Naomi Klein Has All The Answers
To a carpenter, every problem looks like a nail. To Naomi Klein, every world problem is caused by U.S. corporations, whom she blames for the Iraq war. The secret to ending all wars then, is to make them unprofitable.
It must be comforting to have discovered that single font of all the world's ills, that one pandora's box from which all problems arise. Once you find it, all one needs to do is nail it shut and the world returns to its pristine, pure and balanced condition. Right?
This is the timeless siren call of the anti-masons, anti-semites, and of course the anti-capitalists, of which Klein is one. Klein gets so wigged out by corporations, that their mere logos are an affront to her eye.
Klein never cites the White House memo calling for war in Iraq to help the corporate bottom line of Halliburton. Of course no such memo would likely exist even if the Iraq war was a make-work project for Cheney's buddies. But neither does Klein cite any evidence of a corporate cause for war, except as a sort of post hoc ergo prompter hoc argument that the rebuilding of Iraq is evidence we went to war to help U.S. construction companies. Klein seems so surprised that we would hire american companies to do the work and not iraqi or french companies, for example. What did she expect?
Oddly, one of her complaints is that we are not rebuilding Iraq. This complaint comes after she complains that U.S. corporations are rebuilding Iraq as payoff for initiating the war there. Confused? She attempts to rationalize this by saying that all the rebuilding in Iraq is the construction of military bases. Is she lying, or does she really believe this? I assume that Naomi Klein is fairly tech savvy, she is only 30 years old, and depends a lot upon the internet to inform herself. Would she make such a statement about Iraq reconstruction without any research into what the U.S. is actually doing there? Even a skimming of the subject shows the myriad projects the U.S. is involved in that are of a strictly civilian nature. She talks about what she perceived as a lack of reconstruction in Baghdad when she was there, but frankly I don't think that gives you a very full view of what is going on in a country the size of California.
Klein tries hard to make that point that, somehow, the anti-war Left in the U.S. and the Iraqi people have some natural affinity for each other, in some amorphous struggle against McImperialism. This greatly overestimates the esteem with which your average Iraqi is likely to hold these enablers of Saddam Hussein, in my opinion. The Iraqi people have not forgotten the daily terrors that came from living under Saddam. And, they have also learned that the U.S. forces are not slobbering huns bent on being even more ferocious to them than Saddam. I am sure Klein believes that there is a seething hatred for the U.S. bubbling just under the surface of every Iraqi, but clearly such feelings as they did exist among some iraqis is far less deep and widespread than when the occupation began. And the idea that every iraqi is some kind of WTO protestor at heart just made me chuckle. Every problem indeed is a nail.
Klein rather clumsily tries to pull off an ugly intellectual trick by labelling all criticisms directed at the U.S. and the Iraq government as part of 'the resistance'. "Iraqis are resisting in many ways—not just with armed resistance. They are organizing independent trade unions. They are opening critical newspapers, and then having those newspapers shut down. They are fighting privatization in state factories. They are forming new political coalitions in an attempt to force an end to the occupation."
Get it? The terrorists are just expressing legitimate grievances . . . just like newspaper editors.
Klein is also anxious to remind the reader that the puppet regime in Iraq is a sham, has no power, no control over the reconstruction budget. " . . . democracy has been shackled", she says, "in other words, they have the vote, but no real power to govern." This is critical to her entire argument, because otherwise the greedy U.S. corporations actually did bring legitimate democracy to Iraq!
Imagine that. Capitalism, in exercising its self-interest, propagated itself along with its best growing soil, democracy, in a foreign nation. Are you as horrified by that as I am???
Ken Says: I apologize for this rambling pseudo-essay. I am not sure why I even went spelunking into this moobat cave, to be honest. Naomi Klein is not serious, and her views are not serious. They are on par with Michael Moore. Do read the article however, it is worth it as a good look into this particular mindset.