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Confronting Empire (A 3'rd World View Of The NWO)
IndoLink Forum ^ | January 28, 2003 | Arundhati Roy

Posted on 02/05/2003 3:52:56 PM PST by Red Jones

Confronting Empire

by Arundhati Roy January 28, 2003

I've been asked to speak about "How to confront Empire?" It's a huge question, and I have no easy answers.

When we speak of confronting "Empire," we need to identify what "Empire" means. Does it mean the U.S. Government (and its European satellites), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and multinational corporations? Or is it something more than that?

In many countries, Empire has sprouted other subsidiary heads, some dangerous byproducts - nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and, of course terrorism. All these march arm in arm with the project of corporate globalization.

Let me illustrate what I mean. India - the world's biggest democracy - is currently at the forefront of the corporate globalization project. Its "market" of one billion people is being prized open by the WTO. Corporatization and Privatization are being welcomed by the Government and the Indian elite.

It is not a coincidence that the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Disinvestment Minister - the men who signed the deal with Enron in India, the men who are selling the country's infrastructure to corporate multinationals, the men who want to privatize water, electricity, oil, coal, steel, health, education and telecommunication - are all members or admirers of the RSS. The RSS is a right wing, ultra-nationalist Hindu guild which has openly admired Hitler and his methods.

The dismantling of democracy is proceeding with the speed and efficiency of a Structural Adjustment Program. While the project of corporate globalization rips through people's lives in India, massive privatization, and labor "reforms" are pushing people off their land and out of their jobs. Hundreds of impoverished farmers are committing suicide by consuming pesticide. Reports of starvation deaths are coming in from all over the country.

While the elite journeys to its imaginary destination somewhere near the top of the world, the dispossessed are spiraling downwards into crime and chaos. This climate of frustration and national disillusionment is the perfect breeding ground, history tells us, for fascism.

The two arms of the Indian Government have evolved the perfect pincer action. While one arm is busy selling India off in chunks, the other, to divert attention, is orchestrating a howling, baying chorus of Hindu nationalism and religious fascism. It is conducting nuclear tests, rewriting history books, burning churches, and demolishing mosques. Censorship, surveillance, the suspension of civil liberties and human rights, the definition of who is an Indian citizen and who is not, particularly with regard to religious minorities, is becoming common practice now.

Last March, in the state of Gujarat, two thousand Muslims were butchered in a State-sponsored pogrom. Muslim women were specially targeted. They were stripped, and gang-raped, before being burned alive. Arsonists burned and looted shops, homes, textiles mills, and mosques.

More than a hundred and fifty thousand Muslims have been driven from their homes. The economic base of the Muslim community has been devastated.

While Gujarat burned, the Indian Prime Minister was on MTV promoting his new poems. In January this year, the Government that orchestrated the killing was voted back into office with a comfortable majority. Nobody has been punished for the genocide. Narendra Modi, architect of the pogrom, proud member of the RSS, has embarked on his second term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. If he were Saddam Hussein, of course each atrocity would have been on CNN. But since he's not - and since the Indian "market" is open to global investors - the massacre is not even an embarrassing inconvenience.

There are more than one hundred million Muslims in India. A time bomb is ticking in our ancient land.

All this to say that it is a myth that the free market breaks down national barriers. The free market does not threaten national sovereignty, it undermines democracy.

As the disparity between the rich and the poor grows, the fight to corner resources is intensifying. To push through their "sweetheart deals," to corporatize the crops we grow, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the dreams we dream, corporate globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies.

Corporate Globalization - or shall we call it by its name? - Imperialism - needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.

Meanwhile, the countries of the North harden their borders and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. After all they have to make sure that it's only money, goods, patents and services that are globalized. Not the free movement of people. Not a respect for human rights. Not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons or greenhouse gas emissions or climate change, or - god forbid - justice.

So this - all this - is "empire." This loyal confederation, this obscene accumulation of power, this greatly increased distance between those who make the decisions and those who have to suffer them.

Our fight, our goal, our vision of Another World must be to eliminate that distance.

So how do we resist "Empire"?

The good news is that we are not doing too badly. There have been major victories. Here in Latin America you have had so many - in Bolivia, you have Cochabamba. In Peru, there was the uprising in Arequipa, In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez is holding on, despite the U.S. government's best efforts.

And the world's gaze is on the people of Argentina, who are trying to refashion a country from the ashes of the havoc wrought by the IMF.

In India the movement against corporate globalization is gathering momentum and is poised to become the only real political force to counter religious fascism.

As for corporate globalization's glittering ambassadors - Enron, Bechtel, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson - where were they last year, and where are they now?

