I've often wondered.....
If they were given a wide open shot at greed's brass ring, just how far would the NeanderCons go?
For example, if Gordon Campbell was granted three wishes tomorrow would he:
1) Get rid of all trade unions?
2) Privatize all crown corporations?
3) Shred every last strand in the social safety net?
Maybe.....but, lucky for us Gordo has not yet found his one true fairy godmother.
Well, according to Naomi Klein, they have not been so lucky.
In a cogently written and well researched (ie. she actually leaves the GreenZone when she visits Baghdad) piece in the Sept. Harpers our Ms. Klein chronicles the plight of 25 million Iraqis who, after first being subjected to the shock and awe of America's military campaign, were immediately plunged into super-cooled, less than zero freezing cold bath of economic shock therapy that began with the firing of 500,000 state workers.
This massive lay-off was the first major act of Paul 'Suits and Boots' Bremmer when he hit the ground running in a still burning Baghdad. It was followed, in rapid succession, by:
1) The opening of the all the country's borders to unrestricted imports.
2) The liquidation of all state-owned companies and assets.
3) Order 37, which lowered Iraq's corporate tax rate from 40 to a flat 15%.
4) Order 39, which allowed foreign companies to own 100% of Iraqi assets (except for the natural resource sector, which was a lesser but significant percentage).
5) Order 40, which allowed foreign banks to move in and rapidly establish financial hegemony.
6) Reinstatement of Saddam's policy that severely curtails all union organizing and collective bargaining.
In other words, Bremmer had a plan. And that plan would use all means necessary, including force, to create a Laissez-Faire Utopia so Fantasmagoric that, in the words of sometime Bush good 'ol Boytoy John McCain, it would become a :
The flies McCain was referring to were not Terrorists but rather Multinationals. In other words, folks from the likes of Bechtel, Halliburton and KPMG who would come for the decidely un-Laissez-Fairyish No-Bid Contracts and would stay for the Greed.
Because, in the fevered Neandercon mind at least, bottomless corporate greed begets profit which begets jobs and products and services and everything else (read cellphones and HDTVs) that anyone could possibly need or want.
But just exactly who would want those things?
Well, it turned out that it wasn't the natives who had been fired. Or their families. Or the even greater number of folks that were laid off when the factories were sold and stripped of their assets. Or the folks with farms or stores or companies that could not compete with the incoming tsunami of foreign goods. Or the folks that could not find food or basic services, or electricity, or schools, or personal safety.
But for the sharp-eyed young true believers from the American Enterprise Institute that were running the Coaltion Provisional Authority the plight of the natives did not matter one whit because, as Joe Allbaugh, former Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign manager and newly minted Chairman of honey pot maker 'New Bridge Strategies' put it:
Of course, things didn't quite work out the way Messrs. Bremmer, McCain and Allbaugh et al. intended.
And now even King George II himself has had to back down, last week telling the NY Times that his administration "miscalculated" post-war conditions in Iraq - and that those conditions were a result of unforseen swift victory.
Sure, he "miscalculated" alright, but not because of his swift (boat liar's) victory.
Instead, he and his very best friends miscalculated because they had their Heads of Very Little Brain stuck in Honey Pots of their own making.