American Samizdat

Monday, September 17, 2007. *
The Bush administration has taken several important and little-examined measures to institutionalise the privatised warfare model forged in Iraq, making it a permanent fixture of foreign policy. In July 2006, Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, issued a report on "lessons learned" from the various contractor debacles. It concluded that the problems stemmed from insufficient planning and called for the creation of "a deployable reserve corps of contracting personnel who are trained to execute rapid relief and reconstruction contracting during contingency operations" and to "pre-qualify a diverse pool of contractors with expertise in specialised reconstruction areas" - in other words, a standing contractor army. In his 2007 State of the Union address, Bush championed the idea, announcing the creation of a brand-new civilian reserve corps. "Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the armed forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them," he said. "It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time."

A year and half into the Iraq occupation, the US State Department launched a new branch: the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization. On any given day, it is paying private contractors to draw up detailed plans to reconstruct 25 different countries that may, for one reason or another, find themselves the target of US-sponsored destruction, from Venezuela to Iran. Corporations and consultants are lined up on "pre-signed contracts" so that they are ready to leap into action as soon as disaster strikes. For the Bush administration, it was a natural evolution: after claiming it had a right to cause unlimited pre-emptive destruction, it then pioneered pre-emptive reconstruction - rebuilding places that have not yet been destroyed.

So in the end, the war in Iraq did create a model economy - it was just not the "tiger on the Tigris" that the neo-cons had advertised. Instead, it was a model for privatised war and reconstruction - a model that quickly became export-ready. Until Iraq, the frontiers of the Chicago crusade had been bound by geography: Russia, Argentina, South Korea. Now a new frontier can open up wherever the next disaster strikes.

Also see, shock doctrine at work.
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.

As above so below, as abroad so at home; just look at New Orleans. This is the utmost of importance in all this. The war is two fold, abroad and at home. You are just as much the enemy as any one in Iraq.

You seriously will want to hear this Democracy Now interview: The Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein on the Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Pinochet's coup in Chile, the massacre in Tiananmen Square, the collapse of the Soviet Union, September 11th 2001, the war on Iraq, the Asian tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. Award-winning investigative journalist Naomi Klein brings together all of these world-changing events in her new book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." In her first national broadcast interview since the publication of "The Shock Doctrine," Klein joins us in our firehouse studio for the hour. Klein writes, "The history of the contemporary free market was written in shocks." She argues that "Some of the most infamous human rights violations of the past thirty five years which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti-democratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical free-market reforms."

Finally, "I am examining the "war on terror" not as a military campaign but as a thriving new economy." writes Klein. And believe me when I say this, as George Carlin says, "YOU AIN'T IN THE FUCKING CLUB."
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:53 AM
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