I first heard about law 64 from Juan Cole. Almost a week after the signing, no major U.S. newspaper has bothered to report on this fact, which Cole argues is in violation of the Hague Regulations, and in any case is patently corrupt. Nor, with only a single exception---namely, this Times piece by Daphne Eviatar buried in the Arts and Ideas: Cultural Desk section (!!)---have major media outlets reported on Bremer's signing law 39 some time ago, which law 64 complements. What's law 39? Naomi Klein (who previously reported on this issue in the Guardian, and the Globe and Mail---would that we had papers like these) tells us:
The interim constitution, signed two weeks ago, states that, "The laws, regulations, orders, and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority . . . shall remain in force." The laws include Mr. Bremer's Order 39, which drastically changes Iraq's previous constitution to allow foreign companies to own 100 per cent of Iraqi assets (except in natural resources), and to take 100 per cent of their profits out of the country, paving the way for massive privatizations.
It's worth observing the obvious---that the Iraqis, economically devastated, have no capital with which to "buy" the assets that are rightfully theirs. The result of laws 39 and 64 will be immediate transfer of Iraqi assets and any profits accruing thereto to outside investors, as soon as things get "under control".
Meanwhile, on March 21 there were several articles in the Times on Iraq, including this one by Dexter Filkins, which contains such condescending remarks as:
As the man who replaced Mr. Hussein, Mr. Bremer looms large over this occupied land. He is regarded by many Iraqis as earnest and hard-working, the benevolent despot they never had.
Right. Meanwhile, no mention of the fact that Bremer the Benevolent just committed the crime of the century on behalf of the corporate terrorists he works for.