And of course, here in Brazil, we must ask: who was the president last year, and who is it now?

Still, many of us have dark moments of hopelessness and despair. We know that under the spreading canopy of the War Against Terrorism, the men in suits are hard at work.

While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies, we know that contracts are being signed, patents are being registered, oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered, water is being privatized, and George Bush is planning to go to war against Iraq.

If we look at this conflict as a straightforward eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation between "Empire" and those of us who are resisting it, it might seem that we are losing.

But there is another way of looking at it. We, all of us gathered here, have, each in our own way, laid siege to "Empire."

We may not have stopped it in its tracks - yet - but we have stripped it down. We have made it drop its mask. We have forced it into the open. It now stands before us on the world's stage in all it's brutish, iniquitous nakedness.

Empire may well go to war, but it's out in the open now - too ugly to behold its own reflection. Too ugly even to rally its own people. It won't be long before the majority of American people become our allies.

Only a few days ago in Washington, a quarter of a million people marched against the war on Iraq. Each month, the protest is gathering momentum.

Before September 11th 2001 America had a secret history. Secret especially from its own people. But now America's secrets are history, and its history is public knowledge. It's street talk.

Today, we know that every argument that is being used to escalate the war against Iraq is a lie. The most ludicrous of them being the U.S. Government's deep commitment to bring democracy to Iraq.

Killing people to save them from dictatorship or ideological corruption is, of course, an old U.S. government sport. Here in Latin America, you know that better than most.

Nobody doubts that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator, a murderer (whose worst excesses were supported by the governments of the United States and Great Britain). There's no doubt that Iraqis would be better off without him.

But, then, the whole world would be better off without a certain Mr. Bush. In fact, he is far more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.

So, should we bomb Bush out of the White House?

It's more than clear that Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq, regardless of the facts - and regardless of international public opinion.

In its recruitment drive for allies, The United States is prepared to invent facts.

The charade with weapons inspectors is the U.S. government's offensive, insulting concession to some twisted form of international etiquette. It's like leaving the "doggie door" open for last minute "allies" or maybe the United Nations to crawl through.

But for all intents and purposes, the New War against Iraq has begun.

What can we do?

We can hone our memory, we can learn from our history. We can continue to build public opinion until it becomes a deafening roar.

We can turn the war on Iraq into a fishbowl of the U.S. government's excesses.

We can expose George Bush and Tony Blair - and their allies - for the cowardly baby killers, water poisoners, and pusillanimous long-distance bombers that they are.

We can re-invent civil disobedience in a million different ways. In other words, we can come up with a million ways of becoming a collective pain in the ass.

When George Bush says "you're either with us, or you are with the terrorists" we can say "No thank you." We can let him know that the people of the world do not need to choose between a Malevolent Mickey Mouse and the Mad Mullahs.

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness - and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brazil; empire; india; newworkdorder; thirdworld
This article is written by a fellow of Asian Indian extraction, but he seems to be speaking to a Brazilian audience. As there is a large Indian community in Brazil this fellow could be based in either India or Brazil. This is the view from the third world. While I don't agree with every statement the individual makes, I agree wholeheartedly with his tone and thrust.

Nations are like extended families. The various sovereign governments representing these nations are intimately familiar with and sympathetic to the individuals and their situations inside of those nations. These governments have served to protect the interests of the peoples in these nations. As the powers of the governments are taken away by the New World Order many people inside those nations will suffer from it.

In India there are hundreds of millions of people who work the land or depend on somebody who does work the land. These small farms are very unproductive. The food they produce cannot compete in price with the big corporations. The Indian government has tried very hard to protect these people. But as time goes on it seems that it is New World Order policy to force India to turn their backs on these people and accept the imports from the big corporate agriculture firms.

In China, Mexico, Brazil and many other nations it is the same. It has really just begun to force these nations into abandoning their protections of these poor farmers.

We do need a framework for international trade and international trade can bring forth tremendous benefits. But the way it is handled by the World Trade Organization we are preventing nations from providing the special protections they need to watch out for the welfare of their citizens.

We live in interestng times. It is easy to dismiss critics like this Arundhati Roy as being leftists or anti-american zealots. But my read of it is that the New World Order represents something all new and is outside of the parameters of our several decades long conflict between the liberals and the conservatives.

Hope this is at least food for thought. I respectfully submit to you all that we are being seduced into supporting something that is evil. I'm talking about the NWO, not about the Iraqi war. If we allow this to happen, then we will account for this one day. Prosperity for all should be our goal. Voluntary agreements with sovereign governments concerning trade and other matters should be our means. The WTO should be scrapped. This article makes me want to move to Argentina. They may be poor in Argentina, but oh what a glorious cause they are engaged in as they have snubbed their noses at the IMF and thus all the imperialism that the New World Order is.

