Monday, June 07, 2010

why torture is necessary?

Video - Shock Doctrine short movie.

truthout | Naomi Klein's 2007 book "The Shock Doctrine" took 466 pages to flesh out the worldview that can even be proud of torture, as Dick Cheney and Karl Rove have confessed to be. Though her book is a hard read, we need a better understanding of the marriage of greed and violence that has become our world's greatest enemy. Klein would side with the Na'vi, though her research shows the Quaritches and their corporate masters almost always win.

Human history confirms Klein's research: the combined forces of greed and violence usually win. History also offers the testimony of General Smedley Butler (1881-1940), who wrote "War Is a Racket". One of only two Americans to win the Medal of Honor on two separate occasions, his words were as courageous as his actions, especially when he spoke about the real purpose of war:
"The flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.... I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.... I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
In the United States of 2010, the greediest corporations have won, and are consolidating their strength for a long reign. We need to understand how they can employ a degree of violence, torture and murder that simply paralyzes most of us.

The Prototype of Disaster Capitalism
Naomi Klein calls it "disaster capitalism"; she says the French call it "savage capitalism." Both names reflect the (so far) unstoppable power of violence and greed. The economist associated with the golden age of this supercharged greed was Milton Friedman who, along with others from "the Chicago School" of economics, showed many leaders from South America to first-world countries how to become wealthy by selling out their countries, offering national properties and resources at a fraction of their worth to corporate bidders - mostly from the United States. The Chicago School developed the wrecking ball that has been used in nearly all the episodes of disaster capitalism. However, the prototypical model was the CIA-backed coup of 1965 in Indonesia. Sukarno, Indonesia's first elected president, saw the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as agents of American greed and dreams of empire. He threw them out of the country. Naomi Klein describes what happened when Suharto came to power as dictator:
His use of terror was so merciless, so far beyond even the worst expectations, that a people who only weeks earlier had been collectively striving to assert their country's independence were now sufficiently terrified that they ceded total control to Suharto and his henchmen. Ralph McGehee, a senior CIA operations manager during the years of the coup, said Indonesia was a "model operation.... You can trace back all major, bloody events run from Washington to the way Suharto came to power. The success of that meant that it would be repeated, again and again.

While citizens were distracted by the terror, a group of US economists from the University of California at Berkeley handed out "tax holidays," and within two years, Indonesia's natural wealth - copper, nickel, hardwood, rubber and oil - was being divided up among the largest mining and energy companies in the world.[1]
After Indonesia, this bloody pattern of shock, awe and robbery continued in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina - as well as in larger first-world countries - including Britain, Russia and the United States.


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