Economic Terrorism

By Ben G. Price

In the Middle East, a secretive group lead by wealthy fanatics is meeting to plan attacks against targets around the globe. Diabolical and sinister, these terrorists are plotting to poison the drinking water and kill off aquatic life; they are scheming to pump high concentrations of nerve toxins and carcinogens into urban skies; and they are conspiring to destroy natural food supplies so they can force people to eat mutant foods for which THEY will be the sole supplier.

Protected by thugs who are armed to the teeth, this terrorist band has its eye on destroying local infrastructures in country after country. The industrialized economies of the world will see a steady decline in workersí wages and living standards. In developing nations, public health care and education will be virtually obliterated while funds for social programs globally are siphoned off to finance ever-more sophisticated economic violence against civilian populations across the planet.

The name of this terrorist network is The World Trade Organization (WTO), and its affiliated fanatical cells including The World Bank, NAFTA, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the new cell amassing its resources from Nome Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, the so-called Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Today in Doha, Qtar, the World Trade Organization convenes once again. They will plot---behind closed doors---the further decimation of civil society into a privatized marketplace where human needs and rights are bought and sold.

Undemocratically self-chosen players in the monopoly game of corporate globalization have fled the company of fellow world citizens to hide away in the desert. They do NOT believe in and they will NOT support the old fashioned human concepts of community.

Terrorism is defined as the use of violence or threats of harm against civilians to achieve political ends. If weíre really going to wage an effective war on terrorism, I think weíve got to be clear about identifying the terrorists first. To paraphrase Forest Gump, "Terrorist is as terrorist does!"† Organizations that harm civilians to gain power are Terrorist in nature and must be treated as such.

On the bright side, George W. Bush says we are at war with such organizations and with any country that hosts or protects them.† Even if Fox News wonít cover it, Al Jazeera, the independent media outlet based in Qtar, will be in good position to report on the carpet-bombing of the WTO ministerial. I am sure you will all be huddling around radios and TVs to hear the reports over the next six days.

The brand of terrorism waged by the WTO and its affiliates is particularly violent, casting a wide swath of devastation with financial cluster bombs that uproot the effectiveness of domestic legislatures. It imposes "structural adjustments" that impoverish whole communities at the nod of quisling national leaders who cut deals with the godfathers of globalization.† And if† "Fast Track Trade Negotiating Authority" is enacted by the U.S. Congress things are likely to get even worse.

Fast Track would hand over Congressís constitutional power to negotiate foreign trade agreements to George W. Bush, who came to power on the shoulders of corporate globalizers and their bench-sitting friends. The WTO and George W. Bush look to Congress to sign over the right of the American people to be represented at the table when the devil we know meets the devils we donít know to sell the soul of democracy out from under us.

In the wake of the horror of September 11th, many voices of dissent have been silenced, even here in America, where democracy consists of the interplay of conflicting ideas. From the White House we hear that in the war on terrorism, "if you are not with us, you are against us." And we are haunted by Ari Fleischerís chilling remark that when it comes to criticizing the administrationís military policy,† "Americanís need to watch what they say."

If you look around, the evidence that people have been terrorized by such warnings is abundant. Diminished is the size of the crowds of people who oppose the WTO and its agenda for consolidating power in the hands of the un-elected, the unresponsive, and the unaccountable. The crowds are smaller, yet the outrage is not.

We need to re-assert our unshaken commitment to democracy and justice.† We must denounce the privatization of democracy and human dignity at the hands of the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank.

The time has come for Fair Trade, not the monopolistic free-for-all of so-called "Free Trade." The time has come for human globalization, not corporate globalization. The time is NOW for international justice and trade policies tempered by responsibility to the human community. We canít WTO any longer!

Itís time for People Over Profit !!!

Ben Price is President of the Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network (PCAN) (