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Posted November 28, 2006
Useful study of the effects of US intervention
In this useful book, journalist and lecturer Garry Leech shows how oil, not concern for promoting democracy, drives the US to intervene in countries across the world. He looks at the damaging effects of US interventions in the Middle East, Central Asia, West Africa and Latin America. The US-British invasion of Iraq has brought disaster to the people, but a bonanza for US companies. It gave US and British oil companies access to Iraq¿s oil reserves. The US government controls the Development Fund for Iraq, where, by UN mandate, Iraq¿s oil revenues are deposited for the Iraqi people¿s benefit. The Coalition Provisional Authority claimed that most of the Fund paid for contracts to Iraqi companies, but 85% of the $2.2 billion went to US companies, mostly to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Dick Cheney¿s Halliburton. The 1999 Silk Road Strategy Act spelt out long-term US policy, ¿It shall be the policy of the United States in the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia ¿ to help promote market-oriented principles and practices ¿ to support United States business interests and investments in the region.¿ The effects have been dire: in Kazakhstan, for example, since its counter-revolution, wages have been cut by more than 50%, poverty and corruption have soared and health care has worsened. In Azerbaijan, 68% of the population now live in absolute poverty. The US has exercised influence in West Africa through the World Bank. So in oil-rich Nigeria, 66% of the population live in absolute poverty, up from 43% in 1986. In Angola, 82% live in poverty. In Colombia, the number of poor rose from 60% in 1995 to 64% in 2000. The state is warring on the people: the USA backs it as part of the `war on terror¿, although no US citizens have been killed in Colombia. In Venezuela, by contrast, life for the people is improving as the nation reclaims its resources and defends its sovereign independence. The government funds free medical care, subsidises food, enrols ever more children in schools, and distributes land. 20,000 Cuban doctors and health educators are helping to improve people¿s health. Hugo Chavez won 57% of the votes in the 1998 presidential election. In 1999, 70% of voters approved the new Constitution, which allowed the recall of all elected officials, including the President, and increased democratic participation in decision-making. Chavez won 59% of the votes in the 2004 referendum.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.