The “radical reconstruction of Iraq’s economy and the making ofa quagmire” will be the topic of Antonia Juhasz’s lecture at PSUTuesday, April 27, at noon in the Smith Memorial Student Union’sVanport Room.
Juhasz said her message is important to hear “because it’s ourmilitary, our corporations, our money, our government, our invasion…we’re responsible for what happens now.”
The program director of the International Forum on Globalization(IFG), Juhasz directs several IFG activities pertaining to freetrade issues.
A critic of the Bush administration’s occupation andreconstruction of Iraq, Juhasz calls the reconstruction “acorporate globalization agenda that has at its heart the completetake over of Iraq’s resources.” She cites oil, water, electricity,health, education and human resources as desired capital of U.S.corporations. According to Juhasz, the United States’ plan is to”turn Iraq into a market-controlled, U.S. Corporation dominated,and highly unequal economy as quickly as possible.”
The plan Juhasz will be speaking about comes from theVirginia-based corporation BearingPoint. Submitting a “Statement ofWork to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)” inFebruary of 2003, BearingPoint’s Plan was accepted by USAID in July2003. BearingPoint was awarded $250 million for their work. Callingit “immoral,” Juhasz said, “It is not the role of an invader andoccupier to design the long-term economic policies of thecountry.”
Details of the BearningPoint plan will be discussed by JuhaszTuesday, yet her general message will be on the progressing andproposed privatization of Iraq’s economy. Citing Iraqi unemploymentrates between 70 to 90 percent, she stated “If they (U.S.)privatize the factories and services right away then virtually theentire Iraqi population would be unemployed. Privatization is achoice of the Iraqis – not the Americans.”
When asked why large-scale privatization has not alreadyoccurred in Iraq, Juhasz responded that Iraqis “have alreadythreatened mass protests if privatization occurs.”
Alternative economic development and nation building policeswill also be a topic of Juhasz’ lecture, as advertised on fliersposted around the PSU campus. “If the people of Iraq want, forexample, to maintain a state-controlled economy – that is theirright.” In an email interview with The Vanguard, Juhasz emphasizedIraqi self-determination in all areas of life, especially theeconomy and government.
Juhasz, the author of many articles and books, encourages PSUstudents who are interested in more information on globalization,the war in Iraq, and alternatives, to go to the IFG’s Web site atwww.ifg.org or to read “Alternatives to Economic Globalization: aBetter World is Possible,” a book she helped co-author.
Juhasz’ lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsoredby the women’s studies, economics and sociology departments.