Gary Younge in the Guardian Weekend Magazine has an interview with John Perkins, the former economic hit-man for the US 'corporatocracy' who has now turned whistle-blower.
Perkins' main task was to persuade foreign governments to take large loans for huge engineering and construction projects conducted by US companies- such as Halliburton and Bechtel. To achieve this, he would produce reports which vastly exaggerated the economic benefit of the projects. The aim was simple 'I would work to bankrupt the countries that received those loans so that they would forever be beholden to thier creditors, and so they would present easy targets when we needed favours, including military bases, UN votes, access to oil and other natural resources', he says. If the loans were not taken, Perkins explains- it was over to plan B- 'a mixture of bribery, sex, flattery, prostitution, distortion, extortion, abduction and invasion' to get corporate America's way.
Perkins' revelations are essential reading for those poor deluded souls (yes, Harry's Place groupies, I mean you)- who still believe that Uncle Sam invades other countries and topples world leaders for 'humanitarian' reasons or to spread 'democracy'.