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ACTIVIST FIASCOS-Free Trade Ego Searching
by M. Miranda (united-students [at] lycos.com)
Sunday Nov 28th, 2004 9:25 PM
There is nothing political that any USA people can do. To work with a political party or vote in anything that the Democrats believe in is not positive. Go back to square one and build a base through aiding Andean children – or be creative and send us your ideas.

laura-usa_pig.jpg
It is limiting to think about the USA or national politics. It is better to not believe that the USA exists anymore. The USA is an empire of corporate, trade and, military alliances. This is what we fight and what should be addressed. We are engaged in a world war – what Chavez and many anti-globalization / Zapatista activists call the Fourth World War – 4WW. Six hundred million capitalists against the rest of the world's 6000 million – 6 billion.

– Marta Miranda, United-Students


Relevance & Economic Terrorism: Fiascos of Free Trade and Activism

By United-Students (Arizona Affiliate)

United-students [at] lycos.com


What in the world are activists trying to do?

Why do they fight trade agreements that they cannot stop, that are already done deals, and that distract activists from what they should be doing??? Like trying to explain their goals, strategies and tactics... oh and some kind of time frame.


Most people that I talk to and explain what is going on get the feeling that either these USA activists work for the CIA/FBI or else they just like to feel good, pretend to be cool or feel compelled to do something – even if it is negative!

Please read the workshop outline produced by Ecosolidarity Andes, if you want to know what is going on in South America and why fighting trade is so meaningless – What’s the goal ?

Our contribution appears as the final part of the workshop: Relevance – Activism: WHO; WHAT; WHERE HOW??? Alternatives...


The USA & Economic Terrorism: TLC/AFTA/WTO,

by Jason Martin (Below is a synopsis of Workshop)


1. What is Wrong with AFTA: US Military Policies; Support to Corrupt elites of left and the right; Ecology; War Crimes; Transparency Buzzwords; Ignores the Alternatives.
2. INTRODUCTIONS: The Andes: Colombia: Narco-Terror Uribe Update.
3. The Real Latin American Left and its Views on the Andean Region
4. Perspective of James Petras: Do they or don't they pay the foreign debt to US and European banks; do they or don't they respect the privatization of strategic industries; do they or don't they promote new privatizations; do they or don't they keep their markets open to overseas exporters; do they support the dollar against the euro by holding their reserves in dollars; do they or don't they pass regressive labor, pension and minimum wage legislation; do they sign and abide by IMF agreements and impose austerity programs and regressive tax laws? ( Petras needs to add GMO bans – Why let Monsanto or Dow or any non-local company control your seed or farm production? ). Chavez banned GMOs – Lula legalized them.
5. The "new clients" extremist pro-imperial behavior: Ex-Leftists sell-out the revolution in: BRAZIL, ECUADOR, COLOMBIA, PERU, ARGENTINA...
6. Venezuela views on trade: Revolutionary Proposals and Working Coalitions: Chavez Leads the Hemisphere: ALBA y Circulos Bolivarianos.
7. Venezuela’s Triumph in Mercosur
9. Relevance – Activism: WHO; WHAT; WHERE HOW??? Alternatives...


“For this we joined Mercosur, in order to liberate us of the North,”
proclaimed Hugo Chavez, Presidente de Venezuela.


--- USA people grow fat off the mass murder terrorristic policies of their government. 90 % of US people and all of the political parties are pro-AFTA , free trade and WTO. Its about time that the world recognizes that the USA is dangerous, W Bush is the real terrorist, and the greed-based denial of most USA people guarantees the continued denial that these free trade programs and USA foreign policies are just like the war in IRAQ – a terrorism of mindless evil...

--- We can only hope that Latin Americans are not deluded. We hope that it is not too late for them to grasp that help will never come from anyone in the USA. We hope that they can work among themselves and their own strengths to overcome the Empire and to build sustainable and peaceful lives.

– United-Students International Studies.

