Posts tagged ‘US’

May 6, 2008

Hypocrite

Talking about Burma’s Cyclone- First Ofcourse thoughts goes out for those who are suffering in Myanmar.

and about US reaction:

Hypocrite – Laura Bush & Bush talking about Burma’s government and who they haven’t warmed people about recently cyclone and wasn’t prepared. also . Also saying Burma’s Military haven’t reacted properly during aftermath(which might be true). But I wonder- what was she or her husband doing when Katerina reached New Orleans. When US government so called super power was incapable of handing pre or post Katerina effects and till date people are still recovering, Mr & Mrs.Bush should feel ashamed and shouldn’t talk about Burma’s government reaction.

Is it just me being crazy? Why none of major media outlets/reporter asking such questions to them when these kind of press meet happens.!!?

Just incase if I am misinterpreted- I don’t regard any Military Government(Myanmar is no expectation) as good alternative to democracy. also I must admit that I am not very help about Indian(my) government’s stands on Burma.

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January 11, 2007

US Corporate Colonization of Iraq…

Almost everyone except Bush agrees Iraq War is illegal & immoral. Economy(/oil) interest was underplayed by Bush government, But US military invasion that resulted(/resulting) in push corporate globalization agenda without restoring & providing Iraqis with fundamental necessities such as water and electricity.

Testimony to the World Tribunal on Iraq :
The goal of the Bush Administration, as stated in the economic orders already enacted in Iraq is to, “transition Iraq from a … centrally planned economy to a market economy.” This goal is explained even more clearly by BearingPoint, Inc. – the Virginia based corporation that has received the $250 million contract to facilitate this transition. The contract states: “It should be clearly understood that the efforts undertaken will be designed to establish the basic legal framework for a functioning market economy; taking appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances… Reforms are envisioned in the areas of fiscal reform, financial sector reform, trade, legal and regulatory, and privatization.” Transformation of an occupied country’s fundamental laws is illegal not just under international law & conventions but also, the U.S. Army’s own code of war – stated in the Army field is “The Law of Land Warfare.”

In other words, the occupying power is like a temporary guardian. It is supposed to restore order and protect the population but still apply the laws in place when it arrived. As Naomi Klein has written, “bombing something does not give you the right to sell it,” yet this is precisely what the Bush Administration is doing.

Changing Iraq’s Laws

In direct conflict with U.S. government obligations under international law, the Bush Administration has begun fundamentally altering the economic laws of Iraq. For example, the provision in Iraq’s Constitution outlawing privatization of key state assets has been over-ridden, as has the law barring foreigners – other than citizens of Arab countries – from owning property or investing in Iraqi businesses. Both the tax code and the banking laws have been changed.

The exhaustively well-documented devastating impacts of export-led industrial agriculture – particularly based on luxury crops – on countries around the world as implemented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other institutions and agreements, demonstrates the danger that these proposed changes pose to Iraq. Those who have been made landless, jobless and impoverished by them are increasingly raising their voices in opposition. One of the most dramatic demonstrations of which occurred at the most recent WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico with the protest-suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that conflicts over these same policies have led to the collapse of talks at both the WTO and the Free Trade Area of Americas in the last year alone. Clearly, there is no international consensus that such policies will aid Iraq’s reconstruction.

The Bush Administration’s proposed changes for Iraqi law go even further, with a special focus on Iraq’s oil. BearingPoint describes how current Iraqi commercial law is “woefully deficient in terms of establishing a market-friendly legal and regulatory environment for business formation and operation.” Changes to those laws will therefore be necessary “to assure an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for major utilities such as gas, oil, water, and power.” The contract includes every sector of the Iraqi economy, from public services, media, banking, investment, taxes, agriculture and the oil sector – implementing “private-sector involvement in strategic sectors, including privatization, asset sales, concessions, leases and management contracts, especially those in the oil and supporting industries.”

Iraqi law states that “A foreign investor shall be entitled to make foreign investments in Iraq on terms no less favorable than those applicable to an Iraqi investor.” National treatment makes it impossible to require that Iraqis be given preferential treatment (over foreigners) as investors, owners, contractors or employees. Thus, foreign companies can do all of the reconstruction, own every business, do all of the work and not a single Iraqi need to employed or involved in the process whatsoever.

Time magazine recently reported that an American firm was awarded a $15 million contract to build a cement factory in Iraq (using U.S. taxpayer dollars). But When the firm was prevented from doing the work, an Iraqi businessman (using Saddam’s confiscated funds) spent just $80,000 to build the same factory.

The potential long-term impact of this provision for the Iraqi economy is monumental, as evidenced by the impact of the same rules on the “financial tigers” of East Asia, as well as Argentina and Russia. Each of these countries experienced devastating financial collapse when foreign investors simultaneously withdrew billions of dollars from their economies while the governments were powerless to enact restrictions on either the inward or outward flow of investments. Iraq is now poised to meet the same fate.

The military occupation of Iraq must end.

Iraq’s foreign debts, accrued by Hussein in the suppression of the people of Iraq, must be forgiven. Only with the end of the U.S.-UK occupation should the United Nations, including an UN-commanded multilateral peacekeeping force, return to Iraq. Their mandate should be for a very short and defined period, with the goal of assisting Iraq in reconstruction and overseeing election of a governing authority.

A broad U.S. Federal Government investigation must be launched to scrutinize U.S. corporate expenditures and actions in Iraq, with the power to impose or seek punitive measures for contract violations and over-expenditure, and to provide oversight, regulation and accountability of U.S. contractor’s work in the application of their contracts. The citizens of Iraq and the U.S. Congress and public should be informed of the findings.

Reconstruction of Iraq should be based on rebuilding the economy to maximize fulfilling the needs of the Iraqi people. All contract processes should be completely transparent and accessible to Iraqis. The awarding of contracts should be done with preference given first to Iraqi companies, experts and workers. Preference should then be given to international humanitarian organizations with a record of performing similar reconstruction work. If a non-Iraqi private company must be used, the contract must be open to global competition and the profit margin must be held as low as possible at a fixed fee. Oversight must be transparent, public and thorough.

Iraq should be allowed to join the worldwide movement for local sustainability by moving away from export oriented economics that make trade and multinational corporations the basis of economic development. Government spending, taxes, subsidies, tariff structures, etc. should be reoriented to support local environmentally sustainable production that meets local needs (these ideas are expanded upon in the IFG publication, Alternatives to Economic Globalization).

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