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Re: [casi] Re: [casi-analysis] Op-ed on privatisation in Iraq

>However recently many infrastructural elements formerly govt. provided are
>contracted out to private enterprise but are paid for through public funds
>as with the growing private prison sector. In other areas such as utilities
>privatisation is encouraged. Often the result is huge price increases and
>social unrest as has been the case with water privatisation in Bolivia.
>These types of privatisations serve the practical purpose of generating new
>outlets for capital and new opportunities for making profit that government
>owned enterprises do not provide.

Yes, and an important facet of this is that the same people are often
involved in both. Cheney, for example, is still getting money from
Halliburton, and it is not unlikely that if he leaves government he will go
back with Halliburton, or become a consultant to various private
industries. Essentially we have someone working in a corporation making
government decisions -- just not being  in both palaces at the same
time.  But then we look at Perle, who is corporate now, and also a
governmental advisor (a member of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board, until
recently the chairman), but avoids a conflict of interest charge by
limiting his time working on the DPB.  It's fascism, the merging of
business and government, but done less overtly.

Add to that the contracting of private firms and the corporations make the
profit from the government decisions -- so profit become very much the goal
of nominally government-owned services, and the public good is little

>By the way the US army is not privately run as yet. Certain support
>functions have been privatised. But the military always has fostered a huge
>private industry of arms and equipment suppliers, a military-industrial
>complex. This has simply been extended into more areas.

Well, there are a few things to consider. Going into the war came from
pressure from the neo-cons, and many of those are the same corporate
business people alluded to above. Career military may not be business, but
they take their orders from the civilians in the Penatgon and the
president, so in that sense the military IS run by the corporations. In
addition, many of the functions which would formerly be under the military
are now being shifted to private guard companies hired by the corporations
-- their own private armies, really. Supplies are being shifted from
traditional military channels to private firms. There is also much
confusions between the military and civilian police -- some $8 million from
the $87 billion for Iraq going to the security forces at the Miami fiasco
for example, and the blending of military with "homeland security".

If we consider the massive sell-off of Iraqi business to private and
foreign firms, once more we see the blending of private and government
sectors. Many of the companies doing reconstruction in Iraq are hiring
foreign workers, even while unemployment in Iraq is staggering, and that's
a situation unlikely to occur if a real Iraqi government was running
things.  Going the privatization route Iraq is essentially becoming just a
branch office of the US government-military-industrial complex, and in a
way which is more difficult to resist than if the US did this on a strictly
governmental level -- even though such privitization is contrary to
international law and convention. Once the puppet government in Iraq hands
it all over to private firms the exploitation  plans are established in one
stroke, with very little left to haggle over in the future. The basic rules
are changed, which is easier for firms than either having to fight against
or ignore rules, which would be true if a government still had control over
the details. The people are simply left out of any decisions, not being

In the US the privatization of health care doesn't subject HMOs and such to
loss, where in another country the government would bail them out, but they
just stop providing service. We can expect the same sort of thing in Iraq
-- and in fact this is one reason, I suspect, why the electricity is still
in such bad shape: there isn't much profit in fixing it. This is
essentially the same pattern we have seen in privatizing water, in Bolivia
e.g. If the people become to restive and demonstrate, the military steps in
and shoots them.  Two tentacles of the same monster ... that's how fascism

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