…‘why can’t we be partners? trust us. this time. really.’…Posted: 2013-11-06
No hope of change? When we think that at least some ‘senior US officials’ would arrive at the realisation that the jig is up, the rhetoric of obvious mendacity continues, and with even greater confidence.
We have the ‘First Diplomat’ of the US exhorting his European partners to continue negotiations and sign up for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as wondrous benefits would flow to all, most especially the disadvantaged. Plus, that little thing of political, economic, and institutional espionage conducted against everyone, everywhere, non-stop – no big thing, that’s what friends are for.
The Guardian sums it up in Kerry urges Europe: don’t let NSA spying concerns thwart trade talks as we have the US Secretary of State stating,
“The Transatlantic Trade Partnership is really separate from and different from any other issues people may have on their minds. This is about jobs. It’s about the economy,” Kerry said, adding: “Now, that should not be confused with whatever legitimate questions exist with respect to NSA or other activities.”
[Bold added for emphasis]
So, ‘[t]his is about jobs…’ And knowing the impeccable track record for honesty and truthfulness…
…we resort to more professional, more competent analysis. One such is from George Monbiot in a cross-post from The Guardian over at common dreams. This Transatlantic Trade Deal is a Full-Frontal Assault on Democracy A few of his insights,
The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections. Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.
The mechanism through which this is achieved is known as investor-state dispute settlement. It’s already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet.
Monbiot then goes to the ‘backyard’ of the US to introduce their Ghost of Christmas Past to the Ghost of the ‘Western’ Christmas Future that may be TTIP.
During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people’s energy and water bills (does this sound familiar?). It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation. In El Salvador, local communities managed at great cost (three campaigners were murdered) to persuade the government to refuse permission for a vast gold mine which threatened to contaminate their water supplies. A victory for democracy? Not for long, perhaps. The Canadian company which sought to dig the mine is now suing El Salvador for $315m – for the loss of its anticipated future profits.
And he makes the same observation critics in the ‘backyard’ have been making since time immemorial,
There are no corresponding rights for citizens. We can’t use these tribunals to demand better protections from corporate greed. As the Democracy Centre says, this is “a privatised justice system for global corporations”.
In essence, residents of the ‘backyard’ have had to pay for the inefficiencies and even failures of the internationals. And for some time now. And at least one multi-lateral development bank (MDB) has been party to such arrangements – under the guise of ‘economic development’. And we now have that Transpacific Partnership (TPP) being aggressively ‘sold’ to the Pacific (pacific?) Latin American countries? So what do we make of that famous aggressive and persistent push at ‘privatisation’ throughout such countries a few decades ago, that Washington Consensus? Comes the time, at long last, when the con artists should be given short shrift?
For further reinforcement of the point, we get a refresher as well as perspective from another economist, Richard D. Wolff over at fdl. Over Easy: Capitalist Withdrawal and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
It should not be difficult to compare and contrast the coverage and analysis by the establishment MSM with regard to such pressing issues. In 2013, in the US one of the more ‘pressing’issues for the plebs to fixate over is US Presidential elections in 2016, yes, 2016? But for new media such as the blogs and other social media…
…which explains why we all prefer to harp on the pleasant.