T he Trojan supreme high priest warned his people when they, all too hastily, wanted
to celebrate the end of the 10 year war with the Greek invaders. "Watch out
for the Greeks," he said, "and especially when they bring presents."
Of course, such is human nature, the Trojan people, all too hastily, believed in
the good intentions of the Greeks and made the deadly mistake of taking the wooden
horse, supposedly a present, into their city. The end of the story is well-known,
as is its catastrophic results: the complete destruction of the Trojan Kingdom.
Donor countries and NGOs may bring in gifts, soft loans, grants, and so on, to the
Kingdom of Cambodia, but they are no friends of the Kingdom. As especially the IMF
and the World Bank solely represent European and American interests. These institutions
only give the kind of advise that best serves their own interests, and do not hesitate
to misuse economic theories and misrepresent facts and figures to mislead their prospective
victims all over the world.
As Von Clausewitz, a famous Prussian general lecturing at the Brandenburg military
school, Berlin, in the 19th century wrote, "War is merely a continuation of
politics by other means." Today, all of us know that economics is just a continuation
of the same old story.
Therefore, I totally agree with Matthew Grainger's objections to the IMF and the
like. If you want to see the devastating results of IMF/World Bank-inspired policies,
I suggest you make a tour of the African continent and see for yourself where so-called
"structural adjustment", "foreign investment" and megalomaniac
dam building projects (have a look at the Inga project in Zaire) and the like lead
And I fully support Matthew Grainger when he points to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore,
Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia as examples to follow. As these countries did exactly
the opposite of what the IMF and World Bank said, they successfully avoided "Africanization"
of their economies and become truly successful.
- Erik Poupaert, Phnom Penh.