Irak: Det store bedrag
Vi har skrevet om det tidligere, men Rolling Stone har en artikel om, hvordan "genopbygningen" af Irak efter invasionen i 2003 tilsyneladende aldrig rigtig har fået genopbygget noget som helst, men til gengæld har fungeret som et tag-selv-bord for kæmpemæssige firmaer som Halliburton, Bechtel og KBR, der har brugt genopbygningsmantraet som påskud for at få snablen i den amerikanske statskasse til gengæld for mere eller mindre intet som helst - dvs. for ufærdige projekter, præget af sjusk, fusk og manglende oprydning i en grad, så det udførte arbejde ofte må betegnes som værre end ingenting (men til gengæld er det så blevet betalt!).
In March 2004, your company magically wins a contract from the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to design and build the Baghdad Police College, a facility that's supposed to house and train at least 4,000 police recruits. But two years and $72 million later, you deliver not a functioning police academy but one of the great engineering clusterfucks of all time, a practically useless pile of rubble so badly constructed that its walls and ceilings are literally caked in shit and piss, a result of subpar plumbing in the upper floors.Overdrivelse? Hvad der er foregået, er mere end utroligt - og det er alt sammen dokumenteret forfra og bagfra.
You've done such a terrible job, in fact, that when auditors from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction visit the college in the summer of 2006, their report sounds like something out of one of the Saw movies: "We witnessed a light fixture so full of diluted urine and feces that it would not operate," they write, adding that "the urine was so pervasive that it had permanently stained the ceiling tiles" and that "during our visit, a substance dripped from the ceiling onto an assessment team member's shirt." The final report helpfully includes a photo of a sloppy brown splotch on the outstretched arm of the unlucky auditor.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.
And just maybe, reviewing this appalling history of invoicing orgies and million-dollar boondoggles, it's not so far-fetched to think that this is the way someone up there would like things run all over -- not just in Iraq but in Iowa, too, with the state police working for Corrections Corporation of America, and DHL with the contract to deliver every Christmas card. And why not? What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.
Manipulationen synes endeløs: For eksempel har KBR kørt tomme lastbiler tværs gennem områder fulde af oprørere, blot for at kunne sende regninger til den amerikanske stat for transporten af ingen verdens ting, "sailboat fuel", som KBRs egne lastbilchauffører kaldte det - hvorved de naturligvis også har risikeret amerikanske soldaters liv til ingen verdens nytte.
Se filmklippet, læs artiklen - og spekuler over, om dette mon er essensen i den "frihed", den amerikanske regering og dens støtter rundt omkring vil udbrede: Statsfinancieret røverkapitalisme - hvor der ikke er andre end almindelige mennesker til at betale for, at de rige bliver rigere. Som Rolling Stone-artiklen bemærker:
what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future. If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where's the incentive to deliver success? There's no profit in patriotism, no cost-plus angle on common decency. Sixty years after America liberated Europe, those are just words, and words don't pay the bills.Link (via Boing Boing).