If this article and my comments make no sense to you, then I suggest that you are a good little sheeple and are behaving well also or at least that you should make a point to read different views about this New World Order.

1 posted on 02/05/2003 3:52:56 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
If you want to find this article, then just click on the link and scroll down a page or so until you find it on the list.
2 posted on 02/05/2003 3:54:44 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Willie Green
3 posted on 02/05/2003 3:55:48 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones; dighton; swarthyguy
Arundhati Roy ping.

It is easy to dismiss critics like this Arundhati Roy as being leftists or anti-american zealots.

It is easy because that is what she is. She could have stated a few relevant things about farms, corporations, globalization. Instead she wraps it up in her tangential anti-Americanism, like a pol giving a stump speech. She seems most concerned about resuscitating the word "Empire" into a different context.

Citing Chavez in Venezuela shows that she follows the news in shallow fashion.

4 posted on 02/05/2003 4:06:46 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
if what she says about suffering in India due to the WTO forcing imports onto them is true, then that is more important than her anti-american zeal. And since people around the world view the WTO as taking its marching orders from America, then in that context her prejudices against our country make some sense and we should re-consider this WTO strategy of globalism.
5 posted on 02/05/2003 4:13:39 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
When I read this article, what jumps out at me are statements that America has a "secret history" without any further elaboration on what exactly that means, and that President Bush is a "baby-killer", "water poisoner", and "pusillanimous long-distance bomber". Frankly, statements like this make me inclined to dismiss the entire article out of hand, even if it does contain a substantive point here and there. It sounds like it could have been written by pretty much any brain dead, drugged-out left wing whacko here in America.
6 posted on 02/05/2003 4:17:32 PM PST by jpl
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To: Red Jones
I'm pretty much against much of anything the WTO wants, but her points dismiss closer inspection, IMO. Same thing with NAFTA and its effect on Mexican farmers. Her own "project" is to real off her canned anti-American spiel, whatever the points about farms in India. What does that have to do with Iraq? What does she think about the mass price-fixing of OPEC that has deterred development of her own country?

Good point about the marching orders "appearing" to come from America - Europe is a bigger player. And Ms. Roy might take a look on the shelves of her own country to see who's profiting by tearing down trade walls, and dumping products there. Made in China, South Korea, Malaysia, - rice I suspect comes from Thailand and Vietnam. What she say about OPEC?

7 posted on 02/05/2003 4:35:43 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Blah blah blah. Let's live in her economic world...some Mossadegh, Chavez, Castro heaven.

She has more appeal outside India. Meanwhile, economic integration between the US and India moves even faster, despite (or because of) the slowdown.
8 posted on 02/05/2003 4:48:14 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: jpl
statements like this make me inclined to dismiss the entire article out of hand

I don't blame you. She's talking about the secret societies. I don't know much about those secret societies.

But when I was in college almost 30 years ago the political science textbook we used was written by Thomas Dye whom I was told at the time was the #1 author of political science textbooks in american universities. The thesis of the book and the only important theme was that the American people don't know what's good for them and the elites must take over and rule. It was recommended they do this by pulling the wool over the public's eyes and manipulating behind the scenes, etc. I'm not kidding, that's exactly what the book said.

It is the ideology of the elite to rule us in just this way. They have behind the scenes organizations bent on ruling. They are taking power out of the hands of sovereign governments systematically. This includes our government. This effort is called New World Order. On September 11, 1990 George Bush 1 announced that he was loyal to the NWO. It was a bad day in our history.

The biggest organization that is part of the NWO is the World Trade Organization. This person we're discussing is mainly complaining about WTO policies. The WTO, the World Bank and our government's policies are basically forcing nations to accept a trade framework that is troublesome and I believe evil when you examine it closely.

9 posted on 02/05/2003 4:49:26 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
I just started to respond to this nonsense and lo and behold, it's Jones the Red.

Can't you see the inherent lie, the abiding nonsense of the statement "forcing imports onto them"?

Can't you understand that protectionism ALWAYS forces costs up and living standards down on BOTH sides of the bargain?

Don't you know that societies that try to provide goods and services to their populations at below the cost of production are lying to themselves, and wind up with populations with NOTHING but the bark of trees and grass to eat?

Do you think that the United States should back away from doing what is right and has proven to work and to provide decent living standards to millions- raising standsrds of health, education, water quality and so on, all over the world just because some leftist jackasses are propagandizing against us for thier own misguided purposes?

