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Disaster Capitalism: State of Extortion

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

President Bush As Extortionist in Chief?

Disaster Capitalism: State of Extortion

By Naomi Klein

Once oil passed $140 a barrel, even the most rabidly right-wing media hosts had to prove their populist credo by devoting a portion of every show to bashing Big Oil. Some have gone so far as to invite me on for a friendly chat about an insidious new phenomenon: “disaster capitalism.” It usually goes well-until it doesn’t.

For instance, “independent conservative” radio host Jerry Doyle and I were having a perfectly amiable conversation about sleazy insurance companies and inept politicians when this happened: “I think I have a quick way to bring the prices down,” Doyle announced. “We’ve invested $650 billion to liberate a nation of 25 million people. Shouldn’t we just demand that they give us oil? There should be tankers after tankers backed up like a traffic jam getting into the Lincoln Tunnel, the Stinkin’ Lincoln, at rush hour with thank-you notes from the Iraqi government . Why don’t we just take the oil? We’ve invested it liberating a country. I can have the problem solved of gas prices coming down in ten days, not ten years.”

There were a couple of problems with Doyle’s plan, of course. The first was that he was describing the biggest stickup in world history. The second, that he was too late: “We” are already heisting Iraq’s oil, or at least are on the cusp of doing so.

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