Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Legal Responsibility to Maintain a State of Failure in Iraqi Institutions
National institutions have economic, political and security dimensions which all contribute to the legitimacy and stability of the nation. Liquidating or transferring any of these institutions will always have repercussions for all of those dimensions which reflect the changes put in place. The rebuilding regime was a corrupt transfer of wealth to US corporations hired to rebuild the sacked nation.
Foreign-imposed policies comprehensively limited the rights of Iraq and Iraqis from exercising legitimate influence over their own economy. This includes the limitation of rights that most Westerners would consider fundamental to capitalist economies, liberal democracies, and national states. Perhaps the most critical of these is the ability to regulate and manage the economic activity that occurs within your own borders.
It may be considered ironic that the most highly regulated market economies in the world (US etc) tend to impose the harshest free market economies on victimized peoples. These anti-Iraqi regulations might even be creating foreign-corporate command economies. Idealists like Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Alan Greenspan represent wholly distinct idealizations of a structure whose internal momentum will always find ways to create wealth and power transfers to a ruling class, destroying or delegitimizing everything from civil societies to nation states in the process.
The full force of these forces in their modernized form was used to sack Iraq. It will probably remain a failed state for decades, and its legitimacy and social/political development will be compromised far beyond that time frame.
Though it is misleading to call the Baathist economy socialist. Western democracies have far more socialist elements than the Iraqi state had (nationalized command economies are not popular control economies). Autocracies are bad, foreign corporate command economies (Washington Consensus) are bad, and what is productive, stable and legitimizing is the democratization of the economy. In fact Iraq could probably have become a worker's paradise if it was reformed with the national interest in mind. But when you privatize nationalized industries, you transfer that power to a class which receives a legal right to the nation's assets and economy.
In effect, US policy was to (quite consciously) disperse the power and wealth of the Iraqi people to faceless bureaucrats and capital firms across the world. And now they have a legal right to that power which will be defended by the capitalist world. Every non-US nation which has resisted this has been dealt a harsh response (Zimbabwe, Cuba, Iraq). There are few nations that could sustain this kind of transfer of power (think of what happened to Russia). Iraq has been destroyed, and its destruction has become a legal responsibility to maintain according to western liberal propertarianism. There would be plenty of outrage if a valued population had received these ugly crimes. The very thought that the United Arab Emirates was to purchase the right to run a US maritime port revealed a "Mad As Hell" dynamic still extant in the American psyche, for example. However, the victims being non-persons, there is, categorically, no crime. "The Price is worth it" as Albright would say of their sacrifice.
(Originally a response to http://www.juancole.com/2014/11/destruction-socialist-economy.html)
By Dean , published at 9:35 PM