The Guardian (UK)
April 14, 2003

What is Being Planned in Iraq is Not Reconstruction but Robbery

by Naomi Klein

. . . Rather than rebuilding, the country is being treated as a blank slate on which the most ideological Washington neo-liberals can design their dream economy: fully privatised, foreign-owned and open for business. . . .

Entirely absent from this debate are the Iraqi people, who might - who knows? - want to hold on to a few of their assets. Iraq will be owed massive reparations after the bombing stops, but in the absence of any kind of democratic process, what is being planned is not reparations, reconstruction or rehabilitation. It is robbery: mass theft disguised as charity; privatisation without representation.

A people, starved and sickened by sanctions, then pulverised by war, is going to emerge from this trauma to find that their country had been sold out from under them. They will also discover that their new-found "freedom" - for which so many of their loved ones perished - comes pre-shackled by irreversible economic decisions that were made in boardrooms while the bombs were still falling. They will then be told to vote for their new leaders, and welcomed to the wonderful world of democracy.


[Enver Masud, "Corporate Globalization Threatens World's Poor, Middle Class"]

["Spoils of War"]

["The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched . . . . the Ministry of Interior, of course - with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq - and the Ministry of Oil."--Robert Fisk, "Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters," Independent, April 14, 2003]

[Enver Masud, "An Open Letter to the People of Iraq"]

["As the Bush administration rushes to jump-start the reconstruction of postwar Iraq, it may want to consider the recent woes of Pete Henderson. . . .

"The decision boiled down to this: he was moving too early to make a profit and might get a jump on his competitors. . . .

"Many other entrepreneurs are having the same experience."--Edmund L. Andrews, "U.S. Officials Ground an Entrepreneur in Iraq," New York Times, May 15, 2003]

Gethin Chamberlain, "$4bn Iraq cash has vanished, claims charity," The Scotsman, October 23, 2003

Naomi Klein, " The multibillion robbery the US calls reconstruction: The shameless corporate feeding frenzy in Iraq is fuelling the resistance," The Guardian, June 26, 2004

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