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Iraq’s IMF Loan

by JOSHUA FRANK

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $685 million loan for Iraq on December 24. Now the country’s war torn economy will be fully integrated into the global economy-indefinitely. The reconstruction of Iraq will soon be open to even more industrialized nations and interests.
Iraq will not be sovereign or independent in the near future, even if President Bush says so. The country’s financial future will instead be dictated by a new colossal economic occupation, complete with ground forces, tanks, foreign military bases and the like-all thanks to the United States, Britain and the IMF.

The new loans will soon be the focus of Iraq’s future “economic stability”. Of course, the desire to capitalize on war’s misfortunes is at the heart of this occupation, as well as the IMF’s gracious assistance. This is undoubtedly what the Bush administration and their allies have wished for all along.

“This arrangement will underpin economic stability and help lay the foundation for an open and prosperous economy in Iraq,” Treasury Secretary John Snow said in an announcement shortly after the loan was approved. Translation: Iraq will soon be open for business.
Now that the IMF will be able to dictate how best Iraq can pay back its ever increasing debt, putting its recovery in the hands of others, while the US reaps the benefits. If it’s to pump millions more barrels of oil every year, Iraq will be forced to do it. And in fact, increased oil production is at the heart of the IMF’s plan for Iraq.

In a statement released last week by the IMF, the institution reported that Iraq’s new government planned to allocate resources next year to expanding oil production as part of a broad economic scheme put forward by the IMF, with the hope of putting Iraq’s economy on an upward trajectory. In other words, Iraq will be forced to start drilling for more oil.

And of course democracy will never be truly attainable or even really wished for by the IMF and their wealthy investors-the country will just become another playing ground for imperial endeavors and capitalist greed. So much for independence, for no country is truly free and democratic when placed under the boot of the industrialized world. Markets consistently undermine democracy when motivated by self-interests, and Iraqi citizens are not likely to benefit in any real terms under the IMF’s new loan package, which will be divvied out over the next 15 months.

Don’t believe for a minute that Iraq will be able to shake off globalism’s ravenous greed anytime soon-even if US troops are redeployed. Capitalism’s tentacles are now fully attached to Babylon, as if they weren’t already, and the oil will be flowing shortly. Even if US troops are redeployed, or god forbid, brought home, the occupation of Iraq will nonetheless continue.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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