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Feature Story August 23, 2002
WTO Stands For Worship The Oligarchy
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
Kyrgyzstan and Moldova are today ranked by the World Bank as among the countries with the worst wealth inequities in the world. Belarus, on the other hand, ranks along with Slovenia as among Eastern Europe's best.

Even Estonia had a higher growth rate before joining the WTO than after. Is there a cause and effect? Who knows. But the fact is this: if WTO accession is the biggest carrot that the Bush Administration can offer Putin in return for his initial unqualified support for the War on Terror and acquiescence on a series of US humiliations from the unilateral withdrawal from the ABM treaty to the introduction of troops in Georgia and the expansion of NATO, then Putin has been offered an exploding carrot straight from the Acme Corp of Looney Toons.

The fact that Putin has started shifting his policy away from total accommodation with the United States -- signing a $$40 billion economic agreement with Iraq, continuing to develop a multi-billion dollar nuclear power deal with Iran, and this week accepting North Korean madman Kim Il Jong into the Far East, thus completing Putin's return to his courtship of the "Axis of Evil " --shows that Putin has finally caught on that he got the shaft from the Americans, just as Gorbachev and Yeltsin did.


The more you study this question, the less you're able to swallow the literature of bullshit out there. What is WTO Quite clearly it's a cover for transnational companies to open up new markets in underdeveloped countries hiding under the guise of once-fashionable late-20th century economics dogma. Multinationals are a lot like vampires: they know that they can destroy any developing nation's industry, if only they can get invited in the house. The question is how to convince the local population that it's in their interests. Bribing the dictators or the parliaments to pass laws isn't enough -you need a dogma to make people BELIEVE that when they lose their jobs, it's for their own good, or at least, it's no one's fault but the natural laws of history. That, it seems, is what the World Trade Organization's job is. And in the 90s, before the statistics started to roll in, it did a pretty good job of propping up the earnings growth of the transnationals that it serves.

If you don't believe that this is what the WTO is about, if you think my description is just left-wing pablum, then open up their web site. Seriously. It's one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. Take for example the page for "The Ten Misunderstandings " about the WTO. Using kindergarten semi-stick figure illustrations [shown throughout this piece ] with colorings that intentionally cross lines to give it a naive, child-like, harmless appearance, the first page introducing the Ten Misunderstandings depicts a crowd of stick figures holding rakes and hoes and torches [see bottom right ]. In other words, in the WTO's mind, people who don't under stand or who criticize the WTO are nothing but crazed peasants intent on burning the manor down -- and yet, out of the goodness of their hearts, the WTO are going to teach those poor thick-headed savages why they're wrong.

When a giant evil corporate organization responds to mass global protests with cartoons, you know they're up to something. I've seen this before -- those Shell Oil commercials with the sweet dinosaur that turns into a gas station or the BP logo that turned into a green, eco-friendly icon.

Another way you can tell right off that even the WTO folks know they're lying is that they use the old "if you don't believe in us, you're going to burn in Hell " scare tactic employed so successfully by the Christians and Muslims. That is, time and again the WTO justifies itself to its critics by claiming that it was protectionism in the 1930s that led to World War 2 -- the 20th century's equivalent of Hell -- and therefore, the WTO is doing God's work, not the corporations', to prevent World War Three by forcing countries to allow Bechtel to buy their water and dole it out in drops to its population.

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