Iraq Today - The Siege Of Baghdad by Resistance Tightening..
Civil war. Organized armies of thugs. Bigger mercenary armies. Billions of dollars vanishing. Dysfunctional Government protecting rapists, murderers and thieves. Al Qaeda growning. Allies bailing out. Children dying.
As we "surge" into the house-by-house insanity of Baghdad, the unpatrolled countryside hosts more and more fighters who've left the urban center -- increasing and coordinating their attacks, cutting supply-lines, and shooting down more helicopters.
This is what happens when you use another country to try out your pet ideological theories. Every crank conservative they could find got to test out their idea for the New World Order in Iraq.
In the best traditions of Grover Norquist (still a White House Favorite, who is now tutoring Romney and Rudi), Paul Bremer left the Iraqis with a constitution that gave the government no power to tax, and privatized the oil industry, cutting the government off from it's only other source of appreciable revenue.
I knew the neocons plan envisioned a loosely centralized government with little power. In trying to verify that and give you some links, I can across this perfectly fitting article from 2004, Harpers: Baghdad Year Zero (Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia)
The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war's ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush's Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.Now let's compare, shall we? The neo-con dream has become a true nightmare, four years into the occupation. That's how long the Marshall Plan lasted -- the fastest period of growth in European history.
Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.
The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.
You can make the argument that the Marshall Plan was not all that legend might have us believe. But is sure didn't hurt, and must be given considerable credit for the successful reconstruction of Europe after WWII.
Let's not forget the Marshal Plan was implemented along with a comprehensive foreign and domestic policy directed by that notorious buster of war profiteers, Harry Truman -- just another "Big Government" liberal Democrat New Dealer.
Japan's post-war recovery was even more impressive than Europe's, termed a miracle by some. Far from the laissez faire economic policy preferred by neo-con doctrine, the Japanese government was highly involved in coordinating the nation's industries.
MacArthur enlisted Professor Carl Shoup to impose a modern, efficient tax system on Japan in 1949 -- including (gasp) a corporate income tax and a value added tax on top of a more efficient income tax. That kind of thing is sacrilege to a conservative.
Forty years from now, I don't think the Iraqi version of Toyota will be erecting any statues of Paul Bremer -- but Toyota honored Carl Shoup -- twice decorated by Emperor Hirohito -- with a $2 million endowment to Columbia.
Okay, maybe Haliburton will build a monument to Dick Cheney -- just so the shareholders can have another tax write-off -- but not in tribute to the prosperity he brought to Iraq.
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