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#40773 - 10/17/08 02:09 AM Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia
acdnyc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
Another interesting thing about the Iraq war. Is this capitalism at work?

Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia
One would think that Iraqi farmers, now prospering under "freedom" and "democracy," would be able to plant the seeds of their choosing, but that choice, under little-known Order 81, would be illegal.

But first, it is important to set the context. Most people have never heard of the infamous "100 Orders," but they help explain why the majority of Iraqis remain opposed to foreign occupation More... The 100 Orders allow multinational corporations to basically privatize an entire nation, and this degree of foreign and private control has not been witnessed since the days of the British East India Company and its extraterritoriality treaties.

A few examples of the 100 Orders are illuminating:

* Order 39 allows for the tax-free remittance of all corporate profits.
*
Order 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, immunity from Iraq's laws.
*
Orders 57 and 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector general in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations. (1)

Back to one of the most blatant orders of all: Order 81. Under this mandate, Iraq's commercial farmers must now buy "registered seeds." These are normally imported by Monsanto, Cargill and the World Wide Wheat Company. Unfortunately, these registered seeds are "terminator" seeds, meaning "sterile." Imagine if all human men were infertile, and in order to reproduce women needed to buy sperm cells at a sperm bank. In agricultural terms, terminator seeds represent the same kind of sterility.

Terminator seeds have no agricultural value other than creating corporate monopolies. The Sierra Club, more of a mainstream "conservation" organization than a radical "environmentalist" one, makes the exact same case:

"This technology would protect the intellectual property interests of the seed company by making the seeds from a genetically engineered crop plant sterile, unable to germinate. Terminator would make it impossible for farmers to save seed from a crop for planting the next year, and would force them to buy seed from the supplier. In the third world, this inability to save seed could be a major, perhaps fatal, burden on poor farmers." (2)

What makes this Order 81 even more outrageous is that Iraqi farmers have been saving wheat and barley seeds since at least 4000 BC, when irrigated agriculture first emerged, and probably even to about 8000 BC, when wheat was first domesticated. Mesopotamia's farmers have now been trumped by white-smocked, corporate bio-engineers from Florida who strive to replace hundreds of natural varieties with a handful of genetically scrambled hybrids.

Where does such hubris come from? It comes from the entire mission surrounding the invasion of Iraq, which, upon closer inspection, had been planned years in advance by a faction of "neo-cons" who adopted Leon Trotsky's glorification of the state, his theory "permanent revolution," and his goal of exporting revolution worldwide. The neo-con revolution aims to alter the economic, political and cultural foundations of nations on the other side of the planet (rejecting old-fashioned notions of self-determination, popular sovereignty and even the nation-state system). This mission includes the transformation of agriculture and the establishment of "food control" over local populations.

Order 81 fits into this revolutionary program, and it is quite diabolical upon closer inspection. First, it forces Iraq's commercial farmers to use registered terminator seeds (the "protected variety"). Then it defines natural seeds as illegal (the "infringing variety"), in a classic Orwellian turn of language.

This is so incredible that it must be re-stated: the exotic genetically scrambled seeds are the "protected variety" and the indigenous seeds are the "infringing variety."

As Jeffrey Smith explains, author of Order 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture:

"To qualify for PVP [Plant Variety Protection], seeds have to meet the following criteria: they must be 'new, distinct, uniform and stable'... it is impossible for the seeds developed by the people of Iraq to meet these criteria. Their seeds are not 'new' as they are the product of millennia of development. Nor are they 'distinct'. The free exchange of seeds practiced for centuries ensures that characteristics are spread and shared across local varieties. And they are the opposite of 'uniform' and 'stable' by the very nature of their biodiversity." (3)

Order 81 comes with the Orwellian title of "Plant Variety Protection." Any self-respecting scientist knows, however, that imposing biological standardization accomplishes the exact opposite: It reduces biodiversity and threatens species. So Order 81 comes with an Orwellian title and consists of Orwellian provisions.

Jeffrey Smith peels away the layers of mischief behind Order 81, finding it nonsensical that six varieties of wheat have been developed for Iraq:

"Three will be used for farmers to grow wheat that is made into pasta; three seed strains will be for 'breadmaking.'

Pasta? According to the 2001 World Food Programme report on Iraq, 'Dietary habits and preferences included consumption of large quantities and varieties of meat, as well as chicken, pulses, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.' No mention of lasagna. Likewise, a quick check of the Middle Eastern cookbook on my kitchen shelves, while not exclusively Iraqi, reveals a grand total of no pasta dishes listed within it.

There can be only two reasons why 50 per cent of the grains being developed are for pasta. One, the US intends to have so many American soldiers and businessmen in Iraq that it is orienting the country's agriculture around feeding not 'Starving Iraqis' but 'Overfed Americans'. Or, and more likely, because the food was never meant to be eaten inside Iraq at all…" (4)

Just in case Iraqi farmer can't read, Order 81 enforces the new monopoly on seeds with the jackboot. Order 81 makes this clear in its own text, buried at the bottom of the document, as is most screw-you fine print:

"The court may order the confiscation of the infringing variety as well as the materials and tools substantially used in the infringement of the protected variety. The court may also decide to destroy the infringing variety as well as the materials and tools or to dispose of them in any noncommercial purpose." (5)

Order 81 is about power and profit, but it disguises itself as humanitarian legislation.

