"When Bremer started issuing legal decrees in Baghdad, Joseph Stiglitz, the former World Bank chief economist, warned that Iraq was getting 'an even more radical form of shock therapy than was pursued in the former Soviet world.' That was quite true. In the original Washington plan, Iraq was going to become (an economic) frontier just as Russia had been in the early nineties, but this time it would be American firms--not the local ones or Eurpoean, Russia or Chinese competitors--that would first in line for the easy billions. And nothing would deter even the most painful economic changes...the transformation would not involve a mannnered dance between the IMF and quixotic local politicians while the U.S. Treasury called the shots from down the hall. In Iraq, Washington cut out the middlemen: the IMF and the World Bank were relegated to supprting roles, and the U.S. was front and center. Paul Bremer was the government...there was no point in negotiating with the local government because 'at this point, we'd be negotiating with ourselves.'
...All the careful efforts during the nineties to present 'free trade' as something other than an imperial project were abondoned...seizing new markets directly for Western multinationals on the battlefields of preemptive wars."
The Shock Doctrine, p. 434, Naomi Klein
Three things this brings to mind:
1) Is it any wonder the U.S. is so loved across the world in its current administration and incarnation? Start a war so we can take over. simple. The catharsis across the world of seeing Barack as the country's new leader will bring large crowds, because we are so disliked in our current form.
2) Free market should not even be a debate anymore, it has worked so well for us over the past 16 years (NAFTA and CAFTA come to mind)--through the Enron debacle, the energy market bubble, the dotcom bubble, the housing bubble. This has all worked well for the middle and lower classes. Trickle down is such BULLSHIT!!!! It can't work, won't work and is not even worthy of discussion. So get proponents of it off of my TV. Oh, wait, the station owners want us to hear more about its virtues. I wonder why? The deregulation of the airwave ownership and the deregulation and submergence of news into "fair and balanced" profit centers (keep in mind that for every 300 hours of Republican or further right commentary, there is one minute of left wing commentary--but, let's not go there in this post) has provided propoganda to fuel that fire for over twenty years. Iran-Contra headed by Saint Reagan never received honest coverage (hell, Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy are commentators on news channels instead of being Bubba's cell wife). All it has done is redistribute the money to the upper 0.5% of the population and those that won it, love it and will fight for their right to party while you don't. and they have the funding.
3) This administration is the most important administration in my lifetime. Maybe the most important since the New Deal. The WORLD'S economy is kind of crumbling and who Barack picks as economic advisors will tell us whether it can recover and recreate itself as a possible paradise. Or will it continue as a free market Stygian thievery? I hear Albright being part of the transition team and that scares me. The world will need a hybrid economic theory (not free market, not socialism, not communism--but something withhheart that recognizes the failures of all the systems and put in place safeguards so human nature and ethics cannot get in the way of what is fair) and practice if it is to survive as something other than a class structure.
As an aside, I have read many stories of Prop 8 maybe being the base of a right wing revolution, or maybe having a Black President. I have been in Kern County CA and talked to men at a gas station driving to Bumfuck rural nowhere to buy the parts to convert their weapons to fully automatic weapons because they feel the need to defend themselves from the gays and the blacks. The need for revolution is near the surface to them and they have guns. This will be a very tense time in our country's history. I don't feel these guys were aberrations. What they believed the country to be, based on God-fearing bible-toting white folks is changing. Add in home repossessions and economic crunches and we are sitting on a tinder keg.
Prayers, good vibes, reiki, whatever are needed at this crucial time.