War and Fleece

February 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm (U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized)


Award-winning author Naomi Klein has argued that the so-called “reconstruction effort” in Iraq is not reconstruction at all. In fact, it’s the sale of the century.

Here’s how it works: The U.S. invades the country and destroys its infrastructure (its bridges, its roads, its hospitals, its schools). Then, the Bush administration hands out no-bid contracts to companies to rebuild the stuff we blew up (companies like Halliburton, whose former CEO, Dick Cheney, still owns stock options and receives compensation, and whose profits since the invasion have saved the company from bankruptcy).

So basically, we have turned Iraq into a capitalist’s dream, a shopping mall in which the products sold are the resources of someone else’s country. And in the aftermath of shock and awe, the country was declared “open for business” by Paul Bremer before the dust had settled, before the lights had come back on, and before the U.S. contractors had successfully rebuilt a single bridge.

And this universal restructuring of the Iraqi economy was completed before elections were held. The basic issues any democracy wrestles with, like “Should we have private or universal health care?”, “How should our resources be distributed?”, and “How much of our public companies should we allow foreign companies to own?” were all decided unilaterally by the U.S. And once we had pillaged and plundered the country’s resources we decided that we should probably let them vote.

Not much has changed since Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.


  1. Johnny T said,

    I like the picture.

    As if the stuff you said wasn’t bad enough, I should note that tax payers are the ones paying the no-bid contracts to the reconstruction companies. They are logging record profits and we pay the bill. –sounds effed up to me —

  2. The Pundit said,

    Yeah, that’s why I said in another post that we are like unwilling venture capitalists, except we only assume the risk but get none of the rewards.

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