Several strands are involved in this post, so I ask my readers to take it on faith that it will all come together: an eight hundred pound gorilla hurtling barrels of oil.
I'd never even heard of the monthly "In These Times", much less been solicited. It came to me as a freebe in my kit at the conference on media reform and I didn't get to peruse it until a week later. It's like "The Nation" and "Z" rolled into one, a must for reform-minded people.
By far the most important contribution to the January issue is the one by Antonia Juhasz, a young scholar whose recent book is entitled" "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time". The article is partly based on this work and will tell you everything you need to know about the real purpose of the war in Iraq - which newscasters have never asked, or are afraid to tell.
Once in a while you hear one of them protest: "So why are we building all those permanent bases in Iraq?" But they don't really expect an answer, they just want you to believe they're not letting the wool be pulled over their eyes.
In fact, it's not wool, it's armor. Juhasz spells out what many of us have suspected: that the administration didn't fumble the ball after the invasion; all those crazy decisions were deliberate sequiturs to the plan written by Cheney's Energy Task Force before the war even started. The plan is not only to hand Iraq's oil to American companies, but the entire economy.
It isn't often mentioned, but Iraq was a centralized economy: the government owned the oil wealth and did with it what the Saudis did with theirs: it built hospitals and other social services. Unlike the Saudis, however, but like what Hugo Chavez is doing with Venezuela's oil wealth, it also built schools which women were encouraged to attend. (Every once in a while someone mentions that Iraq had a lot of highly trained people, but the link is never made to how they got that way...) Now one of our main goals is to privatize the socialist economy that made all that possible (the Ba'ath is a secular, socialist movement, which is why we sided with Saddam against the religious regime in Iran...).
So all this hemming and hawing about more troops is merely to hide the real issue: how agreeable the Iraqi regime is to adopting an American capitalist system. It would appear that they're not enthusiastic. (As I mentioned in a previous post, the Shia, who run the government, are traditionally "for the people", which is another thing that sets them at loggerheads with the Sunni's secular side..).
Now that the U.S. presidential election season has started, and candidates are taking a stand, it's more important than ever to keep all this in mind. Hillary surprised me by stating flat out that she's against giving more money and equipment to the Iraqi forces, YET THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO STAND UP SO WE CAN STAND DOWN, and Maliki is complaining about not getting enough stuff to do the job.
So what's the score? Could it be that we're setting the elected Iraqi government up to fail so that we can have an excuse, in the name of "national security"to take over the country? (That would make it convenient to keep Iran in it's place...)
I suggest we ask each presidential candidate the only question that matters: Do they agree with Cheney's plan to take over the Iraqi economy?
That question goes for Obama too: I'm convinced he could win the presidency, but if he didn't break with America's plan to take over the world one economy at a time, it would hardly be worth it.
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