Washington Babylon — November 17, 2008, 8:06 pm

“He wanted to become a billionaire, and he wanted to do it in Kurdistan.” Meet Shlomi Michaels

Here’s a great investigative story about someone you’ve never heard of, but should know about. From Laura Rozen at Mother Jones:

It’s the story of a man with a habit of popping up, Zelig-like, at the nexus of foreign policy and the kinds of businesses that thrive in times of war—security contracting, infrastructure development and postwar reconstruction, influence and intelligence brokering…The trajectory of Shlomi Michaels is testament not only to one man’s driven intensity, but also to the opportunities the war on terror has presented to those with the information, connections, and ambition to seize them.

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Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

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