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I went so far as to enroll in a couple of courses on the subject. In the process, I discovered that statistics can be manipu-lated to produce a large array of conclusions, including those sub-stantiating the predilections of the analyst. MAIN was a macho corporation. There were only four women who held professional positions in However, there were per-haps two hundred women divided between the cadres of personal 12 "In for Life" 13 secretaries — every vice president and department manager had one — and the steno pool, which served the rest of us. I had become accustomed to this gender bias, and I was therefore especially as-tounded by what happened one day in the BPL's reference section. An attractive brunette woman came up and sat in a chair across the table from me. In her dark green business suit, she looked very sophisticated. I judged her to be several years my senior, but I tried to focus on not noticing her, on acting indifferent.
After a few min-utes, without a word, she slid an open book in my direction. I looked up into her soft green eyes, and she extended her hand. I could not be-lieve this was happening to me. Beginning the next day, we met in Claudine's Beacon Street apartment, a few blocks from MAIN'S Prudential Center headquar-ters. During our first hour together, she explained that my position was an unusual one and that we needed to keep everything highly confidential. She told me that no one had given me specifics about my job because no one wras authorized to — except her. Then she in-formed me that her assignment was to mold me into an economic hit man. The very name awakened old cloak-and-dagger dreams. I was embarrassed by the nervous laughter I heard coming from me. She smiled and assured me that humor was one of the reasons they used the term. I confessed ignorance about the role of economic hit men. No one can know about your involvement — not even your wife.
Then you'll have to choose. Your de-cision is final. Once you're in, you're in for life. I know now what I did not then — that Claudine took full advantage of the personality weaknesses the NSA profile had disclosed about me. Her approach, a combination of physical seduction and verbal manipulation, was tailored specifically for me, and yet it fit within the standard operating procedures I have since seen used by a variety of businesses when the stakes are high and the pressure to close lucrative deals is great. She knew from the start that I would not jeopardize my marriage by disclosing our clandes-tine activities. And she was brutally frank when it came to describ-ing the shadowy side of things that would be expected of me. I have no idea who paid her salary, although I have no reason to suspect it was not, as her business card implied, MAIN. At the time, I was too naive, intimidated, and bedazzled to ask the questions that today seem so obvious.
Claudine told me that there were two primary objectives of my wrork. First, I was to justify huge international loans that would funnel money back to MAIN and other U. Second, I would work to bankrupt the countries that received those loans after they had paid MAIN and the other U. contractors, of course so that they would be forever beholden to their creditors, and so they would present easy targets when we needed favors, including military bases, UN votes, or access to oil and other natural resources. My job, she said, was to forecast the effects of investing billions of dollars in a country. Specifically, I would produce studies that pro-jected economic growth twenty to twenty-five years into the future and that evaluated the impacts of a variety of projects. Or I might be told that the country was being offered the op-portunity to receive a modern electric utility system, and it would be up to me to demonstrate that such a system would result in sufficient economic growth to justify the loan.
The critical factor, in every case, was gross national product. The project that resulted in the highest average annual growth of GNP won. The unspoken aspect of every one of these projects was that they were intended to create large profits for the contractors, and to make 14 Part In for Life" 15 a handful of wealthy and influential families in the receiving coun-tries very happy, while assuring the long-term financial dependence and therefore the political loyalty of governments around the world. The larger the loan, the better. The fact that the debt burden placed on a country would deprive its poorest citizens of health, ed-ucation, and other social services for decades to come was not taken into consideration. Claudine and I openly discussed the deceptive nature of GNP. For instance, the growth of GNP may result even when it profits only one person, such as an individual who owns a utility company, and even if the majority of the population is burdened with debt.
The rich get richer and the poor grow poorer. Yet, from a statistical standpoint, this is recorded as economic progress. Like U. citizens in general, most MAIN employees believed we were doing countries favors when we built power plants, highways, and ports. Our schools and our press have taught us to perceive all of our actions as altruistic. Over the years, I've repeatedly heard com-ments like, "If they're going to burn the U. flag and demonstrate against our embassy, why don't we just get out of their damn coun-try and let them wallow in their own poverty?
However, these people have no clue that the main reason we establish embassies around the world is to serve our own interests, which during the last half of the twentieth century meant turning the American republic into a global empire. Despite credentials, such people are as uneducated as those eighteenth-century colonists who believed that the Indians fighting to defend their lands were servants of the devil. Within several months, I would leave for the island of Java in the country of Indonesia, described at that time as the most heavily pop-ulated piece of real estate on the planet. Indonesia also happened to be an oil-rich Muslim nation and a hotbed of communist activity.
If they join the Communist bloc, well That will allow USAID and the international banks to justify the loans. You'll be well rewarded, of course, and can move on to other projects in exotic places. The world is your shopping cart. It's their job to punch holes in your forecasts — that's what they're paid to do. Making you look bad makes them look good. I asked if they all were receiving the same type of training as me. She assured me they were not. You're the one wrho predicts the future. Your forecasts de-termine the magnitude of the systems they design — and the size of the loans. You see, you're the key. Somewhere in my heart, I sus-pected I was not. But the frustrations of my past haunted me. MAIN seemed to offer everything my life had lacked, and yet I kept asking myself if Tom Paine would have approved. In the end, I convinced myself that by learning more, by experiencing it, I could better ex-pose it later—the old "working from the inside" justification.
