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Commentary :: Environment : Politics : War and Militarism
The Greening of the Peace Movement
08 Jun 2007
In a searing article in Harper's Magazine in September 2004, Naomi Klein laid out a theory of the Iraq War that shreds even today's conventional wisdom about the motivations for our invasion. Her theory was that the neocons saw Iraq as a potential test tube for their ideological utopia, and pursued a strategy of shock therapy, where the devastation of war would force Iraqis to rebuild their nation from scratch. Out of desperation (not to mention shock and awe), they would be receptive to U.S. economic policy unimaginable in any other country. The common refrain that Bush did not have a postwar plan is inaccurate. According to Klein, the neocons' plan started to backfire once the companies they were counting on to privatize the country hesitated to jump on board, and not for the reason you think. Yes, the security situation wasn't perfect. But more importantly, companies decided to wait for the creation of an Iraqi government because international law prohibited the United States as an occupying force from running the show.
But before the fires from the "shock and awe" military onslaught were even extinguished, Bremer unleashed his shock therapy, pushing through more wrenching changes in one sweltering summer than the International Monetary Fund has managed to enact over three decades in Latin America.
—Naomi Klein, "Baghdad Year Zero"

Of course, there were other parts to the ideological impetus for this war, including but not limited to Iraq's tremendous oil reserves, the extension of US hegemony through the establishment of military bases, and the ever-present profit motives of the military-industrial complex. While Naomi Klein exposes the neoconservative drumbeat for war that we all love to hate, these other reasons hone in on a rift in the antiwar movement that must be overcome. That rift, my friends, is between those of us who hold out hope that the Democratic Party can be moved to spurn these deeper-rooted motivations for war, and those of us who know they cannot and will not.

Klein's take on the Iraq War also provides a starting point for moving forward. The post-9/11 peace and justice movement, along with millions of Americans who oppose the disastrous maneuverings of the Bush administration, have been shocked and awed into a desperate and debilitating position. This shock therapy has led millions of us to support policies and politics that were otherwise unimaginable. Furthermore, we are incapable of resisting tyrannical power grabs that we see before our eyes, along with the horrific actions that we know are happening in our name. All the while we continue to pay federal taxes, funding the whole enterprise, then laughing it off with a release of steam by watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert sock it to Bush.

What makes things even worse is that amidst the mounting human devastation that we are all aware of, we are increasingly aware of the ecological devastation that is accompanying it. Often these are interwoven. Global warming and Katrina; oil depletion and Iraq; water depletion/privatization and drought/displacement. The common thread for these catastrophes and many others that we face seems to be that there is an economic driver and no political counterweight. Those that believe the right-wing rise to power is driven by religious fundamentalism are right, except that the religion is Capitalism, not Christianity. While most voters cling to the dominant two parties, which are owned and operated by corporate interests, an intricate dance takes place to provide just enough hope that the values the parties once stood for are still alive within. Both the Republicans and the Democrats, however, are wholly committed to that unsustainable religion of continued economic growth called Capitalism. Even Socialism is wedded to the same basic premise that is presently ravaging our planet -- unabated industrial growth...

Reposted with author's permission from (June 4, 2007). To read the full article go to:
Eli Beckman is a Somerville resident.

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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moving Foward
09 Jun 2007
dont mention zionists or zionism.