C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Neoliberal Iraq

"Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, promulgated four orders that included 'the full privatisation of public enterprises, full ownership rights by foreign firms of Iraqi businesses, full repatriation of foreign profits...the opening of Iraq's banks to foreign control, national treatment for foreign companies and...the elimination of nearly all trade barriers'. The orders were to apply to all areas of the economy, including public services, the media, manufacturing, services, transportation, finance, and construction. Only oil was exempt (presumably because of its special status as revenue producer to pay for the war and its geopolitical significance). The labour market, on the other hand, was to be strictly regulated. Strikes were effectively forbidden in key sectors and the right to unionise restricted. A highly regressive 'flat tax' (an ambitious tax-reform plan long advocated for implementation by conservatives in the US) was also imposed.

These orders were, some argued, in violation of the Geneva and Hague Conventions, since an occupying power is mandated to guard the assets of an occupied country and not sell them off."

(p. 6)

Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.