Part of this morning was spent watching a presentation by Naomi Klein on her book, ‘The Shock Doctrine’. The doctrine can be traced back fifty years to Milton Friedman, from the ‘Chicago School’. whose ideas have had and, indeed, still have a profound influence on the neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers in Washington. Basically, Klein shows how there is a period of shock after a disaster and in this period most people stop thinking and are compliant, it is then that they are exploited by the ‘disaster capitalists’ in pursuit of their ideological and economic agenda.
Interestingly, during the question and answer period she was asked what she thought about the conspiracy theories behind 9/11. and she replied quite simply that she didn’t know if there is any truth in them, but what she did know was that George W Bush and his cronies used the shock period to get involved in an illegal war in Iraq, a war that has cost up to a million lives. Interestingly this was a war, which was appropriately fought under the banner, “shock and awe” and has given the ‘disaster capitalists’ a blank cheque in Iraq. My post from 30th June shows how, thirty six years after losing their oil concessions Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP, the four companies that once formed the Iraqi Petroleum Company and exploited the country’s oil reserves until the industry’s nationalisation in 1972, have returned to Iraq.(1)
However, Iraq is, of course, only one part of this war against terror, a war that does not make any more sense than George Orwells eternal conflict between Eastasia, Oceania and Eurasia.(2) Nevertheless, as a business plan it is marvelous; fight evil, everywhere forever and you have unlimited public funds to do so, everything is outsourced, surveillance, prisoner interrogation and prisoners and Halliburton finds itself in the business of humanitarian relief, immigration holding and, down in Dafur, genocide prevention, while Blackwater polices the proceedings.
If this, as an economic model, is the best that we can come up with, it is an indictment on all of us and talking about indicments, isn’t it time for someone to instigate legal proceedings against Bush and his cronies?
2 George Orwell, ‘1984’
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