Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Obama at APEC

Obama at APEC

by Stephen Lendman

China and Russia offer carrots, not sticks. Obama is polar opposite. Couched in duplicitous diplomatic rhetoric.

"It is wonderful to be back in China," he said. His sixth trip as president. Second this year. 

Shamelessly calling America "a thoroughly Pacific nation." Code language for wanting it to be its backyard. Dominion in a part of the world not its own.

Instituting, maintaining and force-feeding what James Petras calls a "Golden Age of Pillage."

On the one hand, wanting China marginalized, weakened, isolated, and contained. Surrounded by US bases. Targeting its heartland. 

On the other, pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A secretive trade deal from hell. 

A stealth corporate coup d'etat power grab. Giveaway to banksters. Neoliberal ripoff. Freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

What the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls "a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement."

What Public Citizen calls "a massive, controversial…secretive deal. Assuring:

  • predatory capitalism more than ever;

  • public interest be damned;

  • millions of lost US jobs;

  • offshored to low-wage countries;

  • banning "buy America;"

  • lost Internet freedoms;

  • other free expression rights;

  • a back door to SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and CISPA provisions;

  • trampling on fundamental freedoms and national sovereignty;

  • banksters and other corporate crooks freed from oversight;

  • higher drug prices;

  • unsafe food and other products;

  • lost health safeguards; and

  • ecocide.

So-called "free trade" is egregious unfair. TPP is largely about other issues. Only five of its 29 draft chapters deal with traditional trade.

One chapter provides incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Others restrict government oversight. 

Ones needed to assure safe food, drugs and other products. Public health standards. Environmental sanity.

TPP overrides these and other vital issues. Requiring nations to comply with its rules. Hugely destructive ones. Anti-populist.

Making corporations more powerful than countries. Empowering them to rule the world. Any damn way they please.

Enabling them to sue nations. In tribunals they control. A parallel legal system. Called Investor-State Dispute Resolution. 

Run by private sector lawyers. Serving as judges and juries. Force-feeding corporate interests on nations.

Rights they demand. At odds with responsible public policies.

Requiring taxpayers to compensate for lost "expected future profits." Grand theft by any standard.

What's known about TPP comes through leaks. Draft texts remain secret. Even from Congress. Given minimal assess.

Hundreds of so-called corporate "trade advisors" have it freely. Influencing policy. Writing rules benefitting business. At the expense of people. Fairness. The environment. Sanity.

TPP has been negotiated for six years. Obama wants it signed this year. Fast-tracked to prohibit Congress from making changes.

Opposition is growing at home and abroad. Lori Wallach heads Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. On November 10, she issued a statement, saying in part:

"Despite the intense secrecy of the negotiations, parliamentarians and citizens in many TPP nations have woken up to the fact that deal now on offer would be damaging to most people even if the large corporations pushing the deal might improve their profit margins."

"…(N)on-trade provisions would promote lower wages, higher medicine prices, more unsafe imported food, and new rights for foreign investors to demand payments from national treasuries over domestic laws they believe undermine the new TPP privileges they would gain."

Congress won't permit fast-tracking even with Republicans in charge. Asia-Pacific countries and others are negotiating TPP. 

Including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

TPP is NAFTA on steroids. A corporate Trojan horse. Obama supports its freedom destroying provisions. Overriding US laws. Requiring their being rewritten.

To comply with corporate diktats. Otherwise trade sanctions on US exports can be imposed.

Wall Street loves TPP. Prohibiting banning risky financial products. Letting banksters operate any way they want without oversight.

According to Wallack, TPP "represents a huge assault on the principles and practice of democratic governance." 

"(E)specially from an administration (touting) open government." Saying one thing. Doing another.

TPP is "a stealthy delivery mechanism for policies (unable) to survive public scrutiny," says Wallach. Its provisions include corporate wet dreams.

"(G)randiose new rights and privileges…Permanent constraints on government regulation."

Including "new investor safeguards to ease job offshoring and assert control over natural resources, and severely limit the regulation of financial services, land use, food safety, natural resources, energy, tobacco, healthcare and more."

If TPP "comes to fruition, its retrograde rules could be altered only if all countries agreed, regardless of domestic election outcomes or changes in public opinion."

Media scoundrels largely ignore what's going on. Minimal coverage turns truth on its head. Calling TPP a free-trade job creation deal. Expanding US exports.

Washington already has bilateral or multilateral trade deals with most TPP countries. Putting a Big Lie to claims about free trade.

It bears repeating. It aims for greater than ever corporate empowerment. Mindless of popular interests. Or national laws. Putting profits ahead of people.

Institutionalizing the worst of all possible worlds. Corporate run for bottom line interests. Nightmarish and then some.

Obama calls TPP "an historic agreement." Excluding China and Russia. In Beijing, a joint 12-nation Big Lie said:

"We remain committed to ensuring that the final agreement reflects our common vision of an ambitious, comprehensive, high-standard, and balanced agreement that enhances the competitiveness of our economies, promotes innovation and entrepreneurship, spurs economic growth and prosperity, and supports job creation in our countries."

A centerpiece of Obama's Asia economic strategy. In "the fastest-growing, most populous, most dynamic region in the world economically," he said.

Touting America's economy. A litany of Big Lies concealing reality. Neoliberal harshness. Force-fed austerity. 

Social injustice writ large. Institutionalized inequality. Monied interests alone served.

Race to the bottom priorities. Unprecedented poverty, unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair in modern times.

Over half today's households struggling to survive. Things going from bad to worse. Bipartisan complicity against popular interests.

Growing millions wanting jobs can't find them. Official economic data "are pulled out of a magician's hat and massaged to produce numbers contradicted by reality," says Paul Craig Roberts.

Big Lies conceal it. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions persist. Dystopian by any standard.

Managed news misinformation worse than Orwell's Big Brother. Jobs reported don't exist. 

GDP growth when median household incomes and consumer credit are declining. Reality turned on its head.

Big Lies conceal hard truths. Mega-banks run things. So do other corporate monopolies and oligopolies. People have no say.

Obama touts "American leadership around the world. (E)ntirely committed when it comes to Asia."

"America is Pacific power," he said. Touting "shared security and economic growth…" Wanting US control over a part of the world not its own.

Intending it by any means possible. Rule of law principles be damned. Or popular interests. 

Or national sovereignty rights. Might is right alone matters. Enforcing Washington rules.

Ludicrously demanding China "create a more level playing field…(Promoting) the welfare of consumers. (S)tanding up for human rights and freedom of the press."

Policies Washington deplores. Rejecting them out-of-hand. A police state by any standard. 

Governed by corrupted officials. Bipartisan criminals. Not a profile in courage among them.

In bed with monied interests. Wall Street. Other corporate crooks. Exploiting people worldwide. At home and abroad.

Rampaging out-of-control. Waging war on humanity. Gangsterism writ large. Killing machine madness. 

Bloodlust defines it. Dominance matters most. Stomping on people ruthlessly. 

Crushing the will to resist. Eliminating nonbelievers. Repression enforces policy. The American way.

Deploring peace and stability. Using national resources for militarism, belligerence, and enriching super-wealthy elites more than ever. 

Licensing corporate theft, exploitation and plunder. At the expense of ordinary people everywhere.

Planet earth a battleground. Tyranny replacing democracy. 

Monied interests running things. Hell hath no fury matching their ruthlessness. Menacing humanity's survival.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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