The Shock Doctrine

Alfonso Cuarón, director of "Children of Men", and Naomi Klein, author of "No Logo", present a short film from Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." Watch it:

"The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."

Canada's premiere business

Canada's premiere business newspaper, "The Globe and Mail," published an excerpt of "The Shock Doctrine" along with an embedded link to the accompanying video on their web site.

Here's a snip from the excerpt of "The Shock Doctrine" published on The Globe and Mail's web site:

So while the reconstruction of Iraq was certainly a failure for Iraqis and for U.S. taxpayers, it has been anything but for the disaster-capitalism complex. Made possible by the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Iraq represented nothing less than the violent birth of a new economy.

This was the genius of [former secretary of defence Donald] Rumsfeld's “transformation” plan: Since every possible aspect of both destruction and reconstruction has been outsourced and privatized, there's an economic boom when the bombs start falling, when they stop and when they start up again – a closed profit-loop of destruction and reconstruction, of tearing down and building up. For companies that are clever and far-sighted, like Halliburton and the Carlyle Group, the destroyers and rebuilders are different divisions of the same corporations.

The Bush administration has taken several important and little examined measures to institutionalize the privatized warfare model forged in Iraq, making it a permanent fixture of foreign policy.

In July, 2006, Bowen, the inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, issued a report on “lessons learned” from the various contractor debacles. It concluded that the problems stemmed from insufficient planning and called for the creation of “a deployable reserve corps of contracting personnel who are trained to execute rapid relief and reconstruction contracting during contingency operations” and to “pre-qualify a diverse pool of contractors with expertise in specialized reconstruction areas” – in other words, a standing contractor army.

In his 2007 State of the Union address, Bush championed the idea, announcing the creation of a brand-new civilian reserve corps. “Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the armed forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them,” he said. “It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.”

A year and a half into the Iraq occupation, the U.S. State Department launched a new branch: the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization. On any given day, it is paying private contractors to draw up detailed plans to reconstruct 25 different countries that may, for one reason or another, find themselves the target of U.S.-sponsored destruction, from Venezuela to Iran.

Corporations and consultants are lined up on “pre-signed contracts” so that they are ready to leap into action as soon as disaster strikes. For the Bush administration, it was a natural evolution: After claiming it had a right to cause unlimited pre-emptive destruction, it then pioneered pre-emptive reconstruction – rebuilding places that have not yet been destroyed.

Excellent video

I especially like that the message at the end affirms what we're doing is effective: that staying informed empowers us.

Oustanding. Thanks for the

Oustanding. Thanks for the post.

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