“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, November 19, 2004

The American media coverage of Fallujah is the usual amalgam of bubble gum, nylon and lies. On NPR the announcer, describing the escape of Zarqawi, called him responsible for most of the insurgent attacks – he’s a regular mastermind of the crime in Gotham, apparently. Since the era of the crusade makes contradictions all right, the announcer went on to say that few foreign fighters were killed in Fallujah.

Elsewhere, the general in command of the destruction of the city was so wrought up by the killing and destruction that he announced that the back of the insurgency has been broken. See your tax dollars at work breaking spines on this site.

It is good to count the many ways in which this war is strictly about business. Since many who still argue for the occupation as a liberation have petrified themselves around the carcass of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, endlessly arguing the inarguable fact that Hussein was a criminal mass murderer while avoiding looking at what the liberators did, any time one can open up the can of worms, one should.

Foreign Policy in Focus has an article about one of the bright occupation ideas that the U.S. wants to foist on the Iraqi farmers. It should be said, the article has defects. The point of the article is diluted by spending time arguing that genetically engineered seeds are bad. And it would be nice to know if Bremer's changes in Iraqi laws continue to be legally binding. The general thrust, however, is this: Bremer and Bremer alone decided to change Iraq's intellectual property laws to bring them into compliance with the US policy on intellectual property laws. That's an astonishing breach of sovereignty.

LI loves to death the language that the Bremer crew used. Here is the order ‘accomodating’ Iraqi intellectual property law to the U.S. preferred standard: “Order 81 explicitly states that its provisions are consistent with Iraq’s “transition from a non-transparent centrally planned economy to a free market economy characterized by sustainable economic growth through the establishment of a dynamic private sector, and the need to enact institutional and legal reforms to give it effect.”

Give us neo-liberalism or give us death, as they used to say in the streets of Baghdad. The effect of this law will be to destroy, in one swipe, the system by which Iraqi farmers get seeds, replacing it with a system by which they buy the seeds from American agribusinesses. Iraq's pre-occupation IP laws protected the traditional system of Iraqi agriculture. While the liberal pro war faction has made a great deal out of "rescuing" the marshes on the Euphrates and the way the Americans are "reconstructing" Iraq, what is really going on in that reconstruction is not to the average Iraqi's benefit. The law the FP in Focus people have singled out is all about benefiting Monsanto, and nothing more.

It would be nice to hear an explanation of how wringing advantages out of Iraq for the U.S. economy amounts to a liberation from one of the so called left defenders of the thing, like Nick Cohen. But don’t hold your breath. These people devote their time exclusively to the noble struggle against fundamentalism – of the Muslim kind. You will never hear word one criticizing the series of deals acceded to by the exile puppets that the U.S. has put in charge of our Mesopotamian slaughter-house. There is a certain sense to the lack of comment -- these people have no influence whatsoever with the Bush White House, or even with Tony Blair. Their only influence, really, is to be talked about by people like LI, and to get on tv with the usual rightwingers to talk up the war.

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