War and Fleece

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

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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.

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Jihad, American Style

February 14, 2008 at 12:18 am (U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized)

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Here’s a little sociology lesson for you: In your mind, exchange this soldier’s uniform for a white robe and replace his helmet with a turban. With me so far? Good. Now, picture him kneeling on both knees rather than one, with his face to the ground and a little mat underneath him. And finally, change the English letters at the bottom to Arabic ones, and the word “Lord” to “Allah” with a Quran reference instead of one from the New Testament.

 GASP! Look at that fanatical extremist! How can those animals kill innocent women and children with such indifference and even glee? They must have ice running through their veins….

 Just ’cause murder is done in the service of a different God doesn’t make it holy war.

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Fascism in Ten Easy Steps

February 12, 2008 at 12:41 am (U.S. Domestic Policy, Uncategorized)

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In The End of America, Naomi Wolf lists the ten steps that have historically preceded the “fascist shift” that occured in Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and that is occuring in our land in the present day:

1. Invoke an External and Internal Threat

2. Establish Secret Prisons

3. Develop a Paramilitary Force

4. Surveil Ordinary Citizens

5. Infiltrate Citizens’ Groups

6. Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens

7. Target Key Individuals

8. Restrict the Press

9. Cast Criticism as “Espionage” and Dissent as “Treason”

10. Subvert the Rule of Law

Are you shuddering yet?

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Welcome to the Wondering Pundit….

February 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm (Uncategorized)

This blog, began on this 8th day of February, 2008, is intended as a safe place for progressives to opine (though all, of course, are welcome).

Don’t touch that dial….

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