Topping it all off, the entire document puts on rather magisterial airs. It was signed by L. Paul Bremer himself, with his own hand, and presumably with his own pen:

"Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority…"

Like the Roman Proconsuls, Paul Bremer also spent a year in the provinces, governing the so-called barbarians…

-The above is an excerpt from Andrew Bosworth’s new book: Biotech Empire: The Untold Future of Food, Pills, and Sex, available at Amazon.

-Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Government at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Notes

1. Uruknet Report, "Have You Ever Heard of Bremer's 100 Orders?" 11 April 2008.

2. Institutional Report, Genetic Engineering at a Historic Crossroads," The Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Committee Report, March 2001.

3. Jeffrey Smith. "ORDER 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture - The Ultimate War Crime: Breaking the Agricultural Cycle." Global Research and The Ecologist, 27 August 2005, Vol 35, No. 1.

4. Jeffrey Smith. "ORDER 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture - The Ultimate War Crime: Breaking the Agricultural Cycle." Global Research and The Ecologist, 27 August 2005, Vol 35, No. 1.
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#40793 - 10/17/08 05:33 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: acdnyc]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
No worry, McCain and Palin are going to make you proud to be an American!

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#40798 - 10/17/08 08:05 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: acdnyc]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5933
Loc: 212 land
It's all a part of Iraqi Freedom.
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#40900 - 10/23/08 12:56 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: oenophore]
Terrie Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 247
I'm referencing this thread and copy/pasting the OP over at Supertopo, as I found this to be quite disturbing. Here's the link:

Thanks, too, for the book suggestion. I will look for it right away - looks like something to keep me occupied this weekend if the rain forecast are accurate.
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#41096 - 10/31/08 03:21 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: Terrie]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 996
Loc: Gunks
I had to ask a friend who was in Iraq during the time these rules were created and asked him what he thought of this thread. His response is below. Mim

They’re orders from the CPA, the occupation government through which we ran the country for the first 14 months after the initial invasion. They all had very good reasons. The independent, democratic, constitutional Iraq government that ultimately followed the CPA, has had the right to rescind any of them it doesn’t want, since that government came into existence years ago. It has rescinded many, and kept the ones it thinks are in the interest of the Iraqi people, in most cases for the same reasons we at the CPA thought they were in the interests of the Iraqi people.

I don’t know all of the orders or all of the policy behind them. But, it’s safe to assume that that rant does not have the CPA orders it references, correct in all cases. And, it doesn’t have the implications of those orders correct in most cases. Enormous debate -- dedicated only to what was in the interest of the Iraqi people -- went into each and every CPA order. Those who conducted the debates knew what they were doing, in almost all cases. But, any order that turned out to be a bad idea was rescinded long ago.

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#41099 - 10/31/08 04:02 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: Mim]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
I want to say that I didn’t take this post seriously, hence my last post which admittedly did not address the topic. These rules surely sound like propaganda and I assume that they were written by an anti-American group..

But, Alice, your friends writing that some rules were not adopted would makes me fell little better about them. These rules would upset me if I thought they had even been given enough consideration by the "US" to write them down! In fact because your friend didn’t come right out and say this is rubbish or I don't know anything about them only adds to the credibility that they might be real!!!


Edited by mworking (10/31/08 04:06 PM)

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#41104 - 10/31/08 06:25 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: mworking]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
 Originally Posted By: mworking
In fact because your friend didn’t come right out and say this is rubbish or I don't know anything about them only adds to the credibility that they might be real!!!

Are YOU for real????

Also I think it was Mim, um not Alice that posted. (Alice are I are not the only 2 opposing voices of reason around these parts ;\) \:\/ )

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#41160 - 11/03/08 08:25 PM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: Smike]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
"100 orders iraq" got over 20,000,000 hits

http://www.cpa-iraq.org/regulations/#Regulations

This was the first one.

Is it real?


Edited by acdnyc (11/03/08 08:26 PM)
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#41169 - 11/04/08 04:58 AM Re: Mutant Seeds for Mesopotamia [Re: Smike]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
 Originally Posted By: Smike
 Originally Posted By: mworking
In fact because your friend didn’t come right out and say this is rubbish or I don't know anything about them only adds to the credibility that they might be real!!!


Are YOU for real????


Sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to say.

 Originally Posted By: Smike
Also I think it was Mim, um not Alice that posted.


I stand corrected - and if it matters I appologize to Alice.

 Originally Posted By: Smike
(Alice are I are not the only 2 opposing voices of reason around these parts ;\) \:\/ )


Perhaps not the only "opposing voices", but not all the opposing voices are reasonable.

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