Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Noami Klein "Iraq was intended to be rebuilt as a global corporate "utopia"

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-18-13 11:14 PM
Original message
Noami Klein "Iraq was intended to be rebuilt as a global corporate "utopia"
This was in Harper's in 2004. It is still in Information Clearing House. Considering the privatization of everything now, including education, it makes so much sense.

Baghdad Year Zero

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.


Hubris is an excellent word to use for the invasion of Iraq. It was not a war, it was an invasion and an occupation.

Iraq was to the neocons what Afghanistan was to the Taliban: the one place on Earth where they could force everyone to live by the most literal, unyielding interpretation of their sacred texts. One would think that the bloody results of this experiment would inspire a crisis of faith: in the country where they had absolute free reign, where there was no local government to blame, where economic reforms were introduced at their most shocking and most perfect, they created, instead of a model free market, a failed state no right-thinking investor would touch. And yet the Green Zone neocons and their masters in Washington are no more likely to reexamine their core beliefs than the Taliban mullahs were inclined to search their souls when their Islamic state slid into a debauched Hades of opium and sex slavery. When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder.


Klein describes her visit there while Bremer was in charge.

But three hours after my arrival in Baghdad, I was finding these reassurances extremely hard to believe. I had not yet unpacked when my hotel room was filled with debris and the windows in the lobby were shattered. Down the street, the Mount Lebanon Hotel had just been bombed, at that point the largest attack of its kind since the official end of the war. The next day, another hotel was bombed in Basra, then two Finnish businessmen were murdered on their way to a meeting in Baghdad. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt finally admitted that there was a pattern at work: "the extremists have started shifting away from the hard targets ... and are now going out of their way to specifically target softer targets." The next day, the State Department updated its travel advisory: U.S. citizens were "strongly warned against travel to Iraq." The physical risks of doing business in Iraq seemed to be spiraling out of control. This, once again, was not part of the original plan. When Bremer first arrived in Baghdad, the armed resistance was so low that he was able to walk the streets with a minimal security entourage. During his first four months on the job, 109 U.S. soldiers were killed and 570 were wounded. In the following four months, when Bremer's shock therapy had taken effect, the number of U.S. casualties almost doubled, with 195 soldiers killed and 1,633 wounded. There are many in Iraq who argue that these events are connected that Bremer's reforms were the single largest factor leading to the rise of armed resistance.

Take, for instance, Bremer's first casualties. The soldiers and workers he laid off without pensions or severance pay didn't all disappear quietly. Many of them went straight into the mujahedeen, forming the backbone of the armed resistance. "Half a million people are now worse off, and there you have the water tap that keeps the insurgency going. It's alternative employment," says Hussain Kubba, head of the prominent Iraqi business group Kubba Consulting. Some of Bremer's other economic casualties also have failed to go quietly. It turns out that many of the businessmen whose companies are threatened by Bremer's investment laws have decided to make investments of their own - in the resistance. It is partly their money that keeps fighters in Kalashnikovs and RPGs.


The Iraq invasion divided my family. Why? Because I expressed outrage about it at a time when none of my mostly Republican family wanted to hear it. I finally got the message and shut up about it, but it took a toll on me.

It was a shameful sickening time in our country. It played out on TV with all it's shock and awe. All the George Bush cowboy followers cheered.

I will always be thankful for having a place like Democratic Underground during those days.
Refresh | +3 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great post!
I'm with you 100%. Excellent article.

Why would the President nominate Bremer? The President has never publicly acknowledged that Iraq was a cluster f**k from the start. The Neo-Con plans and Brener were a complete and utter failure.

It's as plain as the nose on your face, Mr. President.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Did't he say that Iraq was the wrong war (and Afghanistan was the right one).
I thought he said that while campaigning in 2008?

Or do you mean specifically saying something after the was elected President?


Of course, that leaves aside whether "right war" is an oxymoron and, even if it isn't, whether Afghanistan was ever a "right war."

But, I am trying to stick to the subjectic.

(So many issues, so little bandwidth.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, there was that.
Thanks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Subectic? LOL! How do you ever figure out what I mean?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I can speak Elephant.
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That is funny.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-19-13 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks, MadFloridian.
That was indeed a weird and awful time for Democrats, wasn't it?

But a unifying one. We all were against Republicans and shared a hope that we could get a Democrats in next time and that would make things so much better.

Then came election 2006. I was on the phone with my politics buddy in California somewhere between 3 and 4 hours that night, with both of us watching TV and shrieking and laughing as the returns came in and Democrats did even better than we had been expecting.

And in 2008 some too. ("OMG, INDIANA? Indiana, Indiana, Indiana. I can't believe it. ")

Good times.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-13 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. You mean it isn't a Utopia?
I can't stroll down George Bush Blvd and marvel at the 20' gold statue to the former president, talk to all the young boys and girls who were name George in his honor. Have roses tossed at me when I say I'm an American and get a free room at the Liberator Hotel in downtown Baghdad. I can't visit all the beautiful new Christian Churches that have been built since the fall of Hussein and revel in the ecumenicism of the country?

What a bummer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-13 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Cheney said that the Iraqis would hang flowers around the necks of our troops.
It was the first and only time I had heard of Iraqis greeting anyone (let alone an invading army) with flower leis.

I wondered for a second if he had Baghdad confused with Honolulu, or if he just wanted us to confuse Baghdad with Honolulu.

However, since I, like many Americans and all Arabs, knew he was lying about Saddam and Osama being in cahoots, a geography or local culture lesson did not seem to be a priority.



Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 30th 2014, 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC