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The Tally Ho

Friday, March 31, 2006

An Economic Interpretation of Quagmire

There's a great piece at Tom Dispatch by Michael Schwartz, which ties the ongoing violence and despair in Iraq to the efforts of the neocons in the Coalition Provisional Authority to administer "shock therapy" privatization to the Iraqi economy in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion.

I think this is an important part of the equation, although I don't think it's the whole story. For one thing, a low-level ethinic/religious conflict has been raging in Iraq since at least 1991, and this account, like the neocons', does not recognize that the ethnic and sectarian divides in Iraq are real. But the impact of the catastrophe that was the short lived CPA should not be forgotten. In addition to the wrongheaded economic policy administered by neophyte idealists straight out of think tank land, we should also remember the crippling corruption that characterized the CPA's efforts at "reconstruction" - most funds appropriated for this purpose were simply stolen, handed over to multinationals for work which was never done, or are otherwise unaccounted for to this day.

But for all its limitations, it's still a great piece that will enhance your understanding of what's really going on. Here it is. Go check it out.


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