Fulfilling Frantz Fanon’s Prophecy
by Dennis Rahkonen
August 4, 2003
To understand why the Iraqi people will never accept what the Bush administration is attempting to foist upon them, run down to the nearest video store and rent an outstanding film from a few years back.
In “Good Will Hunting” there is a remarkable scene in which the young working class genius portrayed by Matt Damon is being interviewed for prospective employment by National Security Agency recruiters.
Damon’s character, brilliant in mathematics but also radically conscious about politics (having read Howard Zinn), at first feigns he’s willing to potentially take an offered job. In fact, he’s not there by choice but by a compulsory obligation you’ll have to watch the movie to understand.
When asked if he wouldn’t like to apply his talents to cryptography as a NSA specialist, Damon proceeds to blisteringly attack the imperialist essence of the U.S. military-industrial complex and America’s multinational-corporate plunder of the Third World.
His “rant” is no more than a couple minutes long, but it’s certainly the clearest available popular exposition of why policies designed to facilitate Wall Street’s avarice are a bane to common people, both overseas and here at home.
In one furious flash of truth he demolishes every myth concerning U.S. capitalism’s purported goodness, revealing it to instead be grand theft on a global scale, bringing deprivation, devastation, and death to literally many millions.
Iraq makes specific what Will Hunting addresses in broader generality.
Driven by lust for both oil wealth and the billions to be plundered by privatizing Iraq’s economy and markets, the unprovoked war launched on a bogus WMD premise is actually one of surpassingly predacious conquest.
Jobs are being destroyed in Iraq not simply by a ban on employment for those associated with the Baath party, or via wholesale chaos engendered by the invasion, but through a flood of cheap imported goods that undercut local products and bring ruin to their Iraqi makers.
Businesses and companies that weren’t already disabled by conflict are being seized and dismantled to comply with the Yankee “free market” model. “Structural adjustments” undertaken in compliance with self-serving World Bank and International Monetary Fund goals are thrusting countless Iraqis into long-term if not permanent unemployment.
As comprehensively as Saddam Hussein has been demonized for well over a decade, few would know that he ever did anything worthwhile. But he brought free education and healthcare to his people, as well as other social-welfare benefits. All are now being eliminated, with profit-hungry monopolists being given free rein to rip off the citizenry, just as they’re doing here at home, in fealty to a reactionary profits-before-people agenda.
Meanwhile, American corporations with some of the most exploitative and sleazy records to be found anywhere are poised to rake in fortunes by rebuilding Iraq.
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) recently published a report entitled "The Corporate Invasion of Iraq: Profiles of U.S. Corporations Awarded Contracts in U.S./British Occupied Iraq."
According to the USLAW study: "Most of these corporations have been awarded no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars to rebuild and privatize Iraq, and bring its economy firmly under U.S. control. Their names read like a rogue's gallery of anti-union U.S. multinationals, including Halliburton, MCI, and SSA."
USLAW’s report "exposes the labor, human rights, environmental and business records of these corporations -- a sordid history of ... fraud, bankruptcy, overcharging, price-gouging, profiteering, wage-cheating, deception, corruption, health and safety violations, worker and community exploitation, human and labor rights abuses, union-busting, strike breaking, environmental contamination, ecological irresponsibility ..."
Bush’s shameful goal is to completely transform Iraq into a helpless host for rightwing parasites whose eyes glint with dollar signs just as surely as their souls are dark from an utter absence of simple decency.
And that’s just the beginning. Post-Saddam Iraq, as the machinations of such planners as Wolfowitz and Pearle make plain, is to serve as the pattern for further control and aggrandizement by a defacto American empire sending its suction hoses wherever native wealth can be siphoned away
All of this, obviously, is oppressive in an unprecedented extreme. Not only does it make painfully real every Marxist contention about the ultimate, rapacious nature of capitalism. It also exacerbates the centuries-old Islamic aversion to interloping infidels.
In essence, Bush’s policy inexorably forces all resistance tendencies devoted to independence and self-determination to come together in a united front.
From Pan-Arabic socialists to Muslim fundamentalists -- with multitudes of ordinary folk in between -- there is merger of rebellious necessity being forged by each successive, selfish misdeed the Bush administration unleashes.
We may be the world’s mightiest military power, but the collective clout of a unified international community unwilling to be abused by the socially irresponsible beliefs exemplified by Dick Cheney’s abysmal outlook...has absolutely no match.
Despite all its super weapons and shock-and-awe capability, the ultraconservative U.S. corporate state is ultimately going to get its ass kicked.
Under the wicked priorities of George W. Bush, America is simply hurting too many people around the world for a joint explosion by those consequently victimized to be long deferred.
By the most base and decadent criteria, we may be “Number One” today.
But tomorrow unquestionably belongs to the Wretched of the Earth.
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, WI, has written progressive commentary and verse for various outlets since the ‘60s. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,us
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