See: http://www.andeancircle.blogharbor.com &

>>> http://www.rebelion.org


Free Trade for Poor Andean Countries?
Or Trade as War

What is Wrong with AFTA:

I. US AIMS:
Military bases, expanded exports, more dependence on US corporate investment and IMF/World Bank.

Oil – Pollution – Growth without profits – Disruption – Aid to US allies in business class – And to support right wing (or co-opted quasi-left populist) and free trader political parties.

II. US Military Bases – Drug War Propaganda
The USA is made up of old and spoiled people (they are the ones who vote the most too). The past abuses of the US should make it a poor partner for a new path – cooperation ?? US support to the elite and the corrupt militaries should doom any efforts they pursue, but will they?.

III. Ecology – The US model (AFTA/WTO) maximizes growth or incomes – but the US siphons off some of the growth through profits (repatriated) and through a focus on cheap and poor quality products (consumer goods). The Economist of November 18th cites two studies of free trade. In the WTO globalized model, the wealthy countries capture about two thirds of the profits (growth). The poor countries get the rest. In the bilaterral or AFTA type free trade regime the USA (or the wealthy) get all of the benefits (money).

IV. US motives – Number 1: to get the oil, coal and mineral resources. Number 2: to sell more US products to a growing materialistic middle class. Number 3: To Control the region and prepare military bases and alliances to attack Venezuela and rebels everywhere. But the Latin American people end up with not much more growth than they would have if they had gone their own – less efficient path. And a slower – local oriented path – could result in less pollution.

V. War Crimes and Negotiating Trade in a WAR ZONE :
If Kirchner, Lula, Gutierrez, Uribe, Toledo, Losa and Mesa were not the puppets of the US then they would pass resolutions in the OAS and the UN to condemn US support to Colombian paramilitary-Armed Forces collusion in massive war crimes. 100,000 civilians dead, 5000 disappeared and millions have fled the country or been displaced – 30,000 murders per year. How can other countries tolerate the existence of the Colombian government? How can anyone permit their representatives to stand on their soil – let alone discuss trade deals with them?

VI. Transparency – open government – the people must be exposed to and involved in policy. To have a democracy the people must have a system of participation or an understanding of the effects of economic policies. NGOs and Free Trade negotiators both allow little transparency while admitting its importance. Yet, from the left the definition of transparency used by these groups is consider inadequate and illegitimate. The participatory democracy promoted by Hugo Chavez is the only example of a top down empowerment. Is there a method for a bottom up (grassroots) empowerment?

VII. Intellectual property – to follow the USA OR TO REJECT IT (and everything about the USA) OUTRIGHT. The US wants to extend copywrite and patent protection laws that would raise the costs of medicines – and may items.

VIII. Venezuela views – AFTA is very important to Venezuela as it tries to form an alternative (ALBA) to the FTAA and AFTA. Chavez supports an expanded Mercosur Trade Block of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico and ??? (Europe, Trinidad, Grenada??). The expansion of Mercosur could lead to a snowball or dominoe effect as additional countries join because it is a winner – has power. Bolivarians (in Venezuela, Bolivia, the USA... Chiapas) see the dire need to expand the revolution everywhere -- for their own security and for the benefit of all poor and uneducated/trapped people.


Latin American motives:

Che, Marti, Bolivar y Ahora Mas:

To find their own way, to build their own things for local and regional use (preserving their identity and cultural values) – To use the regions oil for their own needs, to build a solidarity society of cooperation and regionalism; to go beyond nationalism.


------ The USA & Economic of Terrorism:

AFTA-TLC - Unmasking Barriers: Ecosolidarity Andes:

Applying the Perspective of James Petras to the World of Activism. -- The left in the USA and the global CARNIVAL of Resistance groupings (ATTAC, ZAPATISTAS, etc.) are more of the same sell-out, role-playing and misleading activism that does not really challenge the US at all. Does the Colombian Democratic Pole fall under this rubric - or is it likely to be co-opted by careerist?


