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Old 10-04-2004, 02:52 PM   #1
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Baghdad Year Zero

Interesting, but very looooooong article by Naomi Klein on foreign investment in Iraq.


It was only after I had been in Baghdad for a month that I found what I was looking for. I had traveled to Iraq a year after the war began, at the height of what should have been a construction boom, but after weeks of searching I had not seen a single piece of heavy machinery apart from tanks and humvees. Then I saw it: a construction crane. It was big and yellow and impressive, and when I caught a glimpse of it around a corner in a busy shopping district I thought that I was finally about to witness some of the reconstruction I had heard so much about. But as I got closer I noticed that the crane was not actually rebuilding anything—not one of the bombed-out government buildings that still lay in rubble all over the city, nor one of the many power lines that remained in twisted heaps even as the heat of summer was starting to bear down. No, the crane was hoisting a giant billboard to the top of a three-story building. SUNBULAH: HONEY 100% NATURAL, made in Saudi Arabia.

And in case you think she is too easy on al-Sadr go

The second article is much much shorter.

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Old 10-04-2004, 03:30 PM   #2
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:58 PM   #3
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I´ve been to your country!
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Old 10-05-2004, 01:05 AM   #4
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It was late when I posted this last nigh and I should have included a basic summary of the article since it is extremely long.

Klein basically argues that Bush did in fact have a postwar plan. The plan was to lay Iraq open to foreign corporations to come in buy up the country. This involved selling off all national companies and basically re-starting the country from nothing, creating a corporate utopia with virtually no restriction on business activity. In this way Iraq would be reconconstructed, but remade in a new image, a neocon utopia, something completely different from before. This is where the "Year Zero" comes from, Iraq being wiped out and started from scratch.

The idea was for Bremer to push through all his neocon economic reforms while the Iraqi people didn't have time to worry about it because they would be more worried about basic necessities than economic policies. These policies would make Iraq an attractive place for foreign investment and thus reconstruction. However, the plan backfired and after firing 500,000 public workers and trying to privatize national industries, these disgruntled workers became the resistance or "insurgents/terrorists" we have in Iraq today. She does not deny that extremism, fighters from outside Iraq or Islamism is playing a part as well.

So basically, she argues that neoconservative economic policies have set the stage for the resistance, and have also created a disillusioned audience for extremists, such as al-Sadr.
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