by Scott Creighton
****UPDATE**** see CNN story here.
The World Bank and the IMF have announced emergency measures to address the growing world-wide hunger crisis.
“World Bank head Robert Zoellick warned that 100 million people in poor countries could be pushed deeper into poverty by spiraling prices.” BBC News, here.
This problem has been developing for some time and it is only now, as food riots are taking place all across the globe that the World Bank decides to take action. Only now, after it has become a full scale disaster. What took them so long to act? Well, look who is in charge.
In Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, she explains how certain elements of government/corporate leaders either wait for full scale disasters, or even help to create them, in order to use the confusion and desperation that follows in order to create vast opportunities for themselves and other businesses.
Robert Zoellick would certainly qualify as someone who we should pay close attention to when a “disaster” is declared. He was a member of the Project for the New American Century when they wrote the 1998 letter to President Clinton begging him to illegally invade Iraq as soon as possible.
Zoellick is a huge supporter of ANY “free-trade” deals that come his way. In fact, he was instrumental in bringing China into the WTO, regardless of their record on human rights violations.
He has worked on, among others, the Doha “free-trade” agreement; the Vietnam trade agreement; the Trade Act of 2002; the Jordan trade agreement; as well as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
All of these trade agreements do several things to help out big business while reducing the standards of living for working people on both sides of the pacts. But one thing most people don’t realize is that “free trade” agreements don’t just open up trade routes for big business to new markets and new pools of cheap-unregulated labor, but they also open up banking interests to the massive international banking conglomerates.
Robert Zoellick was Senior International Advisor to Goldman Sachs; an international banking conglomerate.
“Zoellick played a key role in the U.S.-W.T.O. dispute against the European Union over genetically modified foods. The move sought to force genetically modified crops and food on the E.U., which would not otherwise accept them, or be slow to do so…” Wiki, here.
Zoellick was working to help the largest seed company on the planet, force it’s genetically modified product (literally) down the throats of the European Union, who had rejected the GM seeds because of lax testing and regulation in the US on the part of the FDA, as well as patent laws that would force the EU farmers to use Monsanto products with the seed.
Full story on Monsanto, here.
Before all of this, remember, Zoellick replaced another Neo-Con idealogue, Paul Wolfowitz, as head of the World Bank, when he ran afoul of some bad press.
Zoellick was a member of Bush’s foreign advisory committee called the Vulcans, prior to Sept. 11th, 2001.
Oil prices world-wide have hit record numbers. The price per barrel has gone over $112.00 US and that is largely responsible for the escalating food prices. But there are other factors as well.
There is a series of special reports done by Bill Moyers that I highly recommend. You can find that here. It points out that over the past decade farm subsidy bills have been piling up and allowing these multi-million dollar industrial farming giants to rake in Billions of US tax-payer dollars, for NOT growing the crops on their land. In fact, it shows how one bill allows people to buy up the farm-land and live on it in these mansions, while collecting a yearly check from the government. The members of the House and Senate KNOW about these abuses, and yet, because of the lobbyists, they can’t or won’t write these loop-holes out of the new farm bill.
All this while people are starving and the price of food is rising out of control, and they say they can’t “find the money” to help poor families with more food assistance so they can eat throughout the entire month.
Then you factor in, that the Vulcans helped put the plan together to attack Iraq, without cause, thus driving up the oil prices (clearly a foreseeable outcome of the invasion) and suddenly, you start to see the long term plan of someone like Robert Zoellick who has had his hand in almost every aspect of this new disaster since the very beginning.
And Bush put him in charge of fixing it.