Thursday, September 01, 2005

How Bush Regime Killed a Swedish Style Republic in Iraq in Favor of one Suitable for U.S. Corporations

DOUG IRELAND, DIRELAND - Not content with godfathering an Islamist Constitution for Iraq that establishes Islamic religious principles as the basis for all laws -- [Washington] also succeeded in scrapping a constitution, drafted by the Iraqis, that was modeled on that of the social-democratic Scandinavian countries, and replacing it with one that fulfilled "the wish-list of international investors," as The Economist described the objectives of America's proconsuls in Iraq. Yet this is a story that has never been coherently told in the U.S. press.

This remarkable tale is told in carefully documented detail in this morning's Asia Times -- the very respectable daily -- by Herbert Docena. . . The article, How the U.S. Got Its Neo-Liberal Way in Iraq, points out that, when the original draft of the new Constitution for Iraq was published there in June, "The Iraqis - even those who were willing to cooperate with the United States - wanted, at least on paper, to build a Scandinavian-type welfare system in the Arabian desert, with Iraq's vast oil wealth to be spent on upholding every Iraqi's right to education, health care, housing, and other social services. 'Social justice is the basis of building society,' the draft declared. All of Iraq's natural resources would be owned collectively by the Iraqi people. . .

"In other words, the Iraqis wanted a country different from that for which the Americans had come to Iraq. They, or at least those who were involved in drafting the constitution, wanted nothing of the kind of economic and political system that [the U.S. pro-consul, Paul] Bremer and other US officials had been attempting to create in Iraq ever since the occupation began. What the occupation authorities wanted was to fulfill 'the wish-list of international investors,' as The Economist magazine described the economic policies they began imposing in the country in 2003."

The article notes that, "As direct occupiers, the US enacted laws that give foreign investors equal rights with Iraqis in the domestic market; permit the full repatriation of profits; institute the flat tax system; abolish tariffs; enforce a strict intellectual property rights regime; sell off a whole-range of state-owned companies; reduce food and fuel subsidies; and privatize all kinds of social services such as health, education and water delivery. By the time the next version was leaked in late July, the progressive provisions in the draft constitution had disappeared."

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