Plane crazy

One thing you hear American politicians and businessmen talking about is “free trade”. What they actually mean is “free trade – as long as it doesn’t compete with us.” To make sure that this principle is applied, they’ve taken over organizations such as the World Trade Organization to get their way. Oh, and they might occasionally blow-up your country – with or without the UN.

A perfect illustration of this is The World Trade Organization (WTO) decision to rule that the European Union has broken the law by subsidizing Airbus to develop the next generation of airliners. But it’s perfectly OK for Boeing to receive subsidies from the American Government.

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9 thoughts on “Plane crazy

  1. You’re absolutely right about so-called ‘free trade’ being in the interests of the USA. The deal they did with Mexico a few years ago is a good example of one-sided benefits.

  2. Yes NAFTA was very much in the spirit of the kind of protectionist racket that Boeing are trying to pull. “Free Trade” is actually a very Orwellian term for such agreements. “Investors Rights Agreements” is what they actually are since it’s investors that NAFTA benefited. It certainly wasn’t the workers of either Mexico or the USA.

    The interesting thing is Clinton was the President who helped push NAFTA through and who has Obama filled his cabinet with? Veterans of that very same administration.

    That’s change you can’t believe in.

  3. Exactly. Investors earn the big bucks while the workers get done over. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    Obama was bound to disappoint to some degree and it started pretty quickly with those he picked to work with, since there was obviously a lot of paying back for favours and financing.

    His administration is frustrating also because they look like they are going to make progress, for example in the middle east but do nothing to halt the growth of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories except using hollow words to express their “regret.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-by-the-Press-Secretary-on-Israeli-Settlements/

    No change that everybody believes in?

  4. I’m not sure where the progress is in the Middle East. While he’s finally had no choice but to draw up a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq, he’s sending more troops to Afghanistan which even the commander of NATO and US forces Stanley McChrystal says is a losing battle:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0831/p99s01-duts.html

    And as regards Israel as you say, it sounds like same old story.

  5. “he’s sending more troops to Afghanistan which even the commander of NATO and US forces Stanley McChrystal says is a losing battle”

    The Afghans I know do not want foreign troops in their country but they do say that to withdraw now would be catastrophic..catch 22!!

  6. Good point. I haven’t spent any time in Afghanistan or know enough exiled Afghanis to comment but I would say one thing. The catastrophic conclusion you make is based on the assumption that the it’s either the US-NATO alliance in Afghanistan or nothing. There are other options in the same way that there were other options to salvage the US economy during the bailouts. The reason that we’re not aware of the alternatives is because they’re not presented or reported as options by the mainstream media. By narrowing the spectrum of debate to one of two possibilities i.e. “US-NATO troops or no troops” – they’ve effectively controlled thinking on the issue.

    I would guess one immediate option, to at least try and bring some stability, is UN peacekeeping troops although this solution obviously hasn’t always worked very well in other parts of the world. Considering the extent to which the US controls the UN, I concede that it’s even more dubious whether it would be effective. However, it is an option and not one that I see mentioned very often (although I do believe there is something called a “UN Assistance Mission” currently operating in Afghanistan).

    To go one step further and eliminate the Taliban – which is what the troops currently there are supposedly for – would take something else entirely. I have absolutely no idea what the best way forward would be here but Noam Chomsky makes a few salient points in this interview:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/4/3/noam

    NOAM CHOMSKY: When President Obama was elected, Afghan President Karzai sent him a message, which, as far as I know, was unanswered, in which he pleaded with President Obama to stop killing Afghans. He also addressed a UN delegation and told them he wanted a timetable for the removal of foreign forces. Well, his popularity quickly plummeted. He used to be very much praised for his nice clothes and great demeanor and very much admired by the media and commentators. Now he’s sunk very low. He’s suddenly corrupt and so on.

    AMY GOODMAN: You mean in the Western world, the Western press?

    NOAM CHOMSKY: In the Western world, primarily in the United States, but in the West altogether. And it directly followed these expressions of opinion, which are very likely those of maybe a majority of Afghans, maybe even more.

    In fact, he went even further. He said that he would invite Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, to Afghanistan to try to work out a solution. And he added, “The United States isn’t going to like this, but they have two choices: they can either accept it, or they can throw me out,” you know. In fact, that’s what they’re doing. There are now plans to replace President Karzai, to sort of push him upstairs and leave him in a—it’s assumed that he’ll win the next election, so put him in a symbolic position and impose, basically, a US-appointed surrogate who will essentially run the country, because that can’t be tolerated.

    These words could be particularly prophetic today when I notice the BBC are reporting on their front page that the UN have helped forced a recount of votes in the Afghan election amidst allegations of fraud:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8243276.stm

    As Chomsky predicted back in April, it seems the West want rid of Mr Karzai because he wants to reign in US forces and a withdrawal/alternative solution.

  7. I think the UN would not go near Afghanistan..far too much to lose and nothing to gain. There would not be agreement to enter as a UN peace keeping force. Obviously huge investment would help. But to be fair to DFID they are putting a fair amount of money into development which is essential to create any sort of credible governance. I would say that moderate Taliban leaders are at the table right now. Afghanistan is a hugely complex country and falsley created. I agree other options are not mentioned often but I would say the UK would enjoy a handover to a UN peacekeeping force..these wars are not good for votes!

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