When I shared this idea with Claudine, she gave me a perplexed look. Once you're in, you can never get out. You must decide for yourself, before you get in any deeper. After I left, I strolled down Commonwealth Avenue, turned onto Dartmouth Street, and assured myself that I was the exception. One afternoon some months later, Claudine and I sat in a win-dow settee watching the snow fall on Beacon Street. A large part of your job is to encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promotes U. commercial interests. In the end, those leaders be-come ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty.
In turn, these leaders bolster their political posi-tions by bringing industrial parks, power plants, and airports to their people. Meanwhile, the owners of U. engineering and con-struction companies become very wealthy. Claudine described how throughout most of history, empires were built largely through military force or the threat of it. But with the end of World War II, the emergence of the Soviet Union, and the specter of nuclear holo-caust, the military solution became just too risky. The decisive moment occurred in , when Iran rebelled against a British oil company that was exploiting Iranian natural resources and its people.
The company was the forerunner of British Petroleum, today's BP. In response, the highly popular, democratically elected Iranian prime minister and TIME magazine's Man of the Year in , Mohammad Mossadegh, nationalized all Iranian petroleum assets. An outraged England sought the help of her World War II ally, the United States. However, both countries feared that military retaliation would provoke the Soviet Union into taking action on be-half of Iran. Instead of sending in the Marines, therefore, Washington dis-patched CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt Theodore's grandson. He then enlisted them to organize a series of street riots and violent demonstrations, which created the impression that Mossadegh was both unpopular and inept.
In the end, Mossadegh went down, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. The pro-American Mohammad Reza Shah became the unchallenged dictator. Kermit Roosevelt had set the stage for a new profession, the one whose ranks I was joining. It also coincided with the beginning of experiments in "limited nonnuclear military actions," which ultimately resulted in US. humiliations in Korea and Vietnam. By , the year I interviewed with the NSA, it had become clear that if the United States wanted to realize its dream of global empire as envisioned by men like presidents Johnson and Nixon , it would have to employ strategies modeled on Roosevelt's Iranian example. This was the only way to beat the Soviets without the threat of nuclear war. There was one problem, however. Kermit Roosevelt was a CIA employee.
Had he been caught, the consequences would have been dire. He had orchestrated the first U. operation to overthrow a foreign government, and it was likely that many more would follow, but it was important to find an approach that would not directly im-plicate Washington. Fortunately for the strategists, the s also witnessed another type of revolution: the empowerment of international corporations and of multinational organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF. The latter were financed primarily by the United States and our sister empire builders in Europe.
A symbiotic relationship de-veloped between governments, corporations, and multinational or-ganizations. By the time I enrolled in BU's business school, a solution to the Roosevelt-as-CIA-agent problem had already been worked out. intelligence agencies — including the NSA — would identify prospec-tive EHMs, who could then be hired by international corporations. These EHMs would never be paid by the government; instead, they would draw their salaries from the private sector. As a result, their dirty work, if exposed, would be chalked up to corporate greed rather than to government policy. In addition, the corporations that hired them, although paid by government agencies and their multi-national banking counterparts with taxpayer money , would be in-sulated from congressional oversight and public scrutiny, shielded by a growing body of legal initiatives, including trademark, interna-tional trade, and Freedom of Information laws. I took her words to heart. When Columbus set sail in , he was trying to reach Indonesia, known at the time as the Spice Islands.
Throughout the colonial era, it was considered a treasure worth far more than the Americas. Java, with its rich fabrics, fabled spices, and opulent kingdoms, was both the crown jewel and the scene of violent clashes between Span-ish, Dutch, Portuguese, and British adventurers. The Netherlands emerged triumphant in , but even though the Dutch controlled Java, it took them more than years to subdue the outer islands. When the Japanese invaded Indonesia during World War II, Dutch forces offered little resistance. As a result, Indonesians, espe-cially the Javanese, suffered terribly. Following the Japanese surrender, a charismatic leader named Sukarno emerged to declare independ-ence.
Four years of fighting finally ended on December 27, , when the Netherlands lowered its flag and returned sovereignty to a people who had known nothing but struggle and domination for more than three centuries. Sukarno became the new republic's first president. Ruling Indonesia, however, proved to be a greater challenge than defeating the Dutch. Far from homogeneous, the archipelago of about 17, islands was a boiling pot of tribalism, divergent cultures, dozens of languages and dialects, and ethnic groups who nursed centuries-old animosities. Conflicts were frequent and brutal, and Sukarno clamped down. He suspended parliament in I and was named president-for-life in He formed close alliances with Communist governments around the world, in exchange for military equipment and training.
