Reading an article this morning from Naomi Klein (author of The Shock Doctrine) about the absolute propensity of big business for self deception. In this case, it’s BP and the spill. This portion speak volumes:
These priorities go a long way towards explaining why the initial exploration plan that BP submitted to the federal government for the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon well reads like a Greek tragedy about human hubris. The phrase “little risk” appears five times. Even if there is a spill, BP confidently predicts that, thanks to “proven equipment and technology”, adverse affects will be minimal. Presenting nature as a predictable and agreeable junior partner (or perhaps subcontractor), the report cheerfully explains that should a spill occur, “Currents and microbial degradation would remove the oil from the water column or dilute the constituents to background levels”. The effects on fish, meanwhile, “would likely be sublethal” because of “the capability of adult fish and shellfish to avoid a spill [and] to metabolise hydrocarbons”. (In BP’s telling, rather than a dire threat, a spill emerges as an all-you-can-eat buffet for aquatic life.)
Best of all, should a major spill occur, there is, apparently, “little risk of contact or impact to the coastline” because of the company’s projected speedy response (!) and “due to the distance [of the rig] to shore” – about 48 miles (77km).
This is staggering. It is, in the end, blasphemous. It is a perfect example of the hubris of which the Tower of Babel portends.
I have actually heard conservative/Republican pundits try to minimize the catastrophe by comparing the spill to the total amount of water on the earth, as if the spill instantaneously dispersed itself evenly across the earth upon contact with the water. One look at oil-soaked pelicans or spoiled marshland SHOULD be enough to render that notion as the absolute absurdity that it is. And yet, we have people agreeing with that idiocy.
I’m not even done with the article yet, but I am so angry at the hubris and the selfishness that drives that hubris, which is pushed upon the mailable masses as some sort of an excuse for science
My friend Eric brought this article to my attention on Facebook yesterday.
in mid-April 2003, with looting still underway, Rumsfeld canceled deployment of the Calvary Division, a force of 16,000 soldiers
#333333">An Interviewee testifies how that shocked everybody in the military who DID have concerns about post-invasion stabilization. This fits the accusation (and I think rightfully aimed) of Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine that de-stabilization WAS PART OF THE PLAN in order to set in motion the economic shocks and “free market” reforms (aka “plunder”) eyed by the Rumsfelds, Cheney’s and Bremers.
#333333">This tends to dissolve the “incompetence” charge and instead level a more feasible explanation: Greed. Profiteering. I believe that the “surge” is but a desperate attempt to stubbornly insist that the U.S. can “clear the way” for the free-enterprise zone its Friedmanites were pushing for.
In a TIME interview, Naomi Klein explains the connection between Chicago-School style economics and the rise of “Disaster Capitalism” in the Southern Cone countries.
Milton Friedman is held up as really the guru of the modern global market. But my view on Friedman is, I don’t think it’s his fault in the sense that the role he played was more dictated by history and forces far more powerful than him. I think he was a gifted popularlizer and a gifted communicator, which is one of the reasons why the University of Chicago was so lavishly supported by Wall Street and why his own projects were very much supported by [corporations].
But the other side of it — and I think this is much more important — is the way in which the University of Chicago was used a tool of U.S. foreign policy. That’s why I concentrate so much on Friedman and the University of Chicago because in the 1950s and ’60s there was a strategy at the U.S. State Department to try to challenge the rise of economic nationalism in the developing world, particularly in Latin America. A move to the left in Latin America that was threatening the interests of U.S. foreign multinationals in countries like Argentina, and a sort of counteroffensive was launched that involved bringing hundreds of Latin American students to study at the University of Chicago under Friedman and his colleagues. When the peaceful battle of ideas didn’t defeat the left in Latin America, then you had a wave of military coups, often supported by the CIA, and many of these U.S.-trained Chicago boys, as they’re called in Latin America, rose to prominent levels of governments — heads of the central bank or finance ministers — where the economic shock therapists were working hand-in-hand with the very real shock therapists who are in control in these countries through repressive means, including torture.
What is bound to be even more infuriating (or if this wasn’t enough to boil your butt already, there is New Orleans and The Asian Tsunami, and how these tragedies were exploited (see next post, or the one above this one)
This is what mass demonstrations in Iraq had people shouting. We NEVER heard this in the US Media. But there were massive mobilizations against what proved to be , for Iraqis, the REAL face of the occupation; that of selling off their factories and providers of their infrastructure to for-profit-only foreign corporations.
By way of blowing out of the water the Bush administration’s “free elections” that they used to show how the invasion and occupation had “enabled” democracy, Naomi Klein here talks about how Bremer repressed Iraqi elections when it was clear that they weren’t about to allow the mass privatization that the free market fundamentalism being hoisted upon them by the Bush administration