Iraq: Invasion Ends - Neo-Colonial Rule Begins
Foreign-domination of Iraq's economy are the real chains of servitude
by Tony Cartalucci
December 29, 2011 - Even as US troops symbolically withdraw from Iraq, a superficial indicator that many may interpret as the return of Iraqi sovereignty, it is the flow of foreign-investment into the country that marks the true chains of foreign-rule being laid out. USA Today in an article titled, "Foreign investment begins to pour into Iraq," describes the real take over, prepared for over the course of nearly a decade, and is now beginning.
The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents the collective interests of the largest corporations both in the United States and around the world, has a "US-Iraq Business Initiative" dedicated to "building a better Iraq through private sector investment." The Chamber of Commerce stated in a post titled, "Iraqi Prime Minister: Business Now at the Front," that "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the Chamber today [December 13, 2011] to mark the transition from U.S. military engagement to economic engagement through commerce, trade, and investment." A similar article can be read via "The Hill's" "Iraq is open for Business."
What is Economic-Imperialism?
An explanation of how economic-imperialism works was noted in February 2011's "Egypt Today, Thailand Tomorrow:"
In the late 90's these think-tanks, NGOs, and research groups together with their International Monetary Fund and the World Bank made immense loans to developing nations around the world. Nations were forced to take these loans with the threat of sanctions aimed against them by the World Trade Organization should they refuse. Like a mafia loan shark, these globocrat gangsters decided to call in the loans knowing how hopelessly unpayable they were.
And like a mafia loan shark, favors were asked of those who defaulted on their payments. Target nations were called to exercise sweeping economic liberalization reforms, eliminating their control and protection over their economy, industry, infrastructure, and as a result, eliminating their national sovereignty itself. It was a new form of an old art. It was economic neo-colonialism.
This is no different than the one-sided trade deals made by the old European empires with target nations in the colonial age. These trade deals also included ownership of property by foreigners, the ability to operate a business, and travel with impunity throughout the host nation - all with minimum or no taxes imposed upon the foreign occupiers. The only difference would be that modern day concessions are forced through invasive economic policy, while colonial concessions were forced through "gunboat policy."
Thailand, then the Kingdom of Siam, was surrounded on all sides by colonized nations and in turn was made to concede to the British 1855 Bowring Treaty. See how many of these "gunboat policy" imposed concessions sound like today's "economic liberalization:"
1. Siam granted extraterritoriality to British subjects.
2. British could trade freely in all seaports and reside permanently in Bangkok.
3. British could buy and rent property in Bangkok.
4. British subjects could travel freely in the interior with passes provided by the consul.
5. Import and export duties were capped at 3%, except the duty-free opium and bullion.
6. British merchants were to be allowed to buy and sell directly with individual Siamese.
A more contemporary example would be the outright military conquest of Iraq and Paul Bremer's (CFR) economic reformation of the broken nation.
The Economist gleefully enumerates the neo-colonial "economic liberalization" of Iraq in a piece titled "Let's all go to the yard sale: If it all works out, Iraq will be a capitalist's dream:"
1. 100% ownership of Iraqi assets.
2. Full repatriation of profits.
3. Equal legal standing with local firms.
4. Foreign banks allowed to operate or buy into local banks.
5. Income and corporate taxes capped at 15%.
6. Universal tariffs slashed to 5%.
As you can see, not much has changed since 1855 as far as imperialist "wish-lists" go. The Economist argued, as would any 19th century imperialist, that Iraq needed foreign expertise to catch up, justifying the evisceration of their national sovereignty.
Similarly we saw in April 2011's "Libyan Rebels Fighting the Globalists' War" NATO's military conquest of Libya sowing the seeds for post-war dominion of Libya's economy led by what was predicted to be a "Western stooge" that would serve foreign, not Libyan interests. Months later, it would be confirmed that indeed such a Western stooge, Abdurrahim el-Keib, had been found and promptly installed as "Prime Minster" after the fall of Qaddafi's government.
Abdurrahim el-Keib, portrayed by the Western corporate-media as a progressive academic who had spent decades in the United States teaching at Alabama University and leading the local Muslim community, was in fact also a "professor & chairman" at the Petroleum Institute, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE and sponsored by British Petroleum (BP), Shell, France's Total, the Japan Oil Development Company, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. El-Keib's Petroleum Institute profile also describes extensive research conducted by him sponsored by various US government agencies and departments over the years. In other words, el-Keib is a man that owes his existence to corporate-financier oligarchs, as well as his current position of power, and will surely spend his time in office paying them back at the expense of the Libyan people.
Considering the Economist's eagerness to commandeer the Iraqi economy, historical contexts stretching back over a century, the US Chamber of Commerce's own admissions, and recent developments in Libya where a fraudulent "humanitarian war" has yielded a government led not by a national government in the service to the people, but to foreign interests, it is safe to say that Iraq's real occupation by the forces of global corporate-fascism is only now beginning.
It should be noted that many of the corporations now jockeying for a position to infest the Iraqi economy, represented within the Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, are also chief contributors, partners, members, and sponsors of the very US policy think-tanks that engineered the Iraq War in the first place, as well as America's other planned or ongoing military operations around the world. They literally have hijacked the governments of the West to carry out a campaign pursuing global hegemony, both militarily and economically.
It is essential to take note of these corporate-financier interests, boycott them entirely, and replace them with local, pragmatic solutions. Their unwarranted influence throughout business, politics, and even the theater of war constitutes the greatest threat toward free humanity, not the contrived excuses they have used to dominate nation after nation and continuously perpetuate their agenda.
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