He sent Russian-armed Indonesian troops into neighboring Malaysia in an attempt to spread communism throughout Southeast Asia and win the approval of the world's Social-ist leaders. Opposition built, and a coup was launched in Sukarno es-caped assassination only through the quick wits of his mistress. Many of his top military officers and his closest associates were less lucky. The events were reminiscent of those in Iran in In the end, the Communist Party was held responsible — especially those factions aligned with China. In the Army-initiated massacres that followed, an estimated three hundred thousand to five hundred thou-sand people were killed. The head of the military, General Suharto, took over as president in President NLxon had begun a series of troop withdrawals in the summer of , and U. strat-egy was taking on a more global perspective. The strategy focused on preventing a domino effect of one country after another falling under Communist rule, and it focused on a couple of countries; Indonesia was the key.
MAIN's electrification project was part of a compre-hensive plan to ensure American dominance in Southeast Asia. The premise of U. foreign policy was that Suharto would serve Washington in a manner similar to the shah of Iran. The United States also hoped the nation would serve as a model for other coun-tries in the region. Washington based part of its strategy on the assumption that gains made in Indonesia might have positive reper-cussions throughout the Islamic world, particularly in the explosive Middle East. And if that were not incentive enough, Indonesia had oil. No one was certain about the magnitude or quality of its reserves, but oil company seismologists were exuberant over the possibilities. As I pored over the books at the BPL, my excitement grew. I began to imagine the adventures ahead. My time with Claudine already represented the realization of one of my fantasies; it seemed too good to be true.
I felt at least partially vindicated for serving the sentence at that all-boys' prep school. Something else was also happening in my life: Ann and I were not getting along. I think she must have sensed that I was leading two lives. I justified it as the logical result of the resentment I felt to-ward her for forcing us to get married in the first place. Never mind that she had nurtured and supported me through the challenges of our Peace Corps assignment in Ecuador; I still saw her as a contin-uation of my pattern of giving in to my parents' whims. Of course, as I look back on it, I'm sure my relationship with Claudine was a ma-jor factor. I could not tell Ann about this, but she sensed it. In any case, we decided to move into separate apartments. One day in , about a week before my scheduled departure for Indonesia, I arrived at Claudine's place to find the small dining room table set with an assortment of cheeses and breads, and there was a fine bottle of Beaujolais.
She toasted me. I felt terrible. But later, as I walked alone back to the Prudential Center, I had to admit to the cleverness of the scheme. The fact is that all our time together had been spent in her apartment. There was not a trace of evidence about our relationship, and no one at MAIN was implicated in any way. There was also part of me that appreciated her honesty; she had not deceived me the way my parents had about Tilton and Middlebury. CHAPTER 4 Saving a Country from Communism I had a romanticized vision of Indonesia, the country where I was to live for the next three months. Some of the books I read featured photographs of beautiful women in brightly colored sarongs, exotic Balinese dancers, shamans blowing fire, and warriors paddling long dugout canoes in emerald waters at the foot of smoking volcanoes.
Particularly striking was a series on the magnificent black-sailed galleons of the infamous Bugi pirates, who still sailed the seas of the archipelago, and who had so terrorized early European sailors that they returned home to warn their children, "Behave yourselves, or the Bugimen will get you. The very names of its fabled islands—Java, Suma-tra, Borneo, Sulawesi — seduced the mind. Here was a land of mys-ticism, myth, and erotic beauty; an elusive treasure sought but never found by Columbus; a princess wooed yet never possessed by Spain, by Holland, by Portugal, by Japan; a fantasy and a dream.
My expectations were high, and I suppose they mirrored those of the great explorers. Like Columbus, though, I should have known to temper my fantasies. Perhaps I could have guessed that the beacon shines on a destiny that is not always the one we envision. Indonesia 22 Part 23 offered treasures, but it was not the chest of panaceas I had come to expect. In fact, my first days in Indonesia's steamy capital, Jakarta, in the summer of , were shocking. The beauty was certainly present. Gorgeous women sporting colorful sarongs. Lush gardens ablaze with tropical flowers. Exotic Balinese dancers.
Bicycle cabs with fanciful, rainbow-colored scenes painted on the sides of the high seats, where passengers reclined in front of the pedaling drivers. Dutch Colonial mansions and turreted mosques. But there was also an ugly, tragic side to the city. Lepers holding out bloodied stumps instead of hands. Young girls offering their bodies for a few coins. Once-splendid Dutch canals turned into cesspools. Cardboard hovels where entire families lived along the trash-lined banks of black rivers. Blaring horns and choking fumes. The beautiful and the ugly, the elegant and the vulgar, the spiritual and the profane.
