The Hightower Report

Who decided that the WTO rules the U.S.?; who decided that the U.S. rules Iraq?

Cutting the Cords of Global Corporate Rule

Excuse me, but who the hell elected the WTO to write the laws of We the People of the United States of America?

At the end of August, the autocratic World Trade Organization issued an imperial decree from its palace in Geneva that strikes down another U.S. law. The law in question provides a multibillion-dollar annual tax subsidy for a handful of major U.S. corporations, with Boeing, GE, Motorola, Honeywell, Caterpillar, and Cisco being the big beneficiaries.

Now, I happen to think that this is a stupid law, for it essentially forks over huge sums of corporate welfare to global giants that are massively profitable. They neither need the subsidy nor deserve it, for they already have gaping loopholes that allow them to dodge their tax responsibilities, and they are the very corporations that are rapidly abandoning U.S. workers and communities by shipping their jobs, technologies, and investment capital to places like China.

As stupid as it is, however, it is our stupid law, and it falls within our sovereign realm to decide if we want to keep the stupid thing or get rid of it. But our president didn't even issue a peep of protest when the WTO, acting on behalf of European corporations, so blatantly usurped America's lawmaking authority. Instead, George W. and his administration meekly waved the white hankie of surrender, rushing out with a statement of appeasement that promised: "The executive branch will work with Congress to fully comply with our WTO obligations."

What wimps. This is not the first U.S. law that this un-elected, un-American outfit has overruled, yet the politicians kowtow, the corporate media practically ignores it ... and our people's sovereignty is surrendered to global corporate rule.

The first George W. -- George Washington -- warned of getting entangled in foreign alliances, but this George W. ties us to the most entangling of all. To help cut the cords, call Citizens Trade Campaign: 202/546-4996.

Regime Change

You know you're in trouble, truth-wise, when both the Republicans and the Democrats in Washington adopt the language-perverting art of "newspeak" to cloak the dangerous fact that they're about to invade another sovereign nation and kill its leader.

Instead of coming right out and saying, "Yeah, we're gonna storm into Iraq and off Saddam Hussein," they dress up their assault plans in the more delicate phrase, "regime change" -- as though they're merely changing the flowers in a vase, or maybe going to the lube shop for an oil change.

It would be bad enough if this were the only Orwellian twist we'll get as Washington pounds the war drums, but we'll be hearing many more. One sign of this is a recent announcement by the State Department that it has brought 17 Iraqi dissidents to Washington to train them to be propaganda tools for rationalizing Bush's invasion of Iraq. Of course, the Bushites don't admit that this is propaganda -- rather, they describe it as "teaching the art of 'spin' to the Iraqis" so they can go forth and try to influence public opinion. A state department official says, "This is an attempt to ratchet up the public affairs message," adding that Washington's 17 Iraqi propagandists will learn "how to craft the right kind of 'sound bites' for television and radio shows."

No matter how much propaganda they pour out, however, the ugly fact remains that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Gang are asserting an imperialistic right to march around the globe using bloody force to remove national leaders they don't happen to like. They even maintain they can do this without a congressional declaration of war and without forging a coalition among other world leaders.

There are at least a couple of problems with proclaiming a right to implement unilateral "regime change." One, our nation loses the moral high ground of the anti-imperialistic principles propounded by America's founders, and, two, it opens the door for some other rising power to decide down the road that, hey, America might need a regime change, too.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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World Trade Organization, George W. Bush, Citizens Trade Campaign, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld

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