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Naomi Klein, Order 81 and You!

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 08:04 AM
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Naomi Klein, Order 81 and You!

For those of you unfamiliar with Naomi Klein, I suggest you give her work a long look as there may be no better journalist, activist, or public figure as effective at spelling out the problems with free market philosophy and globalization. Her first book, "No Logo", deals with issues surrounding corporate branding, sweatshops, and activism in favor of combatting the negative effects of both. Klein's second book, "Fences and Windows", is a collections of articles and essays dealing with the anti-globalization movement. Her most recent work, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", is a disturbing look at the methods that profiteers have employed over the years to enact favorable legislation and programs to big business during points of historical crisis and upheaval.

The basic premise of "The Shock Doctine" is that people like Milton Friedman have aided governments in pushing through unpopular economic and civil reforms in the wake of disasters, as the general population reels from a kind of collective shock. We might understand this in terms of the Patriot Act and 9/11, or the sell off of coastal property in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This video was produced as a complimentary piece to the book, part promotion and part stand alone impact item.

One of the most striking examples of The Shock Doctrine is the set of Executive Orders penned by a combination of Bush Administration representatives and corporate lobbyists to slice up profitable portions of Iraq among the mostly American interests. The Coalition Provisional Authority, under the direction of abject failure L. Paul Bremer, provided immunity for all US contractors in Iraq from prosecution in Iraqi courts. It provides for as much as 80% of the Iraqi oil fields to be sold to foreign corporations, and hands over the entire Iraqi agricultural industry to Agribusiness giants like Monsanto.

Iraq has long been known as the heart of the fertile crescent of civilization. The intersection of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers provided early civilizations a perfect ecology for the development of agriculture. Iraqi farmers have honed their craft over the millennia providing humanity with the greatest variety of wheat strains possible. Order 81, also known as the Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law, essentially prohibits Iraqi farmers from using the techniques and resources available to them since the dawn of human civilization in favor of supporting agribusiness ventures favored by the current corporate government coalition. The Plant Variety Protection (PVP) provision states, Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties or any variety mentioned in items 1 and 2 of paragraph (C) of Article 14 of this Chapter.

Writing for Current Concerns, Engdahl notes, The protected plant varieties are Genetically Modified or Gene Manipulated (GM) plants, and an Iraqi farmer who chose to plant such seeds must sign an agreement with the seed company holding the patent that he would pay a technology fee and an annual license fee for planting the patented seeds. Any Iraqi farmer seeking to take a portion of those patented seeds to replant in following harvest years would be subject to heavy fines from the seed supplier. Iraqi farmers would become vassals, not of Saddam Hussein, but of multinational GM seed giants.

This is significant, as the wheat cultivated over the centuries by Iraqi farmers cannot be considered new in any sense, and therefore is disqualified from use in the new Iraqi agricultural ecology. The purpose of this provision is to hand the agribusiness giants proprietary control over the food supply produced in Iraq in the guise of increased efficiency. Somehow the media failed to take note of this important story, and certainly never raised the question of who penned the order in the first place. Engdahl takes a crack at it when he writes, According to informed Washington reports, the specific details of Order 81 on plants were written for the US Government by Monsanto Corporation, the worlds leading purveyor of GMO seeds and crops.

Whether or not this proves to be true, there is another concern regarding the restricted seed varieties used in Iraq. They are being used to grow wheat for pasta manufacturing, a food foreign to Iraqi people in every way. Jeremy Smith writes in The Ecologist, There can be only two reasons why 50 percent of the grains being developed by Iraq by the US are for pasta. One, the US intends to have so many American soldiers and businessmen in Iraq that it is orienting the countrys agriculture around feeding not Starving Iraqis but Overfed Americans. Or, and more likely, because the food was never meant to be eaten inside Iraq at all."

Disturbing, no? That's what Naomi Klein is talking about. That's the way it works in a nutshell. The privatization of Iraq's economy could be assured, and assured for the United States and its interests, in a time of profound chaos. It's imperative that we are all awake enough to ask ourselves important questions on a daily basis, but we also must keep our collective faculties enough during times of chaos and hardship in order to be the vanguards of our own civil liberties.
http://communicativeaction.blogspot.com/2008/02/naomi-k...

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:17 PM
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1. Can we get 1 more rec on this?
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. you got it. and another one too. -nt
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 05:04 PM
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3. I just started reading disaster capitalism last night
It is a compelling read.
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farmbo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks Naomi! We in agriculture were...er...shocked at Bremer's Order# 81
...and we could see Monsanto's fibgerprints ALL OVER it.

But because of all the other goofy Friedmanesque edicts coming out of the CPA, no one in the MSM had paid attention to # 81... until now?
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:20 PM
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5. knr
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 02:11 AM
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6. watch THE CORPORATION and you'll see the extreme these assholes want to take this to
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moodforaday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Can't recommend you anymore, but
still can kick!

Anyone not yet familiar with Naomi Klein's "No Logo" and "The Shock Doctrine" (2007) should really, really dig into those. For a sampler, try this 2004 article by Klein on Iraq under Paul Bremer:

"Baghdad year zero: Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia"
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/09/0080197

There's also her appearance last year on Democracy Now:

Democracy Now! | Naomi Klein: From Think Tanks to Battle Tanks, "The Quest to Impose a Single World Market Has Casualties Now in the Millions"
We lost because we were crushed. Sometimes we were crushed by army tanks, and sometimes we were crushed by think tanks. And by think tanks I mean the people who are paid to think by the makers of tanks.
http://www.democracynow.org/2007/8/15/naomi_klein_from_...

Try also YouTube for a few lectures by Klein, she's a great speaker.
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