This was Jakarta, where the enticing scent of cloves and orchid blossoms battled the miasma of open sewers for dominance. I had seen poverty before. Some of my New Hampshire class-mates lived in cold-water tarpaper shacks and arrived at school wearing thin jackets and frayed tennis shoes on subzero winter days, their unwashed bodies reeking of old sweat and manure. I had lived in mud shacks with Andean peasants whose diet consisted almost entirely of dried corn and potatoes, and where it sometimes seemed that a newborn was as likely to die as to experience a birthday. I had seen poverty, but nothing to prepare me for Jakarta. Our team, of course, was quartered in the country's fanciest hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental Indonesia. Owned by Pan American Air-ways, like the rest of the Intercontinental chain scattered around the globe, it catered to the whims of wealthy foreigners, especially oil ex-ecutives and their families.
On the evening of our first day, our proj-ect manager Charlie Illingworth hosted a dinner for us in the elegant restaurant on the top floor. Charlie was a connoisseur of war; he devoted most of his free time to reading history books and historical novels about great military leaders and battles. He was the epitome of the pro-Vietnam War armchair soldier. As usual, this night he was wearing khaki slacks and a short-sleeved khaki shirt with military-style epaulettes. After welcoming us, he lit up a cigar. We joined him. Cigar smoke swirling around him, Charlie glanced about the room. As will the U. Embassy people. But let's not forget that we have a mis-sion to accomplish.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Scott playing General Patton, one of Charlie's heroes. As you know, Indonesia has a long and tragic history. Now, at a time wThen it is poised to launch itself into the twentieth century, it is tested once again. Our responsibility is to make sure that Indonesia doesn't follow in the footsteps of its northern neighbors, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. An integrated electrical system is a key element. That, more than any other single factor with the possi-ble exception of oil , will assure that capitalism and democracy rule. He took another puff on his cigar and flipped past a couple of the note cards. Indonesia can be a powerful ally to us in that regard.
So, as you develop this master plan, please do everything you can to make sure that the oil industry and all the others that serve it —ports, pipelines, construction companies — get whatever they are likely to need in the way of electricity for the entire duration of this twenty-five-year plan. You don't want the blood of Indonesian children — or our own — on your hands. You don't want them to live under the hammer and sickle or the Red flag of China! Her discourses on foreign debt haunted me. I tried to comfort myself by recalling lessons learned in my macroeconomics courses at business school.
After all, I told myself, I am here to help Indonesia rise out of a medieval economy and take its place in the modern industrial world. But I knew that in the morning I would look out my window-, 24 Part Saving a Country from Communism 25 across the opulence of the hotel's gardens and swimming pools, and see the hovels that fanned out for miles beyond. I would know that babies were dying out there for lack of food and potable water, and that infants and adults alike were suffering from horrible diseases and living in terrible conditions. Tossing and turning in my bed, I found it impossible to deny that Charlie and everyone else on our team were here for selfish reasons. We were promoting U. foreign policy and corporate interests. We were driven by greed rather than by any desire to make life better for the vast majority of Indonesians.
A word came to mind: corporatoc-racy. I was not sure whether I had heard it before or had just in-vented it, but it seemed to describe perfectly the new elite who had made up their minds to attempt to rule the planet. This was a close-knit fraternity of a few men with shared goals, and the fraternity's members moved easily and often between cor-porate boards and government positions. It struck me that the cur-rent president of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, was a perfect example. He had moved from a position as president of Ford Motor Company, to secretary of defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and now occupied the top post at the world's most power-ful financial institution. I also realized that my college professors had not understood the true nature of macroeconomics: that in many cases helping an econ-omy grow only makes those few people who sit atop the pyramid even richer, while it does nothing for those at the bottom except to push them even lower.
Indeed, promoting capitalism often results in a system that resembles medieval feudal societies. If any of my pro-fessors knew this, they had not admitted it — probably because big corporations, and the men who run them, fund colleges. Exposing the truth would undoubtedly cost those professors their jobs —just as such revelations could cost me mine. These thoughts continued to disturb my sleep every night that I spent at the Hotel Intercontinental Indonesia. In the end, my pri-mary defense was a highly personal one: I had fought my way out of that New Hampshire town, the prep school, and the draft.
Through a combination of coincidences and hard work, I had earned a place in the good life. I also took comfort in the fact that I was doing the right thing in the eyes of my culture. I was on my way to becoming a successful and respected economist. I was doing what business school had prepared me for. I was helping implement a development model that was sanctioned by the best minds at the world's top think tanks. Nonetheless, in the middle of the night I often had to console my-self with a promise that someday I would expose the truth. Then I would read myself to sleep with Louis L'Amour novels about gun-fighters in the Old West.
Embassy, meeting various officials, organizing ourselves, and relaxing around the pool. The number of Americans who lived at the Hotel Intercontinental amazed me. I took great pleasure in watch-ing the beautiful young women — wives of U. oil and construction company executives — who passed their days at the pool and their evenings in the half dozen posh restaurants in and around the hotel. Then Charlie moved our team to the mountain city of Bandung. The climate was milder, the poverty less obvious, and the distrac-tions fewer. We were given a government guesthouse known as the Wisma, complete with a manager, a cook, a gardener, and a staff of servants. Built during the Dutch colonial period, the Wisma was a haven. Its spacious veranda faced tea plantations that flowed across rolling hills and up the slopes of Java's volcanic mountains.
