Buzzflash: What Do Wisconsin Protesters Have in Common with Iraqis?

Now that veneer was being very publicly stripped away to reveal a system of gross wealth inequalities, often opened up with the aid of grotesque criminality.-Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

March 10, 2011- In a word, Iraqis are totally opposed to the multinationals' privatization of their country from oil to local businesses. They understand that a U.S. corporate invasion means the demise of their middle class economy and essential public services.

After reading Naomi Klein's extraordinary book, The Shock Doctrine, I've been able to thread together the connection between the U.S. war economy and the corporate intention to control resources around the world, to obliterate government public services: schools, hospitals, utilities and infrastructure in the name of privatization without having the burden of government oversight or regulation.

First, if you're wondering why the U.S. government is in a "perpetual war" mode, the answer is that the super rich are growing billions of dollars richer from war profiteering, which explains why peace is the "greatest threat to their wealth" as Klein phrased it. Second, after completely annihilating Iraq's public social services (which helped to equally distribute the wealth and strengthen Iraqis' middle classes), Paul Bremer, under Bush's approval, set out to privatize everything from oil, utilities, to reconstruction. The Bush White House called it Iraqi Liberation. Klein accurately calls it the "shock doctrine."

In Wisconsin, the public should be warned that if Governor Walker, who is certainly an advocate of the shock doctrine plan, sells the public utilities to the Koch brothers or to private energy companies, they can expect their electric or utility bills to sky rocket-and they won't be able to do a thing about it when the government is essentially owned by the same the corporations that are jacking the energy prices way up.

Republicans argue that corporations do a much better job than public or state operated services. One must understand that our social services used to have sufficient funding and consequently were well operated by government workers. However, the war economy deteriorated our public services because our tax dollars have been re-funneled to enrich spy and war contractors. So that's one reason why our government funded services are barely functioning.

On the question that corporations can do a better job: A few examples: Did Enron do a great job? Consider our medical health system; there's a reason why we're rated 36th in the latest global health care studies. Health care has been entirely privatized in the U.S., which means Big Pharma and the insurance companies run the show. As a result, doctors don't treat patients; instead, they've succumbed to giving out drugs that create even more problems for patients. The privatization of our utilities explains why most Americans are seeing their electric and gas bills triple in the last two years. When the FDA cut regulations and workers way back, contamination of our food increased. I could go on but you get the point.

The reason there should be real government oversight is to prevent unchecked corporate greed and abuse. Once the government is privatized, i.e. owned by the multinationals, and if the economic conditions become intolerable for working Americans, the corporate government will punish workers in the same way they've punished Iraqis for rising up against the corporate powers. Can you guess why a large percentage of our tax dollars are going to surveillance contractors? They expect an uprising in our own country and they're preparing to crush protesters much like they did in Iraq.


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