Bizzaro Capitalism

Funding Hyperempire through Aggression

War is a racket.

— US Marine Major General Smedley Butler

Imagine an unbidden exterminator comes by your house and begins to disinfect and kill pests around your house. You arrive home later to find your cat is dead, and your baby is turning green and a green slime is oozing from the corner of her mouth. You rush her to the hospital which is overrun with patients whose properties have received unrequested extermination treatments. While waiting in queue your daughter dies from a severe allergic reaction to the chemicals used by the exterminators.

There are other deaths, but some victims manage to recover from the harm caused by the exterminators.

Weeks later, the exterminator bills you and the others since, they claim, the pests were eradicated. How would you react?

Now take the above scenario and apply an analogy a thousand fold more bizarre and outrageous. Recently, a United States congressman had the chutzpah to ask Iraq to repay the United States for aggressing and occupying (still ongoing) it. As if the Iraqi resistance needed more reasons to continue than the over one million lives snuffed out, the 4 million or so Iraqis made refugees, the outbreak of disease and infant malformations, a destroyed infrastructure, a destroyed economy, etc…

The US got Japan, Germany, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to pay for Persian Gulf Slaughter Phase 1. It wasn’t enough as the US economy has tanked even worse since then.

Republican representative Dana Rohrabacher has come up with a novel proposal for raising more money for the cash-strapped USA: charge the victims of US aggression.

“Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years,” said Rohrabacher to journalists at the US embassy in Baghdad.

“We were hoping that there would be a consideration of a payback because the United States right now is in close to a very serious economic crisis and we could certainly use some people to care about our situation as we have cared about theirs.”

Rohrabacher pleads economic difficulty. If one pays no mind that Iraq was a victimized country and that usually aggressor countries are required to pay reparations to those they aggress (not the other way around), why should a country experiencing far greater economic travails be expected to bail out a larger economy?

There is no need to comment on how the US cares for Iraq’s situation. It was pretty clear that the US only cared about securing the oil; everything else was left to the looters and pillagers (US troops among them).

However, Rohrabacher does not stop at Iraq: “If the Libyans for example are willing to help pay, compensate the United States, for what we would spend in helping them through this rough period, that’s one way to do it.”

One supposes Hamid Karzai will receive a bill from Rohrabacher’s Congressional accountants soon.

And why stop there? Viet Nam has been getting off scot-free from their victimization in the 1960s-70s. There should also be a bill in the mail to South Korea, and there will also be one for North Korea when the US finally brings “democracy” there. Add Haiti, Panama, the menacing colossus of Grenada, and myriad others.

Heck, why not bill the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island for introducing them to colonialism, capitalism, and … well, they have a few prosperous casinos…

An invasion of oil-rich Venezuela should result in a hefty bill that could help keep the USS State of Finances afloat a little longer.

And what is good for hyper-empire should also be good for Americans steadfast allies. Israel’s Knesset will be hoping Palestinians give some consideration to repaying some of the mega-dollars spent on their occupation in the last half-century plus…

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.