Finally, we were presented with memberships to the exclusive Bandung Golf and Racket Club, and we were housed in a suite of offices at the local headquarters of Perusahaan Umum Listrik Negara PLN , the government-owned electric utility company. For me, the first several days in Bandung involved a series of meetings with Charlie and Howard Parker. Howard was in his sev-enties and was the retired chief load forecaster for the New England Electric System. Now he was responsible for forecasting the amount of energy and generating capacity the load the island of Java would need over the next twenty-five years, as well as for breaking this down into city and regional forecasts. Since electric demand is highly correlated with economic growth, his forecasts depended on my eco-nomic projections.
The rest of our team would develop the master plan around these forecasts, locating and designing power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and fuel transportation systems in a manner that would satisfy our projections as efficiently as pos-sible. During our meetings, Charlie continually emphasized the im-portance of my job, and he badgered me about the need to be very optimistic in my forecasts. Claudine had been right; I was the key to the entire master plan. The walls were decorated with batik tapestries depicting epic tales from the ancient Hindu texts of the Ramayana. Charlie puffed on a fat cigar. By the end of month one, Howard'll need to get a pretty good idea about the full extent of the economic miracles that'll happen when we get the new grid online. By the end of the second month, he'll need more details — broken down into regions.
The last month will be about filling in the gaps. That'll be critical. All of us will put our heads together then. So, before we leave we gotta be absolutely certain we have all the information we'll need. Home for Thanksgiving, that's my motto. There's no coming back. He had never reached the pinnacle of the New England Electric System and he deeply resented it. This was his second assign-ment, and I had been warned by both Einar and Charlie to watch 28 Selling My Soul 29 out for him. They described him with words like stubborn, mean, and vindictive.
As it turned out, Howard was one of my wisest teachers, although not one I was ready to accept at the time. He had never received the type of training Claudine had given me. Or maybe they figured he was only in it for the short run, until they could lure in a more pliable full-timer like me. In any case, from their standpoint, he turned out to be a problem. Howard clearly saw the situation and the role they wanted him to play, and he was determined not to be a pawn. All the adjectives Einar and Charlie had used to describe him were appro-priate, but at least some of his stubbornness grew out of his personal commitment not to be their servant. I doubt he had ever heard the term economic hit man, but he knew they intended to use him to promote a form of imperialism he could not accept. He took me aside after one of our meetings with Charlie. He wore a hearing aid and fiddled with the little box under his shirt that con-trolled its volume.
We were standing at the window in the office we shared, looking out at the stagnant canal that wound past the PLN building. A young woman was bathing in its foul waters, attempting to retain some semblance of modesty by loosely draping a sarong around her other-wise naked body. Don't let him get to you. An elderly man had descended the bank, dropped his pants, and squatted at the edge of the water to answer nature's call. The young woman saw him but was undeterred; she continued bathing. I turned away from the window and looked directly at Howard. I've seen what can happen when oil is discovered. Things change fast. I'll tell you something, young man. I don't give a damn for your oil discoveries and all that. I forecasted electric loads all my life — during the Depression, World War II, times of bust and boom.
I've seen what Route 's so-called Massachusetts Miracle did for Boston. And I can say for sure that no electric load ever grew by more than 7 to 9 percent a year for any sustained period. And that's in the best of times. Six percent is more reasonable. Part of me suspected he was right, but I felt de-fensive. I knew I had to convince him, because my own conscience cried out for justification. This is a country where, until now, no one could even get electricity. Things are different here. I don't give a damn what you come up with. It was a challenge I could not ignore. I went and stood in front of his desk. That's what it is. You — all of you — " he waved his arms at the offices beyond our walls, "you've sold your souls to the devil.
You're in it for the money. Now," he feigned a smile and reached under his shirt, "I'm turning off my hearing aid and going back to work. I stomped out of the room and headed for Charlie's office. Halfway there, I stopped, uncertain about what I intended to accomplish. Instead, I turned and walked down the stairs, out the door, into the afternoon sunlight. The young woman was climbing out of the canal, her sarong wrapped tightly about her body. The elderly man had disappeared. Several boys played in the 30 Part Selling My Soul 31 canal, splashing and shouting at each other. An older woman was standing knee-deep in the water, brushing her teeth; another was scrubbing clothes. A huge lump grew in my throat. I sat down on a slab of broken concrete, trying to disregard the pungent odor from the canal.
I fought hard to hold back the tears; I needed to figure out why I felt so miserable. I heard Howard's words, over and over. He had struck a raw nerve. The little boys continued to splash each other, their gleeful voices filling the air. I wondered what I could do. What would it take to make me carefree like them? The question tormented me as I sat there watching them cavort in their blissful innocence, apparently un-aware of the risk they took by playing in that fetid water. An elderly, hunchbacked man with a gnarled cane hobbled along the bank above the canal.
