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Naomi Klein in Harper’s, Part 3

This Magazine Staff

This is a fine and impressive bit of journalism. Looks like Klein happened to schedule her several weeks in Baghdad just as the last hopes for a reasonably stable transition were, literally, exploding—the attack on the Palestine Hotel, the grisly murders in Fallujah, the beheading of Nicholas Berg. Klein courageously does her duty as a witness to history, all the while shifting the curtain on the Bush administration’s disguised intentions for their new economic colony.

A question – does Klein underestimate the resiliency of the economic fundamentalists in Washington? Her conclusion about the failed free-market experiment in Iraq seems solid, for the time being. But here’s a scenario:

  1. Bush, Cheney and the gang keep on shamelessly lying about everything.
  2. They defeat an unfathomably naive Kerry/Edwards ticket in November.
  3. There is a completely fair and free election in Iraq, and Bush allies just happen to win, then brutally repress all opposition.
  4. By the time Hillary Clinton secures her historic presidency against Rudolph Giuliani1 in 2008, all the neocons in Washington are happily heading the reinvestment wave in Iraq, scoring monopolies and inflated “Iraqi government” contracts to rebuild everything they destroyed in the previous five years.
  5. The rich get richer and the poor die miserably without proper health care.

Lewis Lapham’s personal history of the growing Republican propaganda machine (in the same issue of Harper’s) shows just how insidiously patient and committed these true believers are. The removal of all government constraint on free market capitalism is not just a one-off experiment for these folks, it is the promised land, and they are the chosen ones.

1 Giuliani wins the Republican nomination in 2008 after ridiculing John McCain’s war record, saying the Senator from Arizona “sat out” Vietnam in the Hanoi Hilton.

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