On the fifth anniversary of the occupation in Iraq, an old piece of news must be brought to the surface; the war is rapidly destroying traditional farming practices in the area, instating a legal model that calls for a dependency on the seeds of large corporations like Monsanto.
Seeds of False Hope: The Occupation of Iraq’s Farming Economy
That piece reminded me. Amazing how the atrocities of our modern world compete for our attention. Back at the beginning of the war on Iraq I was very concerned about one of it's driving forces really being the eradication of the country's agricultural sector, replacing it with a fully subsidized, franchised, patented and industrialized US model. Specifically, weeding out what was left of The Fertile Crescent's ancient farming and replace it with US Aid funded Monsanto GMO crops for export.
My worst fears of a few years back are now in progress pretty much as planned. Sacks of seeds - US or not - doesn't get bombed, they get eaten or sowed. It's weird how I and a couple of other bloggers put everything we could find about it up at Newsvine tagging it all cpa-81. Yet at this five years "anniversary" I'm practically surprised to see it mentioned somewhere. Depressing really.
Dive in to the links above, you will not be disappointed. That war was not just about securing oil supplies. And the genetics of the agricultural sector is just one battlefield among many. Remember how even Microsoft and, I believe, McDonalds attended the pre-attack loot-planning meeting as shown in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11? Even people who don't like Michael Moore and his movies has to recognize the sponsors of right wing politics were already planning on how to profit. Oil, wheat, whatever. I haven't read Naomi Klein's latest book, The Shock Doctrine, (yet) but from what I understand the "theory of disaster capitalism" explains the CPA-81... crime... perfectly.
Note: CPA-81 doesn't specifically ban the saving of seeds for next season. But it paves the way for the multinational agricultural businesses to come in and seize the whole cycle of crop growing in the wake of disaster. In fact, Iraq's old seed bank was... unfortunately... ruined during invasion. One competitor less. Also note how I was years ahead of Naomi ;-)