You note that Roy mentions Coachabamba. Look into that if you want to to find out wht the left considers a "victory". Ths was a privatised water project that would have brought clean, safe economical water to thousands. But since it was "private" it was the devil's work to these folks, and it was demonized, lied about, sabotaged, sued, and harassed into submission. So what does that prove? It certainly does not prove that privatization is evil. It certainly does prove that elitist leftist intellectuals still follow the Marxist/Leninist tenet of the end justifying the means. And the end is the dictatorship of the proletariat. The means is the demonization of the free market and liberty by callinbg it "empire" or "globalization". Make no mistake, these are the same Reds that gave us the gulags, forced abortion, reducation camps, and mass starvation. They are still full of the same old crap.

Which side are you on, Mr. Red?
10 posted on 02/05/2003 4:53:59 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: Shermy
I don't like it either when people around the world blame America for the NWO. Because we americans are being shafted by it just like them and because we didn't want it in the first place. And I don't doubt you that maybe the European elite are behind it just as much as some american elite. But this is what the NWO type of rule means, it gets us all fighting at each other and disconnects many people from what they need to get by. Note how she's asserting that the RSS in India is being allied with the NWO. The RSS is a little bit like our KKK. Except of course our KKK has no power while their RSS is powerful in parts of India.
11 posted on 02/05/2003 4:55:30 PM PST by Red Jones
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Red Jones
More commie garbage.

What other crusader for socialism will you post here next? Che? Lenin?
13 posted on 02/05/2003 4:56:22 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: John Valentine
Which side are you on, Mr. Red?

I'm opposed to the NWO. I think we should do things the old fashioned way. Sovereign governments should be able to restrict or tax trade if they desire. And I don't think the IMF and World Bank have a decent track record. And I think there's a lot of evidence that recent trade patterns are bidding wages down for large portions of populations in many countries.

You can't support traditional ideas of democracy and the New World Order at the same time. It's just that simple. I'm on George Washington's side, not George Bush'.

14 posted on 02/05/2003 5:02:18 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
There is NO SUCH THING as the "New World Order" except in the fevered imaginations of the Left and the paranoid fantasies of the poorly educated.

Sovereign governments do as always restrict, tax, and regulate trade. This continues to be a major source of problems, and is the real culprit responsible for many of the percieved shortcomings of "free trade". "Free Trade" has never existed except insde a uniform politic like the United States, and even here, there are continuing attemps by localities to control, and regulate trade in spite of the Constitutional prohibition. Meddlers will never stop meddling.

The IMF and the World Bank are meddlers too, along with governments and socialistic supranational organizations. They invariably do harm, since the impede the efficinet functioning of markets.

Foreign trade may on occasion depress local wages, but wages should neve fall faster than costs, and they would not in the absence of meddling.

I do not support democracy, at least not in the sense you seem to. I support individual freedom, persoal liberty, and property rights. These three form the basis of every prosperous society. Democrasy consists of Jim and Tom voting Ralph to pay for lunch. This will not increase the wealth of Jim, Tom or Ralph.

You need to get beyond slogans and epithets like "New World Order" which really have no menaing or existence and start really thinking about what creates wealth. Meddling doea not create wealth, be sure of that much at least.
15 posted on 02/05/2003 5:24:36 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: John Valentine
There is NO SUCH THING as the "New World Order" except in the fevered imaginations of the Left and the paranoid fantasies of the poorly educated

Why did George HW Bush give a big speech in support of the New World Order and saying that he was with them in 1990? I guess he was delusional, must've been watching cartoons on tv.

There was an article in a Spanish newspaper about 10 years ago. It seems that the Spanish had just selected a new president or prime minister. This new leader of spain, just elected, was on his first day on the job. Henry Kissinger had called and scheduled an appointment with the fellow on this first day in advance. The new leader met with Henry K. He came out of that meeting and summoned a journalist. He told the journalist that Henry K had told him that if he cooperated with them that the banking system would smile on Spain and that they would prosper. He said also that Henry K said that if Spain didn't cooperate with them that the banking system would frown on them and that they would not prosper. So, I guess this president of Spain was imagining things too along with George bush in 1990.

We can name a whole range of issues where our government is doing things that harm us and that we disapprove of. We can name all kinds of provisions in treaties that we americans don't like and will also harm us and yet our government has signed these treaties. But our government is in harmony with the New World Order.

16 posted on 02/05/2003 5:37:13 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones; swarthyguy; Shermy
Roy is a well known female writer.

She is putting together a litany of things she doesn't like, and calling it NWO, and laying it all at Bush's feet. You notice, in her world, The Indian government is part of the Empire she hates.

