The Mother of All Colonialism: CPA promotes exploitation of Iraq

Article released today by Reuters: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031024/lf_nm/iraq_businessmen_dc_1

Basically the level of CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) condescension towards the Iraqi business community knows no bounds. Token peanuts are handed out to indigenous businesses while the big bucks are withheld until a U.S. or similar croney-ist foreign corporation can get their finger in the pie.

I’d like all of the market-driven Friedman-ite dopers to look at this ongoing scandal objectively - do you really think that postwar reconstruction is more efficiently carried out by excluding local businesses who already have the relationships, the contacts, the supply chain knowledge, and the cultural negotiating experience, in favor of foreign corporations with deep pockets and are hooked up to the good 'ole boy network?

I submit to you the stark contrast of the Marshall Plan, which dopers all across the ideological spectrum have trumpeted as a model of U.S. competency in the sphere of institution-building and reconstruction: http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/1998-11/leffler.html. A few choice quotes from this particular source -

Substitute “Islamic fundamentalist” for “communist”.

“Respond to individual concerns” and “not simply impose its will”??!! What a novel idea!!

Regardless of one’s pre-war position or one’s ideological stripe, by any objective measure the postwar reconstruction effort is already shaping up to be a financial, cultural, and diplomatic disaster. Instead of ending up with a democratic flagship in the Middle East, Dubya and the CPA seem hell-bent on creating a free-for-all exploitation zone for the Coalition of the Greedy. If you have any doubts as to how that scenario turns out, check your history books.

I do hope you are not as surprized as comes across in your OP?

Salaam. A

The Apocalypse is upon us. I agree with Aldebaran. This was not surprising. It is also a very stupid way to run affairs. If we really want to set up a sufficiently friendly state of affairs in Iraq, we have to give the Iraqis a vested interest in such friendliness with the USA. The colonialism that is being installed in Iraq is just plain stupid. It’s stupid as diplomacy, it’s stupid as politics, it’s stupid as strategy, and it’s stupid as business. In addition, I’d go so far as to say that it is immoral. It is immoral in that it runs against every principle we have claimed to adhere to since Wilson was President. It is immoral in that it reduces Iraq to a permanent client status, which means that US citizens will have to be continually put at risk to maintain that status. It is immoral just because it’s outright slimy.

Cue Bush apologists explaining why the war with Iraq was not a glorified money grab for corporate interests…

rjung: Well, to be fair, I believe Dogface is quite the conservative (apologies if I’m thinking of someone else), and HE sure isn’t defending this. Though I would be interested to see what the other prominent conservative posters have to say…

I don’t think for a moment all conservatives/Republicans/right-wingers blindly follow the directives of the Bush Administration. It’s just that a distressing number of them do, and given how vocal they have been in the past about how everything George just keeps coming up roses, I’m waiting for the spin to begin…

Guilty as charged, Leaper - waiting for the Heirs of December ™ to take the bait. Their silence speaks volumes; apparently the unadorned truth is tough to swallow.

This truth is not so unadorned until one includes the facts that over 300 soldiers lives and uncounted Iraqi lives have been sacrificed for this business venture and most Americans were tricked into believing that this was about liberation.

I’ll chime in.

This is not defensible. I won’t try to defend it. But when someone comes out and says this:

sacrificed for this business venture and most Americans were tricked into believing that this was about liberation.

They are going to far. Regardless of what you think the “real reasons” are, Iraq has in fact been liberated from Saddam Hussein. This is a true fact whether Bush did it for his daddy, for business partners, or because Jesus told him to do it in a vision.

People that obsess about the “real reasons” are more interested in the inner gremlins of Bush’s head than the actual effect of this war. Even if everything turns out wonderfully, people who hate Bush will still be obsessing about the real reasons. Get over it. You can never know the real reasons. For all we know Bush was playing the Desert Storm video game and thought that it would be cool to do it in real life.

What really matters is what actually happens. The things that we can know. Complaining about what is unknowable is stupid.

What I said adaher was:

This is not a discussion about anyone’s inner gremlins. This is a discussion about the apparent ends of this war justifying the factual means it has thus far required to get there. It is gravely disrespectful to the families and the memories of soldiers that have died in this war not to include their sacrifice in the tally of those means.

Apparently, not all Americans care to acknowledge or respect their sacrifices.

And apparently many Americans would rather pity them than congratulate them on a job well done.

I admit it’s an improvement over calling them Baby Killers. I guess patronizing them is better than villifying them.

And may I ask you :

Who are you that you think anyone can decide that thousands of people are dispensable?

Who are you that you declare it iss OK to kill thousands of people while invading their nation?

And please, don’t give us the “bad Hussein” comedy. He was for decades “the good Hussein” for the US administration while killing Iraniers, which served the US intetrests in the region.
No single US’er cared about “the poor oppressed Iraqis” then. But now all of a sudden they so called do.
The same with the Taliban and their regime.

