Thursday, February 17


This is an important and terribly troubling read (as if we needed anything more to disturb us about our nation's moral decline -- and no, I don't mean abortion, gays or the like). It's Amy Goodman's interview with the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The teaser:

John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, worked for years as chief economist at an international consulting firm in Boston called Chas. T. Main. His job was to persuade countries that are strategically important to the U.S. - such as Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Iran and Saudi Arabia – to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development and then to make sure the lucrative projects were contracted out to U.S. corporations. Saddled with huge debts they couldn't possibly repay, these countries came under the control of the U.S. government, the World Bank and other U.S.-dominated aid agencies that acted like loan sharks, dictating repayment terms and bullying foreign governments into submission.

The entire transcript of the interview is here. Perkins talks about his 9/11 Ground Zero attack of conscience:

Well, I went up there a few weeks later and sat there and it was close enough to the time that I could still smell the burning flesh and see the smoke coming out of that hole, and I sat there and I knew that I had to take responsibility for what had happened there. I knew that I had to expose the truth because what happened at ground zero is a direct result of what -- of the empire building, of what we economic hit men did, and I knew as I sat there that if we don't do something to change the course we're on in the world, my daughter basically has no future and certainly her children don't, and I'm leaving them a much worse world than the one I inherited. And so at that point, I knew that no matter what the consequences, no matter how big a noose I was sticking my head into, I had to expose what's been going on in the world. This empire that we've created that's made so many people around the planet angry, that's resulted in destitution for billions of people on this planet. 24,000 people starve to death every day. 30,000 children die every single day from lack of medicines for diseases that could be cured and we have to take responsibility for that. We can change that and we will change it. But we'll only change it when we really come to understand what's going on.

I highly recommend you read the entire transcript. So much of it we know, but Perkins gives us a framework that makes it easier to share the story -- and we should, with everyone we know. As he says, "...we'll only change it when we really come to understand what's going on."


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