Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Economic Hit Men

John Perkins is an economist and was a high-ranking member of the international banking community. He now has a book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The book describes how he was a highly paid professional who helped the U.S. cheat third world countries out of trillions of dollars.

Perkins began the book over 20 years ago. He says: “The book was to be dedicated to the presidents of two countries…Jaime Roldós, president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama. Both had just died in fiery crashes. Their deaths were not accidental. They were assassinated because they opposed that fraternity of corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit Men failed to bring Roldós and Torrijos around, and the other type of hit men, the CIA-sanctioned jackals who were always right behind us, stepped in.”

The job of an economic hit man is to build up the American Empire. That means creating situations where as many resources as possible flow into our country; our corporations. This has created the largest empire in history.

He says: “It's been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It's only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that.”

The first notch in America’s bedpost was Iran in the early 1950s. Their elected leader was overthrown and replaced with the infamous Shah of Iran. (And yes this does have a lot to do with the Iranian hostage situation 25 years later.) In this case the government was overthrown by the CIA.

The American government realized the advantages of this type of overthrow: no open warfare, no conflict with Russia or any other country who might object. The only drawback was that if some of the CIA agents were captured and exposed as U.S. government agents, things could get a little, uh, “awkward.” So after the Iranian overthrow, this type of work was done by private American companies, whose employees could not be traced to any government operation.

The most common method of this economic warfare is to grant a loan to a poor country. A huge loan, a loan way too big for that country to possibly repay. A large contractor — Bechtel, Halliburton, etc., you know the players — would get its foot in the door by building roads, power plants, whatever the country needed. The government of this country is then instructed to pay back the loan to this contractor. When the government is unable to repay the entire loan and goes into debt, the contractor has them over a barrel.

At this point we can practically blackmail the country into handing over its resources (oil, minerals, whatever) to American corporations.

And that's the pattern.

During the energy crisis of the 1970s, our government realized Saudi Arabia was the key player. The American and Saudi governments worked out a deal: the House of Saud would send most of their petro-dollars to the United States and invest them in U.S. securities. The Treasury Dept. would use the interest from these securities to hire American companies to build Saudi Arabia — new cities, new infrastructure. In return, Saudi Arabia has kept the price of oil low. Well, “low” enough to keep Americans happily buying millions of gas guzzlers.

Now, remember those Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? Hahahahahaha. Here’s what really happened: We tried to use the same manipulative tactics with Iraq that had worked so well with Saudi Arabia and other third world countries. And Saddam Hussein wouldn’t play. When the economic hit men aren’t able to “convince” a third world country to play ball, further steps must be taken.

The CIA can induce a coup by stirring up rebellion among the populace. This didn’t work in Iraq — Hussein’s grip was too powerful. Next step — assassinations. This didn’t work either. Hussein had too many bodyguards and a vast network of “doubles.”

When these backup plans all fail, what’s next? Military invasion. As John Perkins says: “So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq.”

Why did Perkins spend twenty years “working on” this book? The money, power and prestige were just too seductive. It was 9/11 that finally changed his mind.

He says: “But when 9/11 struck, I had a change of heart. I knew the story had to be told because what happened at 9/11 is a direct result of what the economic hit men are doing. And the only way that we're going to feel secure in this country again and that we're going to feel good about ourselves is if we use these systems we’ve put into place to create positive change around the world. I really believe we can do that. I believe the World Bank and other institutions can be turned around and do what they were originally intended to do, which is help reconstruct devastated parts of the world. Help — genuinely help poor people.”

OK, now before you come screaming into the Comment section, remember the above paragraph is a quote. I personally am not playing blame-the-victim and saying 9/11 was America’s fault. But that quote is the perspective of a high ranking American economist who was closely affiliated with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and international contractors.

Whether or not the United States should be helping poorer countries is open to debate (and not the focus of this article). But using the rest of the world as just so much chattel and raw material for America’s corporate empire is just plain wrong.

Cross-posted at Bring It On!


Blogger woodenshoe said...

wonderfully sid-we would be better served helping each other AND the world, not sucking rescources and invading other countries.
you rock, tom harper!
have a good one!

May 11, 2005 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Woodenshoe: Thanks. It definitely would pay better to help other countries while making a profit at the same time. Some of the wealthiest companies are the ones that treat their employees well and give back to the communities that helped enable them to create their wealth. And that's true globally too.

Your site rocks too. I've had you blogmarked ever since you first came up on BE.

May 11, 2005 at 3:30 AM  
Blogger LingLing said...

fascinating! great stuff---and i'm glad you posted about darfur, too.

I'll have to read that book--Cheers!

May 11, 2005 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Ling Ling: Thanks.

May 11, 2005 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous CT said...

I posted a bit on Perkins' book back in February, and included a brief but insightful interview with the author from the local paper. Just for your further reference.

May 11, 2005 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Think about it. The way Bush treats Iraq, is it REALLY the way you treat a nation you want to help? If he wanted to help why didn't he just go in and assassinate Saddam and his sons and allies? That would have let the country sort things out on their own. I know that everyone harps back to the Presidential Ban on assassinating foreign leaders but how is that worse than invading a country? Instead of killing a few guilty people we have ruined an economy, created a massive terrorist organization called the Insurgency, made other countries hate us more than they already did, killed many innocent Americans and Iraqis who had nothing to do with any of this and even helped give Al Qaida a break so they could try and plan more attacks. I know this is slightly off the topic, but look at it in the empire-building point of view. Is it no possible that a very large motivator in this invasion was oil and the access to said resources? I know many scoff at this, believing instead Bush's propaganda but think hard and see where it comes together.

May 11, 2005 at 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

CT: Thanks for the link.

OK Democrat: I'm sure the Iraqi invasion was motivated by something other than concern for Iraqi citizens. Whether it was for oil (as John Perkins says), or vengeance, we'll probably never know. But Bush definitely had his own reasons for invading Iraq; he's been champing at the bit to conquer Iraq since the 2000 election.

May 11, 2005 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger thatdude said...

excellent article, i heard about this.

May 11, 2005 at 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Smooth: Thanks.

May 12, 2005 at 12:24 AM  

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