This is not a well-reasoned thesis.

the men who signed the deal with Enron in India

The case could be made that India took Enron to the cleaners. Enron built a large power plant on the promise of a power contract at market prices. The promise was not kept, and Enron is out the money. I have seen similar things happen elsewhere, where US companies have put up truly enormous sums only to lose them when promises are not kept. Multinationals who invest in 3rd world countries are playing in a very risky environment, and risk losing their shirts. And no sympathy from anyone when it happens. They just take a charge against profits, and move on.

the men who want to privatize water, electricity, oil, coal, steel, health, education and telecommunication -

Countries where the key elements of the economy are government owned are always economic backwaters, trapped in poverty. Its called socialism. These countries are always poor, but if you try to change the path they are on, you are the evil one. She admits that the status quo is bad, but she cannot bring herself to want to change the status quo. On the contrary, she blames the misery of her people on the people who are trying to bring change.

Last March, in the state of Gujarat, two thousand Muslims were butchered in a State-sponsored pogrom.

She conflates religious bigotry in India, which has a very old pedigree, with NWO. Think about this. Think about the history of India, both in classic times, and in the last couple of centuries. Limit it, if you like, even to just the post-independence era, and you will see that to blame South Asia's civil wars on GWBush is laughable.

It is tragic, it is something that people of good will are going to have to work through. The struggle to unite Indians of all faiths would be well worth the investment of Roy's talents and life-force. By blaming it on people she doesn't like, she trivializes it, and does nothing to advance a solution.

In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez is holding on, despite the U.S. government's best efforts

Chavez is another case of a socialist trying to save his country from the ravages of socialist economics, by imposing ever more universal socialism. And then wondering why things only get worse. News Flash; centralized economies, which Venezuela has always been, are doomed to failure, no matter how much oil they have, no matter how charismatic their leaders. And, no, the US isn't lifting a finger to drive him out of office; the Venezuelans will have to do this themselves.

And the world's gaze is on the people of Argentina, who are trying to refashion a country from the ashes of the havoc wrought by the IMF.

No, they are having to dig their way out of the rubble caused by years of deficits, to the point that no bank in the world would loan them anymore money. The obvious answer, balance your budget, they dismiss as the evil machinations of the NWO. Again, socialist governments have driven a perfectly good country into the dirt, and then blamed capitalism.

Killing people to save them from dictatorship or ideological corruption is, of course, an old U.S. government sport. Here in Latin America, you know that better than most.

After decades of struggle, every country in latin america is a democracy except Cuba. With the fall of the Soviet Empire, within weeks the remaining communist insurgencies had all ended, amazing isn't it, with the exception of the rebellion in Colombia which metasticized into a narco movement.

While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies, we know that contracts are being signed, patents are being registered, oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered, water is being privatized, and George Bush is planning to go to war against Iraq.

This is a juicy one. Where are the bombs raining down on you? Since when has productive work become criminal? When did oil pipelines become evil?

Resources are developed by investment, by the employment of technology, and by hard work. When did this become evil? What makes it evil, in Roy's eyes, is if it is done by private actors rather than governments. Remember, in countries where governments control resources, including India, including most of the third world, wealth is extracted and there is little to show for it. Her answer is more of the same. Her enemies are anyone that proposes another paradigm.

We can expose George Bush and Tony Blair - and their allies - for the cowardly baby killers, water poisoners, and pusillanimous long-distance bombers that they are.

Think about this one. She is using these words about men who would stop the real killer of babies, poisoner of water, and long-distance bomber. Study Saddam's career. Study the death toll under his rule, and then get back to me.

The canard that we once had dealings with him, and are therefore disqualified from stopping him now is juvenile. We were never his ally. The Persian Gulf states supported his war against Iran out of raw fear, and we supported him out of loyalty to them. The moment he became a threat to them, our supposed "alliance" with Saddam vanished. We know very well what he has done to the Kurds, and we have spent a decade stopping it. Now we are going to take him down. Roy can squeal all she wants, but she has place herself in the wrong camp, and if she were not lost to rationality, she would have to be ashamed to back Saddam against the liberators of his prison nation.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

We don't need you. You produce nothing, you stand for nothing. We are the doers and the builders. We are the ones who actually put people to work, and push back the walls of poverty. And we are the ones who are going to liberate Iraq, if it can be done. Watch us.

17 posted on 02/05/2003 6:15:19 PM PST by marron
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To: Red Jones
In a word: horseshit.
18 posted on 02/05/2003 6:29:12 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: marron
why thank-you for explaining all that to us. You make a lot of sense. But I still oppose the WTO for the reasons I said and I think that development of third world economies and global trade can occur without the WTO in a more satisfactory manner.
19 posted on 02/05/2003 6:35:20 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: marron
Thank you for your thoughtful analysis.

