Friday, May 23, 2003

In August of 2002 Ted Fishman wrote a great piece in Harper's arguing in short that "money will brave any hellhole" if profits can be made there. You know, diamonds in Sierra Leone, oil in Sudan, just about everything and the kitchen sink in DR Congo. Well, it seems mighty Bechtel is having second thoughts about the hellhole known as Iraq. Apparently getting kidnpaped or killed, or being totally unable to afford insurance on a project, is something corporate big-wigs don't much care for. Who knew?

But let's not get carried away here. There is plenty of money to be made in Iraq, and as Fishman tells us, money will brave any hellhole. Although The Guardian article starts off with Bechtel's "sobering message," it soon gets to the real story:
"Despite the sobering message from Bechtel, the roadshow at the Novotel hotel in Hammersmith, west London, attracted more than a thousand hopefuls, forcing organisers to enlarge the conference room. The interest in the Bechtel roadshow reflects the mounting frenzy to get a foot in the door in Iraq, especially now that the UN has lifted decade-long sanctions against the country."
So let's cut the crap about transnational capital being the avant-garde of peace, stability and prosperity around the world. TNCs want profits, and hellholes can produce them just as well as anyplace else.

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