He stopped and watched the boys, and his face broke into a toothless grin. Perhaps I could confide in Howard; maybe together we would arrive at a solution. I immediately felt a sense of relief. I picked up a little stone and threw it into the canal. As the ripples faded, however, so did my euphoria. I knew I could do no such thing. Howard was old and bitter. He had already passed up opportunities to advance his own career. Surely, he would not buckle now. I was young, just starting out, and certainly did not want to end up like him. Staring into the water of that putrid canal, I once again saw im-ages of the New Hampshire prep school on the hill, where I had spent vacations alone while the other boys went off to their debu-tante balls.
Slowly the sorry fact settled in. Once again, there was no one I could talk to. That night I lay in bed, thinking for a long time about the people in my life — Howard, Charlie, Claudine, Ann, Einar, Uncle Frank — wondering what my life would be like if I had never met them. Where would I be living? Not Indonesia, that was for sure. I wondered also about my future, about where I was headed. I pondered the de-cision confronting me. Charlie had made it clear that he expected Howard and me to come up with growth rates of at least 17 percent per annum. What kind of forecast would I produce?
Suddenly a thought came to me that soothed my soul. Why had it not occurred to me before? The decision was not mine at all. I could please my bosses with a high economic forecast and he would make his own decision; my work would have no effect on the master plan. People kept emphasizing the importance of my role, but they were wrong. A great burden had been lifted. I fell into a deep sleep. A few days later, Howard was taken ill with a severe amoebic attack. We rushed him to a Catholic missionary hospital. The doc-tors prescribed medication and strongly recommended that he return immediately to the United States. Howard assured us that he already had all the data he needed and could easily complete the load forecast from Boston.
His parting words to me were a reitera-tion of his earlier warning. I was designated to fulfill this condition. As Charlie put it, 'You survived the Amazon; you know how to handle bugs, snakes, and bad water. I met with local business and political leaders and listened to their opinions about the pros-pects for economic growth. However, I found most of them reluctant to share information with me. They seemed intimidated by my pres-ence. Typically, they told me that I would have to check with their bosses, with government agencies, or with corporate headquarters in Jakarta. I sometimes suspected some sort of conspiracy was directed at me. These trips were usually short, not more than two or three days. In between, I returned to the Wisma in Bandung. The woman who managed it had a son a few years younger than me.
His name was Rasmon, but to everyone except his mother he was Rasy. A student of economics at a local university, he immediately took an interest in my work. In fact, I suspected that at some point he would approach me for a job. He also began to teach me Bahasa Indonesia. Creating an easy-to-leam language had been President Sukarno's highest priority after Indonesia won its independence from Holland. He recruited an international team of linguists, and Bahasa Indonesia was the highly successful result. Based on Malay, it avoids many of the tense changes, irregular verbs, and other complications that characterize most languages. By the early s, the majority of Indonesians spoke it, although they continued to rely on Javanese and other local dialects within their own communities.
Rasy was a great teacher with a wonderful sense of humor, and compared to learning Shuar or even Spanish, Bahasa was easy. Rasy owned a motor scooter and took it upon himself to intro-duce me to his city and people. Til show you a side of Indonesia you haven't seen," he promised one evening, and urged me to hop on behind him. We passed shadow-puppet shows, musicians playing traditional instruments, fire-blowers, jugglers, and street vendors selling eveiy imaginable ware, from contraband American cassettes to rare indige-nous artifacts. Finally, we ended up at a tiny coffeehouse populated by young men and women whose clothes, hats, and hairstyles would have been right in fashion at a Beatles concert in the late s; however, everyone was distinctly Indonesian.
Rasy introduced me to a group seated around a table and we sat down. They all spoke English, with varying degrees of fluency, but they appreciated and encouraged my attempts at Bahasa. They talked about this openly and asked me why Americans never learned their language. I had no answer. Nor could I explain why I was the only American or European in this part of the city, even though you could always find plenty of us at the Golf and Racket Club, the posh restaurants, the movie theaters, and the upscale supermarkets. It was a night I shall always remember. Rasy and his friends treated me as one of their own. I enjoyed a sense of euphoria from being there, sharing their city, food, and music, smelling the clove cigarettes and other aromas that were part of their lives, joking and laughing with them. It was like the Peace Corps all over again, and I found myself wondering why I had thought that I wanted to travel first class and separate myself from people like this.
As the night wore on, they became increasingly interested in learning my thoughts about their country and about the war my country was fighting in Vietnam. Every one of them was horrified by what they referred to as "the illegal invasion," and they were relieved to discover I shared their feelings. By the time Rasy and I returned to the guesthouse it was late and the place was dark. I thanked him profusely for inviting me into his world; he thanked me for opening up to his friends. We promised to do it again, hugged, and headed off to our respective rooms. That experience with Rasy whetted my appetite for spending more time away from the MAIN team. The next morning, I had a meeting with Charlie and told him I was becoming frustrated trying to obtain information from local people. In addition, most of the statistics I needed for developing economic forecasts could only be found at government offices in Jakarta. Charlie and I agreed that I would need to spend one to two weeks in Jakarta.
