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Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:09 AM

2003 Naomi Klein. Iraq will emerge to find "that their country has been sold out from under them"

This is a prescient article by Naomi Klein in The Nation 2003.

Privatization in Disguise]

Entirely absent from this debate are the Iraqi people, who might--who knows?--want to hold on to a few of their assets. Iraq will be owed massive reparations after the bombing stops, but without any real democratic process, what is being planned is not reparations, reconstruction or rehabilitation. It is robbery: mass theft disguised as charity; privatization without representation.

A people, starved and sickened by sanctions, then pulverized by war, is going to emerge from this trauma to find that their country has been sold out from under them. They will also discover that their newfound "freedom"--for which so many of their loved ones perished--comes pre-shackled with irreversible economic decisions that were made in boardrooms while the bombs were still falling.

They will then be told to vote for their new leaders, and welcomed to the wonderful world of democracy.


That day when the invasion started with all its shock and awe on TV to impress our nation with how strong and tough we were, I just cried. There was nothing left to do but cry.

What we were doing to another country that was not a threat was shameful.

I lost a lot of faith in my country's leaders then. Hubby and I had never been very political before. We seldom questioned anything our party did. And since more of my family was Republican with strong military ties, I seldom questioned the Republicans either.

George Bush changed all that. I wasn't at DU in 2000, not until 2002. So I even was not that concerned about Gore's loss. Not happy, but not until later did I see how it all actually unfolded.

And wow, I started to remember another article she wrote in 2003 a few months after that. I noticed how they are in our country closing so many public schools, neighborhood schools that bind communities together. They say they are not full enough, but if that is true why are they simultaneously opening many new charter schools? Giving public resources to private companies without our permission.

We should be making the connection by now to what is going on in our own country, though not as viciously, not as physically warlike.

So I thought of Klein's other article.

Downsizing in Disguise

The streets of Baghdad are a swamp of crime and uncollected garbage. Battered local businesses are going bankrupt, unable to compete with cheap imports. Unemployment is soaring and thousands of laid-off state workers are protesting in the streets.

In other words, Iraq looks like every other country that has undergone rapid-fire "structural adjustments" prescribed by Washington, from Russia's infamous "shock therapy" in the early 1990s to Argentina's disastrous "surgery without anesthetic." Except that Iraq's "reconstruction" makes those wrenching reforms look like spa treatments.

...For a few weeks Bremer has been hacking away at Iraq's public sector like former Sunbeam exec "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap in a flak jacket. On May 16 Bremer banned up to 30,000 senior Baath Party officials from government jobs. A week later, he dissolved the army and the information ministry, putting more than 400,000 Iraqis out of work without pensions or re-employment programs.

...As the Bush Administration becomes increasingly open about its plans to privatize Iraq's state industries and parts of the government, Bremer's de-Baathification takes on new meaning. Is he working only to get rid of Baath Party members, or is he also working to shrink the public sector as a whole so that hospitals, schools and even the army are primed for privatization by US firms? Just as reconstruction is the guise for privatization, de-Baathification looks a lot like disguised downsizing.


About a year later in Harper's Magazine, Naomi Klein told us that Iraq was meant to be rebuilt as a global corporate "utopia"

Klein said they wanted to see how giving corporations free rein would work in a way it that it could not work in this country because all us liberals and environmentalists got in the way.

"Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself. "


What a tragedy, what a sad chapter in the history of our country. Jeb Bush recently said out loud in public that the Bush family had no baggage.

They do have baggage, heavy baggage, but the other party shares it also.


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Reply 2003 Naomi Klein. Iraq will emerge to find "that their country has been sold out from under them" (Original post)
madfloridian Mar 2013 OP
donheld Mar 2013 #1
madfloridian Mar 2013 #2
donheld Mar 2013 #3
madfloridian Mar 2013 #4
malaise Mar 2013 #13
madfloridian Mar 2013 #5
green for victory Mar 2013 #6
madfloridian Mar 2013 #8
Hissyspit Mar 2013 #7
madfloridian Mar 2013 #9
TheKentuckian Mar 2013 #10
Zorra Mar 2013 #11
madfloridian Mar 2013 #14
KoKo Mar 2013 #12

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:13 AM

1. The United States of America is being sold out from under us too.

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Response to donheld (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:21 AM

2. Yes.

It's being done so fast with a complicit media. We can't even keep up.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:24 AM

3. People care more about Lindsey Lohan than they do this sort of thing.

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Response to donheld (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:53 AM

4. You know what? You are right.

But what scares me is the popularity of someone like Honey BooBoo.