I am heartened to know that there ae still people on FR that can carry a thought process to completion.

Well said indeed.
20 posted on 02/05/2003 6:37:56 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: Red Jones
Considering the possibility that you will understand a more complete answer, I'll try this:

Suppose I told my wife that I supported the "New Neighborhood Order", and defined that as not leaving trash cans on the curb for several days after the trash pickup, curbing dogs, and keeping lawns neatly mowed.

Suppose further that I lobbied my neighbors to voluntarily do these things, in the hope of maintianing or enhancing quality of life and property values.

Let's suppose that I have some success, but not with everyone.

Now let's suppose that one fellow down the street of particularly lazy habits is faced with eviction and comes to me for a loan to save his house.

Would I be within my rights to make a condition of the loan that he clean up his property and follow the neighborhood rules, or would I be an a-hole?

And in either case is there really any such thing as the "New Neighborhood Order". It is really just a figure of speech, isn't it?

And so it is with the "New World Order". It was just something that some GHW Bush speechwriter thought sounded cute in a speech he was writing. It sure doesn't make it real in any ontological sense.

You are looking at a rope and seeing a snake.

21 posted on 02/05/2003 6:49:39 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: marron
22 posted on 02/05/2003 7:28:03 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: Red Jones
But I still oppose the WTO for the reasons I said

Its fine to oppose the WTO, or the IMF, for specific policies. But if you simply treat them as some kind of fetish, as some do, representing some generalized evil, then debate becomes impossible. The WTO has an important function to perform, without which trade would be impossible. That does not mean they always know what they are doing. But most people attacking the "WTO" simply use the term without any clue what they really do.

Before we can debate specific policies of the WTO and similar agencies, two things need to be clear. One, the source of wealth, and second, the source of poverty.

The essential conditions for the accumulation of wealth are: (1) individual liberty, so that people can act on their own initiative, and in their own interest (2) clear and predictable laws, and (3) honest courts, to settle conflicts and to protect the fruit of your labor.

Poverty usually results from the inverse: the lack of liberty, and a corrupt and politicized legal system. Its really that simple. Usually these conditions are embedded in the culture, and bringing a country out of it is difficult. Poverty always has its defenders, because the status quo always benefits someone.

But one of the most revolutionary agents of change is the American company. I have seen them in action. As they negotiate the conditions of their investment, they are often establishing legal precedents that allow other, national, companies to establish themselves. American companies always treat their workers better than do local companies, and the difference establishes a new standard in labor relations. Americans don't do it grudgingly, they do it because thats just how they are. Imagine yourself running a crew in Country X; you would treat them with dignity, and so would I. So do most Americans, and the effects of that are revolutionary.

The project may directly hire thousands of workers at wages higher than normal, but beyond that it creates an opening for small entrepreneurs who set up shop to service the project. Hundreds of small contractors spring into existence. New technologies are spread out into the community, as people learn their trades and then take those trades back into their villages after the project is over.

The government's take puts them in the black at least until they have found new ways to squander it, but meanwhile a whole generation of people are learning how to live without being dependent on the party.

The downside is that the academic class is left out, construction workers are making more money than they do, and no one is asking them their opinion. So political opposition builds, and takes many forms. But it is almost certain to grow.

The simple fact is that a pipeline does more to liberate a country than a whole generation of embittered journalists, and that is what you are up against. Because while the pipeliner is creating wealth, and transferring usable technologies to thousands of people out in the hinterlands, the journalist has access to his keyboard and microphone. And his revenge is terrible to behold.

A company doing business overseas is at a particular disadvantage. Legal systems are often ill-defined, and very political. That means, the law is whatever the ruling class says it is. So the opportunities for blackmail are endless, and only increase as the investment grows. When you show up to build a billion dollar plant, they are very willing to make concessions; but once the plant is built, the shoe is on the other foot. Your billion dollar plant holds you hostage now to the vagaries of their system, and the never-satiated greed of the political class. That is where the multinational lending agencies come in. They help to spread out the risk, they help to establish the rules of the game, and they have leverage over the country that the company lost once their project is built.

But it isn't foolproof. Enron lost 3 or 4 billion dollars on a plant they built in India, when the Indian government failed to make good on their promises. Despite heavy contributions to Clinton, Clinton was unable to resolve it. This was part of what brought Enron down.

