Thursday, January 27, 2011

Essay based on the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

“For them, this is a war about the survival of their children and their cultures, while for us it is about power, money, and natural resources.” An economic hit man has 2 main objectives that are essential in order to complete their task. The first is that they must justify huge international loans to less developed countries that would funnel money back to MAIN and other non-government organizations through massive engineering and construction projects. The second is to bankrupt the countries that received those loans that they would be forever beholden to their creditors and so they would present easy targets when the U.S. needed favors, including military bases, UN votes, or access to oil and natural resources. This system is intended to create money for the contractors and make a few wealthy and influential families in the country happy while assuring long-term financial dependence and political loyalty to the U.S. The impact of this system on the poor and their health and education systems are not considered and often bear a lot of the negative impacts. The EHM projects redirect the money in a country since they must devote the majority to paying off debt instead of using capital to help the dangerously impoverished citizens. Jackals are the final step of this process. They overthrow or kill heads of state in order to fully commit the country to the United States. John Perkins coined the term corporatocracy which is when helping an economy makes those at the top richer, but pushes the bottom lower into poverty. Perkins was one of the first economic hit men to put these principles into action and slowly create a United States centered world empire.

Ecuador is the size of Nevada with 30 active volcanoes, 15% of the world’s bird species, 1000’s of unclassified plants, and as many people speak ancient indigenous languages as speak Spanish. Roldós was the president of Ecuador and he warned foreign interests that they must either help the people of his country or leave the country all together. This was during a time where many missionaries and other organizations were present in Ecuador, set in place by an EHM, which they claimed was to help Ecuador become modernized and to benefit the economy. The reality was that they were in the country in order to find oil fields and then remove indigenous people from the area that contained the oil in order for big name companies like Exxon and Mobil to come in and gain the profit. The CIA then assassinated Roldós, through the use of jackals, in 1981 due to his opinions. Once he was dead, oil drilling began.
Once when Perkins visited an indigenous tribe in Ecuador, they told him the story of the condor and the eagle. One represented old knowledge and one represented new ideas and at the end of the story both birds were able to fly together symbolizing the mixing of knowledge of the indigenous tribes of Ecuador and the new improved goals of the United States. That tribe imagined a day where the resources of land and oil in Ecuador were not a battlefield, but all could gain what they wanted of the country without the U.S. exploiting the people or oil.
In the last chapter in the book about Ecuador, Perkins reflects about the EHM schemes that occurred in the country and how they affected the people who lived there. He states that the involved issues went far beyond the materialistic goals that generally define empires. This issues extended beyond the armies of bankers, business executives, and politicians, deep into the soul of modern civilization. Perkins realizes that the EHM schemes in Ecuador had permanently ruined the culture, politics, and economy.

In Panama, Torrijos was a popular candidate because of his political standpoints during his 1972 election. He believed in Panama’s right of self-rule and claim to sovereignty over the Panama Canal. The United States should no longer have a right to claim the Canal and the Canal Zone in the middle of the country. Torrijos was popular with the middle and lower classes for this exact reason. He wanted to gain independence from the U.S. without joining forces with the current U.S. enemies. John Perkins visited Panama and the Canal Zone and he meets an American family in the zone. After talking with him for a little bit of time, he realizes that the man does not speak any Spanish and is completely ignorant to the culture and economy of Panama. That is when John Perkins realizes that the Panama Canal should in fact belong to Panama instead of Americans who know nothing about the country that the canal is named after. During a meeting, Torrijos asks Perkins to do what’s best for the country instead of making a plan to make Torrijos wealthy. He simply wanted to avoid corruption that is inspired by the EHM and do what is best for his country. The CIA and jackals also assassinated Torrjos in 1981.

1 comment:

  1. what page was the first quote from? O_O i can't find it anywhere