This Space for Rent

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Sure, the unprovoked invasion of Iraq has been a complete disaster where each day brings a trainwreck more spectacular than the last. But, if you're a clever businessman with contacts in the provisional government, one nation's bloody destruction may be your opportunity to achieve wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Where else can you walk off with a cool billion dollars for selling someone US$50 million worth of obsolete military junk? And where else can you pick up an electrical repair contract that doesn't actually require that you do any work aside from forklifting the pallets of money into your getaway truck?

Sure, it's not going to be nearly as profitable as the US$200 billion or so that will be looted from the US treasury after the 2005 hurricane season, but one advantage of having a trade relationship in Iraq is that a nominal processing fee will shield you from any legal penalty for not providing what you contracted to do. And all you need to profit from this is to pay the processing fee, then deposit your soul in the trashbin by the door.