Monday, April 18, 2005

The elite's plan to reshape the world, one disaster at a time

There's a recurring claim various people make of a global "conspiracy" to keep control of the world by the money'd elites. For example you can look at the current U.S. administration and see the hands of the money'd elites, from GW Bush whose family made their reputation from doing whatever the money'd elites want them to do, to the rest of them.

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (By Naomi Klein, The Nation. Posted April 18, 2005. ALTERNET.ORG)

This article talks about one leg of that story. It's about what has been happening with each new nation-building exercise that follows some disaster or war. Think back over the years and you have several examples, the parts of the former Yugoslavia, Ruwanda, Angola, Somalia, and now Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Sri Lanka, or Aceh, etc.

Few ideologues can resist the allure of a blank slate--that was colonialism's seductive promise: "discovering" wide-open new lands where utopia seemed possible. But colonialism is dead, or so we are told; there are no new places to discover, no terra nullius (there never was), no more blank pages on which, as Mao once said, "the newest and most beautiful words can be written." There is, however, plenty of destruction--countries smashed to rubble, whether by so-called Acts of God or by Acts of Bush (on orders from God). And where there is destruction there is reconstruction, a chance to grab hold of "the terrible barrenness," as a UN official recently described the devastation in Aceh, and fill it with the most perfect, beautiful plans.

"We used to have vulgar colonialism," says Shalmali Guttal, a Bangalore-based researcher with Focus on the Global South. "Now we have sophisticated colonialism, and they call it 'reconstruction.'"

In the wake of every disaster (or war) you have waves of "help" arriving. The help arrives in the hands of the usual suspects in the NGO community. But along with the help comes ideology. The blank slate phenemona means they can force the local government, if it survived whatever the disaster befell them, to radically change their governance towards the moderate pseudo-democracy preferred by the money'd elites. Further, they'll force a reshaping of the economy to support the market-driven model preferred by the money'd elites.

Or from Sri Lanka, where 600,000 people who lost their homes in the tsunami are still languishing in temporary camps. One hundred days after the giant waves hit, Herman Kumara, head of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement in Negombo, Sri Lanka, sent out a desperate e-mail to colleagues around the world. "The funds received for the benefit of the victims are directed to the benefit of the privileged few, not to the real victims," he wrote. "Our voices are not heard and not allowed to be voiced."

... the reconstruction industry works so quickly and efficiently that the privatizations and land grabs are usually locked in before the local population knows what hit them. Kumara, in another e-mail, warns that Sri Lanka is now facing "a second tsunami of corporate globalization and militarization," potentially even more devastating than the first. "We see this as a plan of action amidst the tsunami crisis to hand over the sea and the coast to foreign corporations and tourism, with military assistance from the US Marines."

What of the preferences of the local people? What of the historical reasons they might have for the governance system that people have put into place?

It seems that, in 2004, the Bush Administration stepped it up a notch.

On August 5, 2004, the White House created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, headed by former US Ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual. Its mandate is to draw up elaborate "post-conflict" plans for up to twenty-five countries that are not, as of yet, in conflict. According to Pascual, it will also be able to coordinate three full-scale reconstruction operations in different countries "at the same time," each lasting "five to seven years."

So, I guess it's official. The U.S. government is being used as a tool by the money'd elites to reshape the world to serve their purposes. They're using the cover of disasters around the world, ones which their news teams conveniently beat up a frenzy of concern and calls for the government to "do something", and along the way of helping they force "reform".

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