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Iraqi Self-Determination: We cannot allow Bush to define 'democracy'

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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-28-05 10:39 AM
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Iraqi Self-Determination: We cannot allow Bush to define 'democracy'
Iraqi Self-Determination
We cannot allow Bush to define 'democracy'
by Naomi Klein
May 09, 2005




The central question we need to answer is this: What were the real reasons for the Bush administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq?

When we identify why we really went to war - not the cover reasons or the rebranded reasons, freedom and democracy, but the real reasons - then we can become more effective anti-war activists. The most effective and strategic way to stop this occupation and prevent future wars is to deny the people who wage these wars their spoils - to make war unprofitable. And we can't do that unless we effectively identify the goals of war.

When I was in Iraq a year ago trying to answer that question, one of the most effective ways I found to do that was to follow the bulldozers and construction machinery. I was in Iraq to research the so-called reconstruction. And what struck me most was the absence of reconstruction machinery, of cranes and bulldozers, in downtown Baghdad. I expected to see reconstruction all over the place.

I saw bulldozers in military bases. I saw bulldozers in the Green Zone, where a huge amount of construction was going on, building up Bechtel's headquarters and getting the new US embassy ready. There was also a ton of construction going on at all of the US military bases. But, on the streets of Baghdad, the former ministry buildings are absolutely untouched. They hadn't even cleared away the rubble, let alone started the reconstruction process.

The one crane I saw in the streets of Baghdad was hoisting an advertising billboard. One of the surreal things about Baghdad is that the old city lies in ruins, yet there are these shiny new billboards advertising the glories of the global economy. And the message is: "Everything you were before isn't worth rebuilding." We're going to import a brand-new country. It is the Iraq version of the "Extreme Makeover."


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http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7822
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