I wasn't reminded of this until I read today's post by Prof. Juan Cole at Informed Comment, entitled "Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years ". Most of us who have been paying close attention to the war in Iraq could probably make our own "top ten" list with very little trouble but that's not the point I want to make this morning. I was reminded of this point when I read "mistake #9" which was:
9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the "market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.
Buried in there is the dirtly little secret that the neoconservatives don't want the public to know about.....EVER!
You see, there was a plan for Iraq after Saddam was removed from power. We often wrongly criticize Bush for not having a plan, but there actually was a plan. Just exactly when and where it was developed is a little hazy but the the plan was called: Baghdad. Year Zero
The link takes you the Harper's Magazine article by Naomi Klein entitled Baghdad, Year Zero. It was written in September of 2004 to outline her trips to Baghdad to determine why things were still in disarray a year after "shock and awe". She discovered that Iraq was going to be the petri dish for neonconservative economic theory; it would the the ultimate free-market utopia that conservatives had always dreamed of but could never implement in existing economies. As Klein wrote:
"Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself. "
pfffft.....and you said Bush didn't have a plan....read on:
Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's “transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system.” The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Point) will take “appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances.” Which is precisely what happened.
TWO MONTH BEFORE THE WAR BEGAN......
Are you starting to guess the "dirty little secret"?
The dirty little secret is that their utopian neoconservative dream about "free markets" and business unfettered by government regulation doesn't work. Their little pipe dream is a farce and if the rank and file Republicans who have been sold this dream....actually this myth....ever learn the truth, they will abandon the party in droves and consign them to the status of a tiny lunatic fringe organization like they really are.
Take the time to read the whole article..I did when it first came out and I was stunned by it.