Friday, September 09, 2005

The Flood and Disaster Capitalism

In January Condeleezza Rice sparked a small controversy describing the tsunami as ‘a wonderful opportunity’ that ‘has paid great devident for us.’ Condy, Condy, shame on you. Would you dare a similar comment on the current situation in New Orleans? Well, probably not. And at least you aren’t hiding what often is out of side behind the backs of generous donours and smiling politicians.

I stumbled across the above mentioned quote in an article in The Nation (find the full article under and although I don’t trust the neo-cons in Washington – and elsewhere - and their pals in the IMF and the Worldbank – and elsewhere -an inch, it was still rather sobering reading.

It makes me angry to get to know that the deadly wave affecting millions around the Indian Ocean was followed by a second tsunami of corporate globalization and militarization breaking up local economies and reshaping whole societies without people’s chance for input in it. Who could have thought of the fact that they are too busy trying to survive instead of opposing a forced change in legislation shortly after the desaster?

It makes me angry to get to know that Afghanistan’s healthcare system along with parts of the water system, oil, gaz and mining has been privatized long before the country had an elected government who could have opposed the move. Would have been a shame if the country’s citizens would use their democratic rights to spoil such excellent business opportunities.

And it makes me angry to get to know that many Central American countries had to sell off their national assets worth billions in order to have access to the few millions of aid money after Hurricane Mitch in the late 1990s. Do you remember when Bechtel took over the water system in Bolivia (I think it was Bolivia) and requested from the then government to stop people from collecting rain water because it belongs to Bechtel. Mass protests were confronted by riot police and tear gaz and more than a dozen people were shot dead before the government had to take its hat – and Bechtel had to think of an alternative to screw people. Well, that was peanuts compared to the forced privatisation after Hurricane Mitch.

In the same article it is mentioned that on August 5, 2004, the White House created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Although this office is supposed to draw up US-friendly post-conflict plans for countries which are not yet in conflict (who came up with this idea???), one wonders if it wouldn’t be good to give these guys a more useful job and put them to work on the impacts of Katrina. Maybe they are actually good at what they are doing. And if it’s criminal energy driving them to excellence, just give them the Katrina scenario with Arab names attached to the places in the South West and tell them it would be about another beam of democracy and market economy export to a far-away land headed by bearded tyrans with a communist touch to their politics. That should do the job.


Blogger Tina said...

The Bush Administration actually put people w/proper qualifications-- who are capable of performing their duties-- to work on something as massive as Hurricane Katrina? We can't have that happen... it just might actually achieve something. It just might actually reach a goal or have money allocated properly. Tsk tsk tsk... this is simply not the way in BushWorld. The only people who get to work on big projects are his cronies... no matter how awful they are for the job.

12:14 PM  
Blogger iamnasra said...

its a shame once you geet theleading post what you do to stay on that seat...what is democrasy anyways...even in land where you say it the land of freedome has it preseved issues...even media at times does not potray the truth...

12:43 PM  

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