Has the whole galaxy gone crazy?
In 1990, the United Nations imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, administered mainly by the United States and Britain. These sanctions, which continued through president Clinton and into Bush II, are perhaps the sorriest legacy of U.S. policy toward Iraq.
No Westerners know Iraq better than Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who served successively as U.N. humanitarian co-ordinators there from 1997 to 2000. Both resigned in protest of the sanctions, which Halliday has characterized as "genocidal."
As they and others pointed out for years, the sanctions devastated the Iraqi population while strengthening Saddam and his clique, increasing the people's dependency on the tyrant for their survival.
As usual, he's saying entirely the wrong things, which is probably why the piece originally appeared in the Toronto Star rather than the US press. Which is free and independent and liberal and shit.
There's also a full transcript of Arundhati Roy's The New American Century, which I quoted a bit of a few days back:
Unlike in the old days, the New Imperialist doesn't need to trudge around the tropics risking malaria or diarrhea or early death. New Imperialism can be conducted on e-mail. The vulgar, hands-on racism of Old Imperialism is outdated. The cornerstone of New Imperialism is New Racism.
The best allegory for New Racism is the tradition of "turkey pardoning" in the United States. Every year since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented the US President with a turkey for Thanksgiving. Every year, in a show of ceremonial magnanimity, the President spares that particular bird (and eats another one). After receiving the presidential pardon, the Chosen One is sent to Frying Pan Park in Virginia to live out its natural life. The rest of the 50 million turkeys raised for Thanksgiving are slaughtered and eaten on Thanksgiving Day. ConAgra Foods, the company that has won the Presidential Turkey contract, says it trains the lucky birds to be sociable, to interact with dignitaries, school children and the press. (Soon they'll even speak English!)
That's how New Racism in the corporate era works. A few carefully bred turkeys--the local elites of various countries, a community of wealthy immigrants, investment bankers, the occasional Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice, some singers, some writers (like myself)--are given absolution and a pass to Frying Pan Park. The remaining millions lose their jobs, are evicted from their homes, have their water and electricity connections cut, and die of AIDS. Basically they're for the pot. But the Fortunate Fowls in Frying Pan Park are doing fine.
She's saying the wrong things as well. Honestly.
However, neither they nor Early to Bed appear to have. . . er, never mind.