INTRODUCTIONS: The Andes


Mountain regions are often poor areas involved in border or ethnic/indigenous conflicts. Popular movements in the three AFTA countries (Peru, Ecuador and Colombia) and in Bolivia are insurgent - rising up and demanding participatory democracy and a trade economy that benefits all of the people and the nation, environment, sustainability and independence from US dependency/hegemony. To ratify Free Trade Agreements (TLC) in the politically unstable world of the Andes is just wrong and obvious coercion by the USA and the regions elite (oligarchies).

(See Breakdown in the Andes -- Michael Shifter, Foreign Affairs Journal, Sept./Oct.2004)


The US is militarizing the Colombian borders with Venezuela and Ecuador. US military bases are expanding! The failed drug war goes on and on. This tragedy is like a poorly thought out experiment - burn, attack and spray chemical fumigants over millions of acres of Colombia – pollute the headwaters of the Amazon, Magdalena and Orinoco rivers and spend enough money to eliminate poverty in the Andes region – for what? The price of cocaine remains the same in the USA and prisons and hospitals fill up from the carnage of the war and of the drug abuse worldwide.


US policies are a great disaster and so they seek to penetrate the economies of each region and offer them big investments and trade deals if they go along with the US plan -

One cannot separate US trade policy from its foreign or military strategy. AFTA is designed to prop up the right wing political parties or the business community - to cushion them from the impacts of the drug war, the vagaries of economic globalization and the anger of a people betrayed.


The Real Latin American Left and its Views on the Andean Region


The US has launched no less than nine free trade campaigns against the poor of Latin America : NAFTA, CAFTA, AFTA, ALCA (FTAA) , WTO, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. The idea is that the USA cannot lose most of these initiatives and even compromises on all of them would equal a great victory for the US and its giant corporate apparatus. These free trade agreements enable the US to sell more to this region - the only region where the US has a positive trade balance. But more importantly free trade regimes help these regions (or more precisely the US) to prop up the business communities in the region -- to buffer them from the loss of markets that result from free trade (increased US market penetration – especially in corn, wheat, soy, sweeteners, agricultural supplies and processing). This "aid" is accomplished through Direct Foreign Investment by corporations (USA). These investments (takeover and privatization of Latin American industries and companies) and the construction and banking activity associated with new investments keeps employment and economic growth from shrinking. And this investment mechanism keeps neo-liberalism and trade with the USA from being perceived as wholly negative - which it is in the long run.


The Neoliberal Problem: The Overview

In the face of growing opposition to the agreement and to neoliberalism in general all throughout South America, the United States is desperate to impose a free trade area in whatever form possible. This makes Colombia--with its geographic location as the door to South America, its vast natural resources and the complicity of its President Alvaro Uribe Velez as Washington's junior partner--the perfect target.

For decades U.S. corporations have reaped huge profits from the cheap labor of Colombian workers. Occidental Petroleum, the main U.S. oil corporation active in Colombia, Coca-Cola, Dole, Drummond, Exxon Mobil and Monsanto are some of the best known corporations. But there are also less well known military contractors like DynCorp and Military Professional Resources. Even W Bush's old energy company Harken Enterprises is active and seeking Colombian profits.

US policies are a great disaster and so they seek to penetrate the economies of each region and offer them big investments and trade deals if they go along with the US plan -

One cannot separate US trade policy from its foreign or military strategy. AFTA is designed to prop up the right wing political parties or the business community - to cushion them from the impacts of the drug war, the vagaries of economic globalization and the anger of a people betrayed.


For an Alternative Economic Program Based on the Chavez Model see:
http://solidarityeconomics.blogspot.com/



Conclusions on Trade and Activism:

Relevance – Activism: WHO; WHAT; WHERE HOW??? Alternatives...

By Marta Miranda, United-Students


The USA movements for change, for Fair Trade or against hyper corporate capitalism (War, Sustainability...) have to come together soon to oppose the USA Empire. In order to understand why this needs to happen – and how it can be accomplished -- one must better understand the world.


