Iraq a test tube for corporate globalization

Posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2007

1953 - A CIA coup overthrew the democratically elected leader of Iran, President Mohammed Mossadegh, installing the repressive regime of the shah. Mossadegh's crime was to want to nationalize more of Iran's oil from British and American oil companies.

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1963 - A CIA coup overthrew Gen. Abdul Karin Qasim, who nationalized most Iraqi oil. The Baathist government was installed.

1998 - While Iraq was under U.N. trade sanctions, Saddam Hussein was making future oil contracts with Russia, France, China and other non-U.S. companies.

According to "The Bush Agenda" by Antonia Juhasz, "Many in the U.S. business community and the Bush White House - in waiting saw the writing on the wall. They increasingly began to argue that the only way to ensure U.S. economic advantage in Iraq was to oust Saddam Hussein finally and totally and remake the country in America's image."

2002 - One of the main boosters of this war, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, was founded. Bruce Jackson left his vice presidency at Lockheed Martin to start the committee. Randy Scheunemann, a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, wrote the Iraq Liberation Act. Serving on the committee's advisory board were individuals whose companies - such as Bechtel, Lockheed Martin and Fluor - would receive some of the most lucrative no-bid contracts in Iraq at cost plus.

"Congressman Henry Waxman of California explained that members of the Iraqi Governing Council estimated that the costs to American taxpayers of many reconstruction projects could be reduced by 90 percent if the projects were awarded to local Iraqi companies" ("The Bush Agenda, page 224).

Paul Bremer, Bush's head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, wrote orders into Iraq's constitution that mandated: 1) Privatization of Iraq's state-owned enterprises; 2) 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; 3) no preferences for local over foreign businesses, which has allowed a U.S. corporate invasion to extract profits with no investment in the local economy and immunity in Iraqi courts for crimes committed by American soldiers and civilian contractors.

We wouldn't allow that in our country, but Iraq is a test tube for corporate globalization and "free trade." While Iraqis suffer, the military industrial complex is making a killing.

In this war for oil and hegemony, the White House and many congressmen should wear corporate logos on their lapels instead of Old Glory. That would be "transparency in government."

Lisle Hebert


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