“Free Market” Ideology Has Killed Thousands In Iraq

August 11th, 2006 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Joshua Holland elaborates here on something we were talking about on USTV over three years ago, and which has become nakedly apparent. It also helps explain part of what this invasion and occupation was all about.

Iraqis have been brutalized not only by bombs and bullets; they’ve also been the victims of economic violence in the form of the free market “shock therapy” cooked up by a firm in Virginia on a $250 million no-bid contract before the U.S. invasion. Tranforming Iraq’s economy overnight was a matter of ideology trumping commonsense, and it’s killed thousands of innocent Iraqis and shattered a way of life for hundreds of thousands more.

That the radical restructuring of Iraq’s political economy has received so little critical attention - even as Iraq’s nascent government threatens to crash and burn - is a testament to how deeply indoctrinated we are -especially our media - in the narrative of what “American-style” capitalism is. It was taken as a given that after knocking off Saddam, we’d rapidly privatize huge swaths of Iraq’s national companies, get rid of hundreds of thousands of civil servants, completely restructure the country’s tax and finance laws and throw Iraq’s economy wide open for foreign multinationals. File it under bringing “democracy and capitalism” to the poor, backward Arabs.

The reality is that the economic policies we imposed on Iraq were not some generic form of “capitalism”; they included the most radical business-state rules imaginable - policies that developing countries have vehemently resisted for over a decade. What’s more, imposing them at the point of a gun appears to have violated both international and U.S. laws. There’s nothing “normal” about it.

This what these economic royalists and the corporateers have been cooking up for us in the U.S. as well (see ‘Social Security Privatization’ as one of the more obvious and key exhibits). The misery in Iraq is not an aberration. It is literally ‘business as usual’ for the corporate feudalists who continue to attempt to implement a global corporate hegemony over the world. This is their form of ‘globalism’. A corporate version, not a civic version.

Read The Full Article Here

And here is a report in the Los Angeles Times on the related symptoms of this whole fetid affair, that being the huge sums of money earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction that simply disappeared into ‘mismanaged’ cost-overruns.

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