreign workers in Iraq being killed or injured every week, and the situation having no immediate hope of improving, the prospects are looking a bit grim today.
This man also went on to discuss how KBR is hiring what he referred to as TCNís (Third Country Nationals), and there are between 3-5,000 of these people currently in Iraq.
He also estimates that his company is doing 95% of their work on US bases, leaving no time or workers for reconstruction projects. While the bunkers, roadblocks and military barracks are growing, the remainder of Iraq remains in shambles.
Meanwhile, the food costs continue to rise on nearly a daily basis. Here is a short list of price comparison from before the Anglo-American Invasion, to now, on basic food and fuel supplies:
Sugar 1 kg 150 ID (Iraqi Dinars) 750 ID
Tomatoes 1 kg 100 ID 750 ID
Rice 1 kg 150 ID 600 ID
Gas cylinder 300 ID 5000 ID
Diesel 1 ltr. 20 ID 300 ID
Benzene 1 lt. 20 ID 500 ID
With all the hoopla of the capture of Saddam Hussein already fading into the background, the grinding reality of the struggle of daily life in Iraq remains at the forefront of people's minds. For when the vast majority if Iraqis struggle daily to put food on their families plates, or some petrol in their car, worrying about where Saddam will be tried isn't such a high priority.
While speaking with Ghazwan Al Mukhtar, an electrical engineer, he stated, "I have a worthless passport. I have a worthless nationality."
Every Iraqi I've spoken with shares this hopeless sentiment, shared by Hamudi.
"I feel trapped here. No way can I afford to go to another country. Besides, aside from Jordan, getting a visa to a country, if you are Iraqi, is nearly impossible. Sometimes I feel like I live in a cage here. I love my country, but I would very much like to be able to take my wife and leave."
Dahr Jamail is a freelance journalist and political activist from Anchorage, Alaska. He has come to Iraq to bear witness and write about how the US occupation is affecting the people of Iraq, since the media in the US has in large part, he believes, failed to do so.


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