Rock Creek
Free Press
Rock Creek Free Press

New Hampshire Free Press

NH Common Sense





Keeley's Kures

The Bush Agenda
Invading the world one economy at a time
by Antonia Juhasz

2006, Harper-Collins, 345 pages

Once you've got Baghdad it's not clear what you do with it.  It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there.  How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the US military....  I think to have American military engaged in a civil war inside Iraq would fit the definition of a quagmire, and we have absolutely no desire to get bogged down in that fashion.—(page 174) Dick Cheney, April 1991, explaining why Bush the First did not take Baghdad after Gulf War I

Antonia Juhasz has performed a major public service in exposing the history, players, and motivations behind the second Iraqi war and occupation.  "It's about the oil, silly." 

Actually, not totally about the oil but for the material benefit of several industries to which access to petroleum-based energy is a key contributor.  She does not mention the Carlyle Group[1], instead focusing on four top bananas: Bechtel, Chevron, Halliburton, and Lockheed Martin.  The individual histories and blatant aggression of these companies, each largest in its field, are truly eye-opening.

Agenda is primarily documentation of the relationships between the war and energy corporations and the Bush dynasty as they pursue a particularly militaristic Pax Americana form of corporate globalization.  Corporate globalization is an umbrella term denoting the use of Cartel organizations such as the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF to ravage the economies of other countries for corporate elites.

What should interest libertarians from an ideological perspective is these ravages are accomplished in the name of free trade and free markets.  Indeed, free trade for the Cartel crowd is a codeword for gaining exclusive franchise to resources and business revenue—often via "privatization" (another codeword) of public utilities—in the "ever so fortunate and grateful" target country.

This is the game played today by the multinational giants, and Juhasz helps identify the iron fists behind the not-so-velvet gloves. 

In a celebrated case, in 1999, Bechtel was given the water system for Cochabamba in Bolivia; it immediately raised prices while the state used the same privatization law to prohibit citizens from using any collected water, including rainwater. People protested, riot police beat them, injured hundreds, killed one, and the state imprisoned several objectors.  Eventually democracy prevailed and forced the government to cancel its contract with Bechtel.  Bechtel sued for $25 million.  The suit will be heard by an international court in the same building in the Netherlands that houses the World Bank.  Appearance of fishiness?

Juhasz's focus, however, in pushing her anti-corporate-globalization message is the war in and occupation of Iraq. She provides a complete background from the days of Bush I and during the Clinton interlude when Neocons were hatching their imperial fantasies...  primarily through the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)

Other studies and projects had been issued evincing "a clear design to reduce us [and them] under absolute despotism": the government's secret 1992 Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) document, PNAC's Rebuilding America's Defenses (2000), and the government's public September 2002 National Security Strategy document.

The main authors/powermongers of these studies/projects are Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, Scooter Libby, Eric Edelman, and Colin Powell.  Juhasz devotes several paragraphs to each of these big, woobie world-dominating mavens.

Iraq was premeditated from the time of the 1992 DPG following Gulf War 1.

We've heard it all before, but what Ms. Juhasz adds is an economic dimension.  The oil companies in particular are looking for favorable ownership/profit arrangements with the newly constituted Iraqi government.  (Some argue that's the real reason for The Surge.)  The United States replaced the entire Iraqi constitution with one of its own making; the people had no idea of what they were voting for.  This set the stage for Cartel control of the Iraqi system.

A particularly interesting revelation pertains to the 100 Orders of L. Paul Bremer III, imperial potentate of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), issued from May 2003 thru June 2004.  These basically constitute absolute rulings for every area of Iraqi life. 

Juhasz walks through the key ones that set up the quagmire, such as #1 the deBa'athification order which removed all people of authority from key positions in the country's infrastructure, #2 which dissolved the Iraqi military and dispersed half a million armed men to join the insurgency, or several others that turn over business to foreign firms and do nothing to reestablish infrastructure for the Iraqi people.

Trust me, we're not doing these people any favors.

She argues instead of the Bush Agenda that we develop an alternative agenda that ends the war, ends Pax Americana, and in place of corporate globalization provides tools that enable local communities and governments to set the terms by which companies (both foreign and local) operate in their midst.

This book is a thorough accounting of the unraveling of the oil junta with common sense recommendations for remedying the situation.  Nice addition to the world freedom library.

[1] You may remember the Carlyle Group—or heck you may be an investor—from Michael Moore's classic expose of the Bushoviks, Fahrenheit 9/11.  The Carlyle Group is a leading investment firm for anyone wanting to materially benefit from imperial military and foreign policies.  The bin Laden family first invested in Carlyle in 1994. 

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