Sometimes it's informative to fall behind in your reading. I recently picked out, from a stack of unread publications, the May issue of "The Nation." Thumbing through it, I was stopped by the title of an article by Naomi Klein -- "The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." Since this was written many months before the one two punch of Katrina and Rita, Kline could not have known about this current disaster. What was she writing about?
The following quotes are from the above mentioned article with my snide comments added:
"On August 5, 2004, the Whitehouse [actually the silly folks IN the Whitehouse] created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization [OCRAS ?], headed by former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual." Wasn't Pascual formerly head of the Oklahoma Hog Association? In any case, shouldn't he be down on the Gulf Coast coordinating reconstruction and stabilization? Nope, wrong country. Here's Pascual's mandate: " ... to draw up post conflict plans for up to 25 countries that are not, as of yet, in conflict. According to Pascual, it [OCRAS] will be able to coordinate three full-scale reconstruction operations in different countries at the same time, each lasting five to seven years. " Wait it gets better.
"... Pascual's office keeps high risk countries on a watch list and assembles rapid-response teams ready to engage in prewar planning and to mobilize and deploy quickly after a conflict ..." I know, that's a hoot isn't it? Where was the rapid response team for Katrina? So, that's the Disaster part of the title; what about the Capitalism aspect. You'll recall the rapid response teams. Well, "the teams are made up of private companies, big NGOs, and members of think tanks." So that's what's been missing in the post hurricane disaster zones -- members of think tanks.
To see if OCRAS can do a better job than FEMA I guess we'll have to wait for a foreign country to need reconstruction and stabilization. Oh, wait, we already have one -- Iraq! I guess adding members of think tanks doesn't help.