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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Consequences of CAFTA

Category: US Politics
Posted: 11/19/05 11:03

by Paul Bartlett

Since the founding days of the John Birch Society, paranoid
right-wingers have fretted about "world government." Their hatred of the United Nations is largely rooted in their fear that the UN may
morph into the planet's sole governing authority (a job that Bush
covets).

With CAFTA fait accompli, modern day robber barons have likely created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not in the form of civil, secular
government, but by the emergence of international behemoth
corporations. Look around; Exxon, Halliburton, GM, WalMart ... they
portend the future. These corporate monsters are loyal only to
themselves and are concerned with only one thing: profit. CAFTA was opposed by both progressives and the John Birch Society. These unexpected bedfellows looked through different lenses, yet each saw the dark side of globalization.

Our government has ceded much of its authority in the areas of
environmental protection, workplace safety, fair wages, decent working conditions, etc. to the biggest bullies on the block. By allowing corporations to export their abusive behavior, in the name of free trade, we are all diminished. Every outsourced job and shuttered plant is symbolic of the new world order, and it's not the UN. The free trade movement has given rise to mega-corporations, to de facto parallel governments.

During his disastrous South American junket, Bush continued to
proselytize for globalization, guaranteeing us higher unemployment, a continued slide in real wages and standard of living, a dwindling middle class, menial job creation, and battered economic and agricultural sectors. American jobs are being shipped overseas faster than they can be replaced.

The right-wing is correct, we should fear world government. But it's
here, now. Just flip through the Wall Street Journal to locate your
"representative". You'll quickly realize that real authority now rests
in corporate board rooms, not in legislative chambers. What a sad and tragic irony.

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Fitzmus is Here Again...

Category: US Politics
Posted: 11/18/05 13:42

by Dave Mindeman

He's back. Patrick Fitzgerald is back again, and he's looking for a new grand jury. Reuters has reported that his comments about a new grand jury were contained in court filings in which he may allow some of the documents in the leak case to be made public.

So, the speculation will now begin. Is it just a coincidence that this filing comes just a few days after Bob Woodward's revelation that he heard Valerie Plame's name mentioned by a different high level administration official? or is this just the end result of the ongoing investigation of Karl Rove...

Mr. Fitzgerald has certainly been thorough in his investigative duties and at a much more reasonable cost than the grandiose, leak filled, Starr investigation of Clinton.

I hope we won't have to wait 2 years for this one... the stakes are high and the facts on this administration needs to be revealed... now.
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Technical War

Posted: 11/16/05 15:57, Edited: 05/26/13 11:25

by Dave Mindeman

The latest in the administration's explanations of policy is, again, a technicality. A BBC reporter documented the use of white phosphorus by American forces at Fallujah. This was, at first, denied completely by the Pentagon; but then that denial was retracted when an Italian news documentary caught its use on video. The next round from Pentagon apologists is that this weapon is "not illegal".

White phosphous is an "incendiary" weapon. It bursts into flames when in contact with enough oxygen. It also turns out to be a powerful chemical weapon when it comes in contact with human flesh. It begins to burn on contact and quickly eats through all layers of skin, right to the bone. It is painful and hideous.

Again, our Pentagon at first talked of its use as only for "illumination" or "target marking"; then when confronted with the truth, it is "legal" to be used against enemy combatants as a conventional weapon -- but it is not classified as chemical.

The British defense policy states.."the use of white phosphorus was permitted in battle in cases where there were no civilians near the target area".

At the battle of Fallujah, the problem was civilians were completely mixed with the enemy; yet, white phosphorus was still used.

So, again, we are technically legal on use of chemical weapons. Just as we are technically legal on use of torture. We seem to be "technically legal" on a number of fronts. Technicalities abound for holding prisoners indefinitely; for our ways of extracting information; for counting the number of Iraqi troops ready for service; for the Iraqi definition of democracy; or for our legal excuses for invasion of Iraq in the first place.

Pretty soon, the technical assault will continue -- on our right to privacy, our right to dissent, and of course we already have a technical assault on the truth which has been going on since that "technical" election of 2000.
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