It is limiting to think about the USA or national politics. It is better to not believe that the USA exists anymore. The USA is an empire of corporate, trade and, military alliances. This is what we fight and what should be addressed. We are engaged in a world war – what Chavez and many anti-globalization / Zapatista activists call the Fourth World War – 4WW. Six hundred million capitalists against the rest of the world's 6000 million – 6 billion.


Cheer up, it is our great fortune that what we face is a global war – a war without borders, fronts or rears ... a war of everything against everything. Because such a battle is possible to mobilize within and to win. Whereas, politics and activism are completely dead in the USA – and this is a permanent condition – a truth...


We can discuss this at another time – ad nauseum if you insist – but we feel that it is a waste of time to examine in detail just how big the victories of W. Bush have been – or will be. – The USA has been moving to the right for almost 30 years -- surely since Reagan's victory in 1980 politics has been dead in the USA – and all education has failed since then.


(For a good look at how fascist John Kerry was see: http://americas.org/item_15926)

(Or for a look at the psychosis know as the USA consider: TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- On that long-ago day of Alabama's great shame, Gov. George C. Wallace (D) stood in a schoolhouse door and declared that his state's constitution forbade black students to enroll at the University of Alabama.
He was correct...
If Wallace could be brought back to life today to reprise his 1963 moment of infamy outside Foster Auditorium, he would still be correct. Alabama voters made sure of that Nov. 2, refusing to approve a constitutional amendment to erase segregation-era wording requiring separate schools for "white and colored children" and to eliminate references to the poll taxes once imposed to disenfranchise blacks.” http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1802&e=1&u=/washpost/20041128/ts_washpost/a16443_2004nov27)


OUR THESIS: A NEW COALITION - A NEW ACTIVISM

Our thesis is that only through extending our conceptions of politics – which is another word for Power – extending it beyond the imaginary borders of nations can we create a better world.


There is nothing political that any USA people can do. To work with a political party or vote in anything that the Democrats believe in is not positive. Go back to square one and build a base through aiding Andean children – or be creative and send us your ideas.


Nowhere could this perspective be more true than in the realm of free trade talks. The only USA politician in modern history to be consistently anti- NAFTA or trade was H. Ross Perot.


Goals:
What is the Goal of activists at the ACTA or in opposing USA free trade agreements?
1.) Education – US people, radicals – How?;

2.)Stop AFTA FTAA – WTO – How?

3.) Support people in the South (false psychology?)


What strategy will they use? Now and later...


We maintain that if any of these groups are honest, then they will quickly admit that they have to admit that they have no meaningful goals and that their strategies of education or mobilization cannot overcome the strong right wing drift of US political culture. To apply outdated techniques of organizing or resisting against such a force is to make yourself and your power meaningless and impotent.

FACT:
There is nothing people in the USA can do to stop USA imperialism from within the USA. – unless you are considering armed struggle, relocating all of the activists to Oregon and Vermont or being able to mobilize millions of protesters who want to be beaten and imprisoned.


Or so our/your logic and frankness would suggest. But we have a new idea – a thesis – that could re-invigorate and make powerful the movement for change in North America.

We posit that everyone should cease working politically at any level in the USA – that they should refrain from all currently known forms of activism in the USA ( ecological, social or cultural) and instead pout all of their energy, skills and finances into groups in South America – specifically groups in the Andes and in Venezuela.

Yes,
the only activity of any real value to changing the world
– to defeating capitalism and militarism –

is to form a fundraising group
§USA SUpplies Torutre & Death
by M. Miranda (united-students [at] lycos.com) Sunday Nov 28th, 2004 9:25 PM
a9b553colantiterrorismo3np.jpg
Trade is Murder is Capitalism is always bad (though sometimes necessary) Trade is war by other means - death on the silent path - trade is what keeps the USA so fat fat fat
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