U.S. corporations march into Baghdad, at the expense of self-determination.
By Antonia Juhasz, Antonia Juhasz is a scholar with the think tank Foreign Policy In Focus. Her book “The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time” will be published by Regan Books in 2006.
It’s called imperialism.
Over a year ago, orders were put in place by L. Paul Bremer III, then the U.S. administrator of Iraq, that were designed to “transition [Iraq] from a â€¦ centrally planned economy to a market economy” virtually overnight and by U.S. fiat.
Laws governing banking, investment, patents, copyrights, business ownership, taxes, the media and trade have all been changed according to U.S. goals, with little real participation from the Iraqi people.
A central component of the Bush economic agenda is foreign corporate access to, and privatization of, Iraq’s once state-run economy.
Oil is, of course, at the heart of the agenda. In 2004, U.S.-appointed interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi submitted guidelines to Iraq’s Supreme Council for Oil Policy suggesting that the “Iraqi government disengage from running the oil sector â€¦ and that the [Iraq National Oil Company] be partly privatized in the future” and opened to international foreign investment, according to International Oil Daily.
Finally, consider Iraq’s reconstruction, which also remains firmly under U.S. control
Just as discussions are finally emerging for ending the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, so too must the economic invasion be brought to an end.
But that’s what imperialism is. Domination of other countries by military and economic means. Looting that country and sending the proceeds to the U.S. Iraq is not a fluke or an aberration from the norm. The invasion of Iraq IS the norm. Democrats as well as Republicans have been doing this kind of thing for decades and control of the Middle East has been a U.S. foreign policy objective since the early 1900’s.