Companies well know that their investment can be seized and nationalized at any time, so typically they build that into the agreement. In most cases, the plant or pipeline becomes the property of the host government after so-many years. Why not, they would probably seize it anyway. So you price it such that you get your principle and interest back during the 7 years, or 10 years, or 20 years of the life of your contract. After that, its theirs and they can run it themselves or bid it out again to you or someone else.

But without the WTO, and without the lending agencies, these projects would not be built at all. These countries would be trapped in their medieval squalor. The people who call this evil are simply shocked at the power of private actors. If the state built projects as grandiose as these, they would be writing symphonies about them. On their government stipend, no doubt.

23 posted on 02/05/2003 8:19:09 PM PST by marron
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To: John Valentine
Seoul is a really nice place, I've been there, but not for over 20 years. I don't have any sympathy for that rabid anti-americanism of many koreans.

But if you put that condition in the loan as you described, then you'd be doing something reasonable. The World Bank puts conditions on loans. They force other countries to have policies that would be entirely unacceptable policies here in america. But those countries receiving the loans have the financial problems because they can't pay back their loans. We don't have any financial problems, we just have 3-4 trillion dollars in debt we can't pay back. So, I hear what you're saying, but the whole system I just don't trust.

I don't trust the federal reserve, I don't trust the CIA, etc.

Regarding that water problem in bolivia you were mentioning. I don't know everything about it, neither do you. But some very poor people were told that they have to pay 25% of their income for water. There were sudden large increases in water prices. And this occurred right after Bechtel bought the water utility. According to my values, I wouldn't have done what Bechtel did. If I were the World Bank I wouldn't have allowed this to happen. They're saying that the water utility needed some large investment to keep operating. Maybe so. The World Bank touts itself as a charity organization, a lender of last resort that loses money by design. Well then, they should've been on top of this water problem. I've managed real estate developments before. I know how to get things done. If I were World Bank I'd have gotten with the government of Bolivia and built a close relationship, then done the same with Bechtel and somehow induced Bechtel to provide technical analysis. Then I'd have considered getting 2'nd opinion on technical analysis. Bechtel is an expensive american company. India and Russia have experts too you know. I'd have found a way to get those improvements done without the massive cost increases even if it meant subsidy from World Bank coffers. World Bank throws so much money around maneuvering people, they could do it easily. I'd have told the Bolivian government, after identifying the cheapest source for doing improvements, that we'll finance it if they provide concessions. Concessions can be all kinds of things, whatever's required. It could even mean special preferential treatment on real estate developments so World Bank could profit. You have touse your imagination, your skill, your money even to get good results if you are a businessperson to be respected. A good banker produces prosperity for all, not just for a few elite. Those poor people in Bolivia were all of a sudden told to increase the amount of moneythey had to pay for water by a very large amount and the end-result was absolutely un-doable for them. They rioted and the Bolivian government kicked Bechtel out. Bechtel was stupid to proceed with the deal and it was good they got punished. The World bank shouldn't have anything to do with such deals.

There's been a lot of criticism of the World Bank and IMF in the financial press. These people force governments to impose draconian measures so that the people become slaves. There's got to be a better way. A banker should be a creative, imaginative, resourceful consultant with money to help a nation out when they are extremely poor. He should build friends and even preferential treatment in that nation. He should be willing to invest his own funds. He should not be a bully. People say the World Bank is a bully. It's not just third world people. I've read it in the financial press of the US.

We probably just have different experiences and images in our minds of this 'New World Order'.
24 posted on 02/05/2003 8:21:17 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: marron
thank you again, your analysis is very good. I will also yield that you are correct in your diagnosis of causes of poverty in countries like India or Mexico or Brazil. Corruption, legal problems, just like you said. I'm aware that american companies have sometimes put forth huge efforts to be badly frustrated by these obstacles in those countries. 'Medieval squalor' is term you used and accurate. I will also yield that WTO is a well-thought out means of dealing with these challenges.

However, I am also mindful of the christian concept or original sin. Or, as Lord Acton? said 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. When you weaken democratic institutions' abilities to rule a nation and you put power into the hands of very powerful international organizations that are beyond the public's reach and even out of view, then I think bad things will result. And I have witnessed negative effects of NWO related policies in America. And I believe that there are and will be negative effects in other countries as well.

But I surely agree with you that extraordinary actions are called for to create satisfactory development around the world. And certainly, socialism is a failure, as is the terrible systems of corruption that occur in India, Mexico and elsewhere.
25 posted on 02/05/2003 8:39:06 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones

Cochabamba is an excllent case in point. Here, local leftists stirred up trouble and ruined the chances for the poorest of the local people to have piped, safe, clean, and economical water.

