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Re: USA - An analysis - Where is the Bush administration taking



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9/27/01 1:45:39 AM, SATHYAKUMAR <saiweb@md2.vsnl.net.in> wrote:

>....................Look at the disunited leadership of India,
>who for a small gain give up National Interests. It is better to err
>like
>Uncle Sam then Err like an IFS led and wage packet driven 11 to 4PM
>Govt of India. Look at Musharaf and Sonia rushing to China to Curry
>and secure their future ! When the house is on fire, and the owner runs

>to the barn, to feret the ground in Peking, it means where one's
>treasure
>is hidden. !  I am convinced that God alone saves India, certainly
>not the greedy Politico-Bureacrat-Criminal Gangs elected into a chair!
>
>

In case SATHYAKUMAR thinks that political opportunism and
and serving of narrow interests of power at the expense of broader
'national interests' is an exclusively Indian affliction, the following
piece may provide some perspective.

-charu


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The Wartime Opportunists
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Make way for the wartime opportunists.
Corporate interests and their proxies are looking to exploit the
September 11 tragedy to advance a self-serving agenda that has nothing
to do with national security and everything to do with corporate profits

and dangerous ideologies.

Fast track and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. A corporate tax cut.

Oil drilling in Alaska. Star Wars. These are some of the preposterous
"solutions" and responses to the terror attack offered by corporate
mouthpieces.

No one has been more shameless in linking their agenda to the terror
attack than U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Writing in the
Washington Post last week, Zoellick proclaimed that granting fast-track
trade negotiating authority to the president -- to assist with the
ramming through Congress of a Free Trade Area of the Americas, designed
to expand NAFTA to all of the Americas, among other nefarious ends --
was the best way to respond to the September 11 tragedy.

"Earlier enemies learned that America is the arsenal of democracy,"
Zoellick wrote, "Today's enemies will learn that America is the economic

engine for freedom, opportunity and development. To that end, U.S.
leadership in promoting the international economic and trading system is

vital. Trade is about more than economic efficiency. It promotes the
values at the heart of this protracted struggle."

No explanation from Zoellick about how adopting a procedural rule
designed to limit Congressional debate on controversial trade agreements

advances the democratic and rule-of-law values he says the United States

must now project.

The administration has identified fast track as one of the handful of
legislative priorities it hopes to see Congress enact this year.
Getting fast track passed isn't big business's only priority for the
shrinking legislative calendar. The Fortune 500 has been whimpering
since George Bush was elected president and top administration officials

told the business community to silence their demand for corporate tax
cuts until after passage of the inequality-increasing personal income
tax cut.

Even before the September 11 attack, business interests and the anti-tax

ideologues were increasingly making noise that corporate tax cuts were
the solution to the coming recession.

Now they are beginning to argue that capital gains tax cuts and
corporate tax breaks are America's patriotic duty.

In releasing a study purporting to explain how a capital gains cut would

spur economic growth, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) touted a
capital gains tax cut -- a tax break that exclusively benefits the
wealthy -- as an anti-terrorism initiative. "By reducing the rate at
which capital gains are taxed, President Bush and Congress could help
revitalize the sagging economy and bring new revenues to Washington --
decidedly aiding our war against terrorism," said NTU director of
congressional relations Eric Schlecht.

Not wishing to be outdone, Senator Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, didn't
wait long to explain how the terror attack makes it imperative to open
up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). "There is no doubt that
at this time of national emergency, an expedited energy-security bill
must be considered," the Alaska senator announced last week. "Opening
ANWR will be a central element in finally reducing this country's
dangerous overdependence on unstable foreign sources of energy," he
said.
[note: OPEC is meeting today to discuss sagging crude prices. -charu]

Neither Murkowski nor the oil companies pushing for opening ANWR have
ever been able to offer a coherent explanation of how using up U.S. oil
reserves heightens energy security. Security rests in maintaining the
reserves. Real energy security and independence can only come from
renewables (particularly solar and wind) -- where the supply is
plentiful and infinitely renewing. Only a failure of public and private
investment leaves the country (and the world) unable to harvest
renewable energy efficiently.

And, of course, the purveyors of Star Wars couldn't let the opportunity
pass them by. The Center for Security Policy --the center of a web of
defense industry-backed think tanks and organizations pushing for a
National Missile Defense program -- urged President Bush in advance of
his address to Congress to announce that "this Administration will use
every tool at its disposal to ensure that the resources and latitude
needed to develop and deploy missile defenses are made available."
A missile defense system -- even if it overcame the technical obstacles
which have so far proved insurmountable, after billions spent -- would
have done nothing to stop the September 11 attack. Nor would it do
anything to stop any other conceivable terrorist attack on the United
States, none of which involve might missile delivery systems.
Opportunism and cynical manipulation of tragedy are nothing new in
Washington. But the proposals to exploit the September 11 tragedy for
narrow corporate aims mark a new low.

The United States is emerging from a national mourning period. Now is
the time to proceed with caution and care, as the nation seeks to
address legitimate security concerns (e.g., airport security) and tend
to victims of the attack. It is no time to rush through proposals on
matters essentially unrelated to the attack, especially damaging and
foolhardy proposals that have been unable to win popular or
Congressional support when the public has had a chance to consider them
dispassionately, and on the merits.


Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime

Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Multinational Monitor. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The
Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common
Courage Press, 1999).
(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

The above piece first appeared on znet:  http://www.zmag.org/




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