The neoconservatives' utopia U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer tried to force upon a stunned Iraqi populace may have instead fueled the very insurgency that now makes it impossible for that to happen anytime soon, argues author Naomi Klein in a recent Harper's Magazine piece.
Iraq was to the neocons what Afghanistan was to the Taliban: the one place on Earth where they could force everyone to live by the most literal, unyielding interpretation of their sacred texts. One would think that the bloody results of this experiment would inspire a crisis of faith: in the country where they had absolute free reign, where there was no local government to blame, where economic reforms were introduced at their most shocking and most perfect, they created, instead of a model free market, a failed state no right-thinking investor would touch. And yet the Green Zone neocons and their masters in Washington are no more likely to reexamine their core beliefs than the Taliban mullahs were inclined to search their souls when their Islamic state slid into a debauched Hades of opium and sex slavery. When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder.
Those who'll pay the price for an attempt to craft an unfettered economic nirvana won't be the likes of Bremer or Interim Iraqi leader and ex-CIA agent Iyad Allawi. Perhaps even Bush won't pay. Instead, it's the very Iraqis the administration purported to be liberating, and the children, who will bear the burden.
[Thanks to D.P. for pointing out this story.]