I am attaching a link to a scholarly article appearing in the Bulletin of Latin American Research entitled "The Limitastions of Water Regulation: The Failure of the Cochabamba Concession on Bolivia" This is generally conceded to be the authoritative study of this subject.

Listen to this from the article's conclusion:

"The rapid demise of the Cochabamba water service concession has been heralded by observers as a major popular victory in the struggle against the forces of globalisation (Lobina, 2000). This analysis suggests that such an interpretation is mistaken. The evidence suggests that the lowest five deciles of the urban population stood to gain most from the successful implementation of the Contract - both in the short term (i.e. the introduction of cross-subsidisation through the IBT and reduction in leakage rate0 and over the longer term (i.e. the extension of the pipe network to poor neighborhoods currently dependent on high-cost water vendors)."

Also, to my knowledge, much of the criticism of the project was just plain concocted. Lies, if you will, which this study exposes.

Cochabamba Article

26 posted on 02/05/2003 9:24:34 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: John Valentine
why thank you for that link. I'll try to read it tommorrow. Perhaps Bechtel did get a raw deal. I saw a story about it on Bill Moyers' show on PBS. Maybe the story I saw didn't tell the whole story. thanks.
27 posted on 02/05/2003 9:28:25 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
28 posted on 02/05/2003 9:56:12 PM PST by Coleus (RU 486 Kills Babies)
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To: Red Jones
I have yet to catch Bill Moyers in a truth.
29 posted on 02/05/2003 10:23:17 PM PST by John Valentine (Living in Seoul, and aware of the threat.)
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To: Coleus
thanks for all those links. I'll look at em and not post here a while. Got to figure out what's going on.
30 posted on 02/05/2003 10:36:29 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: denydenydeny
I have no interest in communist ideology. But James Burnham is one of the premiere intellectuals of the american conservative movement of the late 20'th century. James Burnham was the most commonly published writer in the magazine called National Review from 1957 to 1970. That was a period of time when the conservative movement was really being made and National Review was it's biggest center of discussion by far. James Burnham said that the managerial class was gaining too much power, becoming arrogant and abusive towards other classes of people and that if trends continued it would be a real problem that would challenge freedom and prosperity for americans. Read his book 'Managerial Revolution'. It was one of his big ideas in his life. and he was as influential as any other intellectual in the conservative movement.

But the conservative movement today is a shell of what it was when Burnham was writing for National Review IMHO. We are polluted by Republican cheerleaders IMHO.
31 posted on 02/05/2003 10:44:23 PM PST by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
This an excellent, thought-provoking post. Unfortunately it is bound so tightly in the sulferous language of the international Left that the yummy molasses center can hardly be tasted. This is the problem with the so-called antiwar movement too. It's rhetoric is dominated by Lefties who, contrary to their fawning media portrayal, LOVE war. It's only that we're not warring against the right people. The Right antiwar voice is drowned out. And I can't help thinking there's a reason to that rhyme.

Anyway, it seems to me the the great obstacle to liberation from the Global Economic Plantation is language. The language is trapped in a time warp and polemics are conducted with mummified words---insofar as polemics are even conducted. It usually ends up with a so-called "conservative" shouting: "That's class warfare! You're a marxist!" And thus ending any critique from the Right--which was always the more profound critique of capital.

There is also the problem with the myth of "rugged individualism". An inability to accept that Class warfare is being waged by someone--even if the "classes" do not conform to marxist dogma. And so, only one side is fighting--and wiping up the planet with the confused, atomized remnants of traditionalism.

It's old hat, but I don't see why more people haven't awakened to the fact that "communism" and "capitalism" are joined at the hip.

Instead we have a series of dislocated groups being brutally awakened. First the farmers, miners, loggers, fishermen---all the unimportant rednecks out in the hinterlands who don't play as well on TV as Michael Jackson's nose.

Then, slowly, groups in the suburbs are hit by HBI visas; by shoe factory closings; by the sickening revelation that all those people in the so-called "Third World" have brains too, and will toil for lower wages. The myth of secure brain jobs is exploded. But again, it doesn't play as well as a nightime bombing display over the capital of some recalcitrant "un-free" society with a New Hitler as their Leader.

And never fear! There will always be another Hitler out there crouching in the tall weeds who, along with his un-free People, will need to be treated with a great many high tech weapons and thus, liberated into economic freedom.

Anyway, I don't think we have the cultural skills anymore to confront this looming disaster with a sense of communal affection and loyalty.

(Just a footnote: It's interesting that Indian Lefties seem to hate their Native "rednecks" even more passionately than American Lefties hate their Native rubes.)

32 posted on 02/09/2003 12:26:58 PM PST by LaBelleDameSansMerci
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