OPINION

Looting the lands of war-ravaged people

The word «reconstruction» has lost its meaning and inspires little more than aversion these days as it refers to a project that is anything but positive and charitable. It is more like a refined form of colonialism which hands over entire races to the interests of foreign enterprises; like a large fiesta for the private firms of rich countries and high-ranking government officials, think tanks and non-governmental organizations. The reconstruction of a war-torn country is as barbaric as the conflict itself – as cynical a business as that of so-called «liberating campaigns.» The former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Lebanon all became lucrative construction sites, after drowning in the blood of their own people and being razed to the ground. So what if so many people were killed or maimed or if ancient monuments were destroyed and brilliant civilizations were wiped off the map? All of this is forgotten when reconstruction gets under way. The raids, the bombings, the massacres, the torture, the most horrific war crimes are erased from our collective memory when the time comes for rebuilding. The thirst for money sends new «armies» to these former war zones. They are sent to wage a war on behalf of various foreign businesses, in order to determine who will carve out the lion’s share of construction projects. The terrible truth is that sometimes contracts are signed before the war even begins because of the close relationship between foreign contractors and the governments of the invading countries. These tend to be firms which fund pre-electoral campaigns and have direct links to those in power. But the process of selling off the remnants of a war-ravaged country rarely involves giving compensation to the victims. On the contrary, it drains these victims dry. After all, it is these victims who must shoulder the cost of rebuilding their country.