‘The same old racket in Iraq’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, December 13, 2003
To the victors, the spoils: Bush’s colonialism will only deepen resistance
Iraq remains a country of unbearable suffering, the sort that only soldiers and administrators acting on behalf of states and governments are capable of inflicting on their fellow humans. It is the first country where we can begin to study the impact of a 21st-century colonisation. This takes place in an international context of globalisation and neo-liberal hegemony. If the economy at home is determined by the primacy of consumption, speculation as the main hub of economic activity and no inviolate domains of public provision, only a crazed utopian could imagine that a colonised Iraq would be any different.
The state facilities that were so carefully targeted with bombs and shells have now to be reconstructed, but this time under the aegis of private firms, preferably American, though Blair and Berlusconi, and perhaps plucky Poland too, will not be forgotten at handouts time. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, awarded a contract (without any competition) to rebuild Iraq’s oil industry, is happily boosting profits by charging the US government $2.64 a gallon for the fuel it trucks into Iraq from Kuwait. The normal price per gallon in the region is 71 cents, but since the US taxpayer is footing the bill, nobody cares. read more