He expressed sympathy for me, having to abandon Bandung for the steaming metropolis, and I professed to detest the idea. Secretly, however, I was excited by the opportunity to have some time to myself, to explore Jakarta and to live at the elegant Hotel Intercon-tinental Indonesia. Once in Jakarta, however, I discovered that I now viewed life from a different perspective. The night spent with Rasy and the young Indonesians, as well as my travels around the country, had changed me. I found that I saw my fellow Americans in a different light. The young wives seemed not quite so beautiful. The chain-link fence around the pool and the steel bars outside the win-dows on the lower floors, which I had barely noticed before, now took on an ominous appearance. The food in the hotel's elegant restaurants seemed insipid. I noticed something else too. During my meetings with political and business leaders, I became aware of subtleties in the way they treated me.
For example, when they introduced me to each other, they often used Bahasa terms that according to my dictionary translated to inquisitor and interrogator. Misinter-pretations in my dictionary? I tried to convince myself they were. Yet, the more time I spent with these men, the more convinced I be-came that I was an intruder, that an order to cooperate had come down from someone, and that they had little choice but to comply. I had no idea whether a government official, a banker, a general, or the U. Embassy had sent the order. All I knew was that although they invited me into their offices, offered me tea, politely answered my questions, and in every overt manner seemed to welcome my presence, beneath the surface there was a shadow of resignation and rancor.
It made me wonder, too, about their answers to my questions and about the validity of their data. For instance, I could never just walk into an office with my translator and meet with someone; we first had to set up an appointment. In itself, this would not have seemed so strange, except that doing so was outrageously time consuming. Since the phones seldom worked, we had to drive through the traf-fic-choked streets, which were laid out in such a contorted manner that it could take an hour to reach a building only blocks away. Once there, we were asked to fill out several forms. Eventually, a male sec-retary would appear. Politely—always with the courteous smile for which the Javanese are famous —he would question me about the types of information I desired, and then he would establish a time for the meeting.
Without exception, the scheduled appointment was at least sev-eral days away, and when the meeting finally occurred I was handed a folder of prepared materials. The industry owners gave me five-and ten-year plans, the bankers had charts and graphs, and the gov-ernment officials provided lists of projects that were in the process of leaving the drawing boards to become engines of economic growth. Everything these captains of commerce and government provided, and all they said during the interviews, indicated that Java was poised for perhaps the biggest boom any economy had ever enjoyed. No one — not a single person — ever questioned this premise or gave me any negative information. As I headed back to Bandung, though, I found myself wondering about all these experiences; something was deeply disturbing.
It oc-curred to me that everything I was doing in Indonesia was more like a game than reality. It was as though we were playing a game of poker. We kept our cards hidden. We could not trust each other or count on the reliability of the information we shared. Yet, this game was deadly serious, and its outcome would impact millions of lives for decades to come. Gone were the stately Dutch Colonial mansions and office buildings I had grown to expect. The people were obvi-ously poor, yet they bore themselves with great pride. They wore threadbare but clean batik sarongs, brightly colored blouses, and wide- brimmed straw hats. Everywhere we went we were greeted with smiles and laughter. When we stopped, children rushed up to touch me and feel the fabric of my jeans. One little girl stuck a fra-grant frangipani blossom in my hair.
We parked the scooter near a sidewalk theater where several hun-dred people were gathered, some standing, others sitting in portable chairs. The night was clear and beautiful. Although we were in the heart of the oldest section of Bandung, there were no streetlights, so the stars sparkled over our heads. The air was filled with the aromas of wood fires, peanuts, and cloves. Rasy disappeared into the crowd and soon returned with many of the young people I had met at the coffeehouse. They offered me hot tea, little cakes, and sate, tiny bits of meat cooked in peanut oil. I must have hesitated before accepting the latter, because one of the women pointed at a small fire. We'll translate for you. I would later learn that the dalang is a shaman who does his work in trance. He had over a hundred puppets and he spoke for each in a different voice. It was a night I will never forget, and one that has influenced the rest of my life.
After completing a classic selection from the ancient texts of the Ramayana, the dalang produced a puppet of Richard Nixon, complete with the distinctive long nose and sagging jowls. The U. president was dressed like Uncle Sam, in a stars-and-stripes top hat and tails. He was accompanied by another puppet, which wore a three-piece pin-striped suit. The second puppet carried in one hand a bucket decorated with dollar signs. He used his free hand to wave an Ameri-can flag over Nixon's head in the manner of a slave fanning a master. A map of the Middle and Far East appeared behind the two, the various countries hanging from hooks in their respective positions.
He shouted something that was trans-lated as, "Bitter! We don't need any more of this! I was surprised, however, to see that his next selections did not include the domino nations of Southeast Asia. Rather, they were all Middle Eastern countries — Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. After that, he turned to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Each time, the Nixon doll screamed out some epithet before drop-ping the country into his bucket, and in every instance, his vitupera-tive words were anti-Islamic: "Muslim dogs," "Mohammed's monsters," and "Islamic devils. They seemed torn between fits of laughter, shock, and rage. At times, I sensed they took offense at the puppeteer's language. I also felt intimidated; I stood out in this crowd, taller 42 Civilization on Trial 43 than the rest, and I worried that they might direct their anger at me.