Please, get over your hypocrisy and look at the reality.
Salaam. A

We didn’t do it for humanitarian reasons. Doesn’t change the fact that Hussein is gone and the Iraqis are thrilled about it.

You failed to answer my questions, adahar.

The discussion about the Iraqy people being glad that Saddam is gone is also not at hand and: Not everyone is so happy about that and even among those who were happy there are people that aren’t that happy anymore by now.

I have an other question to add:

Who are you to think that people in an other country are waiting for the USA to invade their nation and murder thousands of people?
Was the USA invited overthere?
No the USA was not invited as far as I know. Maybe you know more?

By the way: If those murderous inhumane criminal sanctions wouldn’t have been imposed on them and kept imposed on them by US pressure, the opposition in Iraq would have trived underground and most probably the course of history would have led to the Iraqi people changing their regime themselves over time or even already by now.
Do you claim to know that this wouldn’t have happened?

Oh, this leads to an other question for you:

The CIA is widely known for its criminal terroristic plotting to overthrow regimes “from the inside”.
Do you know the answer as to why they didn’t in Iraq while they are trying to establish such evolution in Iran?
Salaam. A

The only reason I can think why adaher would wish to hijack this particular OP into yet another thread about whether the war was justified because SH was such a bastard is that adaher subscribes to the neo-imperial doctrine that underlies such actions as described up top.

This doctrine promotes the notion that since the US is the only superpower, there’s no reason on Earth why it and its allies should not simply revel in said status, running roughshod over the rest of the world.

The idea is that we, as a nation have become so complacent in our lives that the administration needs to offer only lip-service to any real justification of our actions, since there’s no one to stop us anyway, and once the money starts rolling in, we citizens will sit back and forget everything anyway.

The 11th of September, 2001 was a clarion call to the neo-imperialists. Almost anything we wished to do could be crammed under the umbrella of “the war on terrorism”. It is the entire basis for the war this year.

In light of the actions being taken by the powers that be in Iraq today, I do not think the Iraqi people are in any way better off, Hussein or no Hussein.

For them, the fire has simply ousted the frying-pan middleman. If any are currently happy about this turn of events, they have simply not yet felt the flames.

So by acknowledging the sacrifice they have made, we are ‘pitying’ them. By adding the cost of their invaluable lives to any consideration of the overall cost of this war we are ‘patronizing’ them. By your reasoning, the only support that we can give them is mindless, doltish support of this administration and its policies, however immoral those may be. A convenient self-serving lie. I dismiss your contribution to this thread as irrelevant.

kwildcat

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3126522.stm

This has been in the works for sometime now.

Fascinating, not a single one. Not a single individual. Amazing, how you claim such omniscience. Are you saying that you are Allah, the only Omniscient Being? Are you putting yourself up as His equal?

Actually, there’s quite a large community of Iraqi-Americans, both exiles and those who had been there for generations, who did their best to make sure America didn’t forget what Saddam was doing to his people. The pictures of them cheering and weeping with joy in the Detroit area when Saddam’s statue was pulled down were heartwarming, no matter how you felt about the war.

OK, campers, waaaaayyyyyy off track, so here endeth the hijack.

adaher - this thread is not about ideology, nor is it a he-said-she-said shouting match. At no point does the OP even tangentially allude to the reasons or justifications for entering into the Iraq conflict. The occupation is a done deal, so we need to look at the situation in real time, not cry over spilt milk. Until and unless you are prepared to address the factual references made to the reconstruction policies of the CPA (and hence the U.S. government, of which the CPA is an official policy arm), please cease and desist from your ranting.

telesis2001 - I’m afraid your “sacrificed” and “tricked” post started this. Regardless of whether I sympathize or object to that interpretation of the origins of the occupation, it doesn’t actually apply to the OP. Please stick to good stuff like your BBC cite.

Related to that BBC cite - privatization itself is not a bad thing. Privatizing Iraqi industries is an OK economic reform on its face, and was a logical and predictable move by the CPA. The details of that privatization, however, illustrate an official U.S. policy of exploitation - a free-for-all where the playing field for private investment is most definitely NOT level, but in fact tilted against Iraqis. The situation is analagous to Wall Street establishing brokerage rules that make it harder for regular U.S. citizens to buy stocks but easier for, say, board members of the NYSE and their friends to buy stocks.

The reason I try to incite the conservative Bush apologists with these facts (and to couch the debate in terms they cannot lightly dismiss, i.e. economics) is that the position of the U.S. conservative right (and the Dubya administration is no exception) has always been, “if you leave the marketplace alone, economic problems will solve themselves, and everyone will be better off.” The actions of the CPA are a blatant manipulation of the market, however, and by any logic must be interpreted as rank hypocrisy vis a vis the administration’s lip-service to conservative fiscal policy. Clearly for them, “fiscal conservatism” does not describe a bona fide theoretical or public policy position, but rather a mechanism by which they can enrich individuals and/or corporations with whom they desire to curry favor. And THAT, my friends, is a well-informed, factual, logical, non-partisan reason to oppose the current direction of Iraq policy and the re-election of this administration.