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Market Fundamentalists Created Current Iraq Crisis
Naomi Klein explains how the Bush-Bremer reconstruction plan has misaberably failed and caused resistance and violence in Iraq.
In a very important article Naomi Kline writes in the September issue of Harper's Magazine about the failure of the Bush-Bremer plan to make Iraq a neoconservative paradise for U.S. firms and investors. Called Baghdad Year Zero the article describes the "Pillaging of Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia."
The article explains what has been driving the resistance movement of the young cleric Maqtada al Sadr. And it demonstrates how ideological belief in free market fundamentalism led the people Bush sent to Iraq to completely misread the practical realities of what was needed for reconstruction.
Here are a couple concluding paragraphs from the article:
The great historical irony of the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is that the shock-therapy reforms that were supposed to create an economic boom that would rebuild the country have instead fueled a resistance that ultimately made reconstruction impossible. Bremerís reforms unleashed forces that the neocons neither predicted nor could hope to control, from armed insurrections inside factories to tens of thousands of unemployed young men arming themselves. These forces have transformed Year Zero in Iraq into the mirror opposite of what the neocons envisioned: not a corporate utopia but a ghoulish dystopia, where going to a simple business meeting can get you lynched, burned alive, or beheaded. These dangers are so great that in Iraq global capitalism has retreated, at least for now. For the neocons, this must be a shocking development: their ideological belief in greed turns out to be stronger than greed itself.
Iraq was to the neocons what Afghanistan was to the Taliban: the one place on Earth where they could force everyone to live by the most literal, unyielding interpretation of their sacred texts. One would think that the bloody results of this experiment would inspire a crisis of faith: in the country where they had absolute free reign, where there was no local government to blame, where economic reforms were introduced at their most shocking and most perfect, they created, instead of a model free market, a failed state no right-thinking investor would touch. And yet the Green Zone neocons and their masters in Washington are no more likely to reexamine their core beliefs than the Taliban mullahs were inclined to search their souls when their Islamic state slid into a debauched Hades of opium and sex slavery. When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder.
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