What makes a leader like Bush Jr. so dangerous is that, being
unelected in the first place, he has little to lose. Never having
won a popular election, he isn't accountable to any popular
constituency save that minority which originally supported him,
and he is unlikely to ever have to worry that his current agenda
will ever alienate THEM. In fact, just the opposite. His
increasingly fanatical hard right stance is only liable to strengthen
his support with his (admittedly minority) constituency. And in
America, we don't have an equivalent of "no-confidence" vote as
exists in parliamentary systems, nor do we yet have recall or
referenda elections on the federal level. The fact that Democrats
in the 50-50 split Senate couldn't even find the backbone to effectively
oppose even the most extreme of his appointees bodes ill indeed for
the appointment of a special prosecutor, as should have long since
happened to investigate the Bush Jr. crew's Florida election shenanigans,
so devastatingly detailed by the BBC, even if the US Civil Rights
Commission recommends a possible criminal investigation, which seems
likely according to statements by some of the commissioners.
As to the possibility of WTO intervention, dream on. The WTO doesn't
treat competition policy in any systematic way. There's even doubt as
to whether treaties like Kyoto themselves constitute "technical barriers
to trade." I suggest you look a little closer at the WTO agreements.
They actually go so far as to require all countries to craft all their
laws and regulations in the "least trade restrictive" way. Imagine!
In the WTO universe, the advancement of "trade" (i.e., unrestricted
concentration of capital) is the highest and best purpose of government.
Everything agreed to in the aftermath of the Uruguay round of trade
talks that led to the WTO agreements was designed as a one-way ratchet
to promote "trade" at the expense of all other social interests. The
idea that trade agreements today exist for the purpose of reducing
tariff barriers is an anachronism that citizens will soon see for what
it is. The corporate and government ruling class has gone lightyears
beyond such a traditional understanding, towards enshrining a "wise-use"
style, corporate libertarian conception of property rights, and
globalizing the most extreme positions of the US "takings" movement. Read
up on the cases of Metalclad vs. Mexico and Methanex vs. California for
more info on this. (See vancouver.indymedia.org to learn more about these
On 8 Apr 2001 J.H. Crawford <postmaster@...> wrote:
> To call Bush's repudiation of the Kyoto treaty grossly irresponsible is to minimalize the seriousness of his act. This is one of those moments when writers can display their command of adjectives, but I'll spare you. It's difficult to find moments in history to which Bush's treacherous act can be compared, especially as there is no immediate prospect of nuclear war as a direct consequence. Nevertheless, Bush's act can best be considered an unprovoked act of war, with as enemy the biosphere of the planet we all share. Bush's moral stance here is basically that, since the USA has done the lion's share of the damage to the environment so far, it has an inalienable right to continue. Others reject this logic.
> So, with the planet under attack by American Imperialists, what can we do? Plenty, I think. Much has been made of globalism in the past two years, with particular emphasis on its ill effects. Globalism is, however, a double-edged sword, one that can cut Bush to the quick. Intrinsic in the international agreements upon which globalism is founded is the notion of fair competition: all nations play on a level field, and the best competitor wins. If one nation gains an unfair advantage by not playing according to the rules, other nations have a right to protest to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and then to retaliate against the offending nation through trade sanctions. The machinery is slow but sure in its operation.
> All other nations should immediately adopt the Kyoto protocol and begin to reduce their output of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases). Once this is under way, protests should be filed with the WTO against the USA for unfair competition, to wit, burdening the biosphere with unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions in order to improve the competitive position of the US economy. This should be an open-and-shut case. The rest of the world would then be able to boycott US products in some proportion to the amount of unnecessary CO2 generated by the US economy. This is a message that even a Bush can understand.
> There's another play, one that only Americans can join. It's time to warm up Kenneth Starr (or does he only do Democrats?). In the wake of WW II, the US and other nations firmly established at the Nurnberg trials the principle that gross offenses against humanity can and should be punished. Bush's repudiation of the Kyoto accords (which you will recall were specially watered down for the American palette) threatens everyone on the planet, and especially those living in places near sea level, such as Florida. His action can reasonably be seen as treasonous within the context of the Nurnberg principles. Treason, unlike sexual peccadilloes, is a really good reason to impeach a president, one explicitly enumerated in the US constitution. Are you there, Ken? Ken?
> J.H. Crawford
> 7 April 2001