BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

MUST READ

Phenomenal article from Naomi Klein today. (In my opinion, she's been writing the best stuff re: Iraq and the new wave of American Imperialism.)

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Cliff note version: the STATE DEPARTMENT has an office entirely devoted to planning the RECONSTRUCTION & PRIVATIZATION of about 25 COUNTRIES around the world.

Countries that aren't in conflict.

Yet.
Last summer, in the lull of the August media doze, the Bush Administration's doctrine of preventive war took a major leap forward. On August 5, 2004, the White House created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, headed by former US Ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual. Its mandate is to draw up elaborate "post-conflict" plans for up to twenty-five countries that are not, as of yet, in conflict. According to Pascual, it will also be able to coordinate three full-scale reconstruction operations in different countries "at the same time," each lasting "five to seven years."
Let's guess: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran? Syria, North Korea, and Cuba?
Gone are the days of waiting for wars to break out and then drawing up ad hoc plans to pick up the pieces. In close cooperation with the National Intelligence Council, Pascual's office keeps "high risk" countries on a "watch list" and assembles rapid-response teams ready to engage in prewar planning and to "mobilize and deploy quickly" after a conflict has gone down.

The teams are made up of private companies, nongovernmental organizations and members of think tanks--some, Pascual told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in October, will have "pre-completed" contracts to rebuild countries that are not yet broken. Doing this paperwork in advance could "cut off three to six months in your response time."
PRE-COMPLETED CONTRACTS?!!

"Yeah. Like, I'm gonna draw up a contract so your company can, uh, run Venezuela's oil. You know, in the event that the Venezuelan people need someone to, uh, do that for them."

Right.

"They don't now. But they might."

Right.

"So we might as well draw up the contracts."

Right.

Please check out Klein's original article on the Bushies' push to PRIVATIZE Iraq:

Baghdad Year Zero - Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia

The general neo-con idea?
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.

The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.
She goes on to say that many Iraqi "insurgents" are just dudes who went ballistic on the day they lost their factory job to the CPA.

"No. They're evil-doers."

Right.

Hey, strong words for Bill Frist in the New York Times (Bill Frist's Religious War) today re: his dealing with the Family Research Council.
Senator Frist and his backers want to take away the sole tool Democrats have for resisting the appointment of unqualified judges: the filibuster. This is not about a majority or even a significant number of Bush nominees; it's about a handful with fringe views or shaky qualifications. But Senator Frist is determined to get judges on the federal bench who are loyal to the Republican fringe and, he hopes, would accept a theocratic test on decisions.

Senator Frist has an even bigger game in mind than the current nominees: the next appointments to the Supreme Court, which the Republican conservatives view as their best chance to outlaw abortion and impose their moral code on the country.
Will we have a mandatory "national pancake breakfast" every Sunday? Hope so.

Please read Saturday's post for more info on that particular story.

Out.

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