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Response to donheld (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:02 PM

13. The entire planet is being stolen from the majority of citizens

The 1% are looting us with impunity.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 02:59 AM

5. More: "the most sold country on earth"

From the first link:

" Some argue that it's too simplistic to say this war is about oil. They're right. It's about oil, water, roads, trains, phones, ports and drugs. And if this process isn't halted, "free Iraq" will be the most sold country on earth.

It's no surprise that so many multinationals are lunging for Iraq's untapped market. It's not just that the reconstruction will be worth as much as $100 billion; it's also that "free trade" by less violent means hasn't been going that well lately. More and more developing countries are rejecting privatization, while the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Bush's top trade priority, is wildly unpopular across Latin America. World Trade Organization talks on intellectual property, agriculture and services have all bogged down amid accusations that America and Europe have yet to make good on past promises."

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 03:50 AM

6. Karen Talbot circa 1999: Backing up Globalization with Military Might

 

New World Order Onslaught
by Karen Talbot
Covert Action Quarterly, Issue 68, Fall 1999

--snip--
...McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas to Flourish

An article by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times entitled "What the World Needs Now" tells it all. Illustrated by an American Flag on a fist it said, among other things: "For globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is....The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist-McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." (23)

In today's world, TNCs, and governments running interference for them, are pushing relentlessly for an end to national sovereignty and democratic rights in order to achieve total unimpeded access to acquire investments, cheap labor and consumers in every nook and cranny of the globe. This is being accomplished particularly through mechanisms such as multilateral agreements on investment, NAFTA-type free trade agreements, and the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO).

The globalization fever is running rampant. It is epitomized in the feeding frenzy taking place across the Asia-Pacific region where U.S.-based transnationals and banks are gobbling up assets at bargain basement prices in nations stricken by the Asian economic crisis. In the early weeks of that economic tsunami, the New York Times , described U.S. banks and corporations as poised to "snap up some corporate bargains...Chase Manhattan, General Electric, General Motors and J.P. Morgan are all said to be looking at ailing companies in the region."(26)

Corporations will stop at nothing

To achieve maximum profits these transnationals will stop at nothing. After all, they are non-human institutions that must expand through ever-greater profits, or go out of business. In so doing they have shown willingness to violate human rights-particularly workers' rights—to throw millions out of work, eliminate unions, use sweat-shops and slave labor, destroy the environment, destabilize governments, install or bolster tyrants who oppress, repress, torture and kill with impunity...>>

http://www.globalissues.org/article/448/backing-up-globalization-with-military-might

Naomi Klein, Karen Talbot-- prophets. What's that saying again?

edit to add example: Cinnabon is first U.S. franchise in Libya
http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/01/smallbusiness/cinnabon-libya/index.htm

Cinnabon, based in Atlanta, is also looking to enter Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, said Mike Shattuck, president of Focus Brands International, parent company of Cinnabon and other brands.

"We were in every major market in the Middle East. Expanding into Libya made sense as part of our emerging market strategy," he said.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 11:11 AM

8. Exactly true. Prophets in their own country...

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Nor listened to.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 04:09 AM

7. K&R

via Twitter.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 11:15 AM

9. Appreciated.

Posts drop quickly without them.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 11:27 AM

10. Thanks for shining some light here.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:25 PM

14. Ah yes, that Baghdad Embassy. Wonder if they feel safe and secure there now?

Can you imagine what that did to the way the Iraqis perceived its invaders? Just imagine seeing that monster growing there in their midst.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 01:00 PM

12. Recommend.... Not only their country but malformed children

from the Depleted Uranium...and Traumatized PTSD sufferers amongst them, also.

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