“Having killed for religious beliefs and then political beliefs, I believe we are now on the threshold of killing for economic beliefs.”
Dr. J.W. Spellman, quoted from 1971 Winter Soldier Hearings: “What are we Doing to Vietnam?” [alternet.org]
That’s a fairly prophetic statement… in fact you should read the rest (the quote is on page two of the cited article) which follows that morsel:
“It takes no prophet to predict that there will be destruction and riots and killings in the name of economic creeds in the future. And that these will seem just as valid as religion and politics have seemed to our predecessors historically.”
It’s interesting that this was said by a college professor ten years before Reagan [wikipedia.org] and Thatcher [wikipedia.org] politicized the IMF and World Bank and used them to push the Washington Consensus [wikipedia.org]. The tactics, if not the basic ideas, that the IMF and World Bank pushed onto developing countries are a source of anger for many people in developing countries. Many people have linked these policies and their implementation to the Anti-American and Anti-western attitudes that have increased since the 1980s. It’s not a stretch to suggest that the current situation in Iraq is seen by many — even the majority of — people in the world as ‘killing for economic benefits.’ The Neo-con [newamericancentury.org] agenda and the many links between high level members of the Bush administration and American big-business (especially the Chaney-Halliburton situation) lend credence to this belief. True or not, it looks like we are killing for economic beliefs.