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'The war to make Iraq safe for democracy can be only weeks away now, and already President Bush sees the rosy dawn that lies beyond:
"Old patterns of conflict in the Middle East can be broken, if all concerned will let go of bitterness, hatred and violence, and get on with the serious work of economic development, and political reform, and reconciliation," the President told the American Enterprise Institute in a stirring speech on Wednesday. "A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions."
Those happy millions will evidently include corporate America. Time magazine reported this week that the US Government is already negotiating contracts of around $US900 million to rebuild Iraq's war-torn infrastructure; deals which, the report says, "will go exclusively to US companies and subcontractors from nations officially designated as friendly".
I expect the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, will show the way. In 1991, as Bush the Elder's Defence Secretary, Cheney prosecuted the first Gulf War that devastated much of Iraq's oilfields.
With the peace, he left the Pentagon to become chairman of a giant oil industry services company named Halliburton, which, happily, racked up $US23.8 million in deals with Saddam Hussein to repair those very same oilfields - all routed through European subsidiary companies, deftly avoiding the inconvenient US sanctions against doing business with the Iraqi fiend.
Under Cheney, Halliburton also had some nice little earners with the less than democratic regimes of Burma, Iran and Soeharto's Indonesia. Another subsidiary, Brown & Root, was fined $US3.8 million for busting sanctions against Libya's Colonel Gaddafi. Admirers of the entrepreneurial spirit will be thrilled to hear that Cheney adlered a $US34 million farewell from Halliburton as he returned to Washington.
To the victor the spoils. The Vice-President must lead the triumphant parade down Baghdad's main boulevard, showered with the bouquets of the grateful masses who have survived the cruise missiles.'
THE 51ST STATE??
'Now that the Howard Government is thinking of signing up for the Son of Star Wars missile defence system, it would make more sense to short-cut everything and apply for Australia to become the 51st state of the American union.
Already the US controls our foreign and defence policies; it might as well run the rest as well. It would save an awful lot of bother with such things as the free trade agreement due to be negotiated between our two countries.
Some 60 American officials will arrive in Canberra in a few weeks to commence these talks, for a deal which the Government blithely believes will eventually add $4 billion to our economy. A less optimistic view is that it would simply allow the Americans to snap up icons like airlines (Qantas), telecommunications (Telstra) and the Commonwealth Bank while denying us access to their fiercely protected farm markets. (yee haw, love those 68% subsidies...what free-market??)
Becoming the 51st state would fix all that and realise our republican dreams as well. The only difficulty would be in neatly fitting that extra Aussie star onto the top left-hand corner of Old Glory.'
-------------------- (zhukov in a previous life....)
Thanks, I really enjoyed those articles. I especially like the quote by President Bush. The old patterns will only be broken by reconciling under democratic consumerism, and if they can't see that on their own we will gladly spank asses until they see the light. I can't help but see this whole thing as another example of Corporate Societies attacking and assimilating noncorporate ones. Is Saddam evil? Sure, the evidence is IMHO overwhelming. What I have a problem with is that the American agenda is really a hidden one and therefore not truly intended to be in the best interest of the people of Iraq. Will they be afforded an opportunity for freedom and democracy or will they be given McDonalds, Coka-Cola, Ford trucks, and 200 channels of shit 24 hours a day on cable? Bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions indeed.
-------------------- "I hate having to pick between the lesser of two evils. But I'm glad Obama was elected. McCain was another war monger. I'd rather deal with our country going into debt than trying to take on afghanistan...oh wait FUCK!" - Fungus_tao
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