Then Nixon said something that made my scalp tingle when Rasy translated it. See what it can do to make us some money off Indonesia. This puppet represented an In-donesian man, dressed in batik shirt and khaki slacks, and he wore a sign with his name clearly printed on it. This puppet literally flew between Nixon and Bucket Man and held up his hand. Then Bucket Man lifted his flag and thrust it like a spear into the Indonesian, who staggered and died a most dramatic death. The audience members booed, hooted, screamed, and shook their fists. Nixon and Bucket Man stood there, looking out at us. They bowed and left the stage. He placed a hand protectively around my shoulder. Later we all retired to the coffeehouse. Rasy and the others as-sured me that they had not been informed ahead of time about the Nixon-World Bank skit. I wondered aloud whether this had been staged in my honor. Someone laughed and said I had a very big ego.
I told her that my current assignment was for the Asian Devel-opment Bank and the United States Agency for Internationa] Development. Doesn't your government look at Indonesia and other countries as though we are just a bunch of A bunch of grapes. You can pick and choose. Keep Eng-land. Eat China. And throw away Indonesia. I tried to defend myself but was not at all up to the task. I wanted to take pride in the fact that I had come to this part of town and had stayed to watch the entire anti-U. performance, which I might have construed as a personal assault. I wanted them to see the courage of what I had done, to know that I was the only member of my team who bothered to learn Bahasa or had any desire to take in their culture, and to point out that I was the sole foreigner attending this production. But I decided it would be more prudent not to men-tion any of this. Instead, I tried to refocus the conversation. I asked them why they thought the dalang had singled out Muslim coun-tries, except for Vietnam.
The beautiful English major laughed at this. A stepping-stone. You need to read one of your own historians — a Brit named Toynbee. Back in the fifties he pre-dicted that the real war in the next century would not be between Communists and capitalists, but between Christians and Muslims. Read Civilization on Trial and The World and the West" "But why should there be such animosity between Muslims and Christians? Looks were exchanged around the table. They appeared to find it hard to believe that I could ask such a foolish question. It has already gotten very close to succeeding. Toynbee could see that. They have no religion, no faith, no substance behind their ideology. History demonstrates that faith — soul, a belief in higher powers — is essential. We Muslims have it. by Gretchen Morgenson. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from to by Paul Kennedy.
BooksVooks Genres Economics John Perkins The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man pdf. FREE The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man PDF Book by John Perkins Download or Read Online Free Author: John Perkins Submitted by: Maria Garcia Views Request a Book Add a Review The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man PDF book by John Perkins Read Online or Free Download in ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man PDF Details Author: John Perkins Book Format: Paperback Original Title: The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Number Of Pages: pages First Published in: February 9th Latest Edition: February 9th Language: English Genres: Economics , Non Fiction , Politics , History , Business , Biography , Economics , Finance , Audiobook , Biography Memoir , Autobiography , Memoir , Formats: audible mp3, ePUB Android , kindle, and audiobook.
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Feb 9, · The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man PDF book by John Perkins Read Online or Free Download in ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks. Published in February 9th the Nov 3, · Confessions of an economic hitman pdf free axehirnea’s diary Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Book Summary: Perkins, a former chief economist at a Boston strategic The confessions of an economic hitman View PDF RHYW Order blogger.com View PDF Introducing A Game As Old As Empire View PDF The Eagle and Condor Prophecy as told by confessions of an economic hitman audiobook download; confessions of an economic hitman pdf download; confessions of an economic hit man epub download; confessions of an economic Feb 19, · author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of. trillions of dollars. They Confessions of an Economic Hitman Topics oil, panama, saudi, torrijos, united, canal, economic, global, shah, ecuador, economic hit, saudi arabia, hit man, global empire, ... read more
After all, I told myself, I am here to help Indonesia rise out of a medieval economy and take its place in the modern industrial world. If they join the Communist bloc, well Ecuador is typical of countries around the world that EHMs have brought into the economic- political fold. download 1 file. The fault lies not in the institutions themselves, but in our perceptions of the manner in which they function and interact with one another, and of the role their managers play in that process. com hosted blogs and archive. He was my opposite in many ways.An elderly, hunchbacked man with a gnarled cane hobbled along the bank above the canal. Footnotes and references are provided to allow interested readers to pursue these subjects in more depth, confessions of an economic hitman pdf free download. The officers and directors who control nearly all our communications outlets know their places; they are taught throughout life that one of their most important jobs is to perpetuate, strengthen, and expand the system they have inherited. Through their eyes, I realized that a selfish approach to foreign policy does not serve or protect future generations anywhere. Her job was typical of the cogs that keep the system on track. Of course, the debtor still owes us the money—and another country is added to our global empire.