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Confessions of an Economic Hitman

In an article on the demonization of Chavez, i read this:

In his book, Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man, John Perkins describes the role he played in the West's devastation of the Third World for profit, Latin America very much included.

Perkins explains that his real task - rarely discussed but always understood in high government and business circles - was to deliberately exaggerate growth forecasts in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The goal was for these countries to +fail+ to achieve their inflated targets and so be unable to repay their loans. The point being, as Perkins writes, that Third World leaders would then "become ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty". As a result, American interests "can draw on them whenever we desire - to satisfy our political, economic, or military needs. In turn, they bolster their political positions by bringing industrial parks, power plants, and airports to their people. The owners of US engineering and construction companies become fabulously wealthy". (Ibid, p.xi)

The "needs" include military bases, votes at the UN, cheap access to oil and other human and natural resources. Perkins describes this as a non-military means for achieving "the most subtle and effective form of imperialism the world has ever known". (Ibid, p.139)

Bankrupt debtor countries have thus been forced to spend much of their national wealth simply on repaying these debts even as their people sicken and die from malnutrition and poverty. For example, international banks dominated by Washington loaned Ecuador billions of dollars from the 1970s onwards so that it could hire engineering and construction firms to improve life for the rich. In the space of thirty years, poverty grew from 50 to 60 per cent, under- or unemployment increased from 15 to 70 per cent, public debt increased from $240 million to $16 billion, and the share of national resources allocated to the poor fell from 20 per cent to 6 per cent.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2006, 1:37 PM | Liberal Outrage