The Guardian November 21, 2001


Editorial:

So this is civilisation?

To force their policies and control over other countries and governments 
the leaders of the main capitalist and imperialist countries are 
increasingly resorting to naked political, economic and military pressure 
and threats. This was clearly exposed at the recent Ministerial Conference 
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held in Doha (Qatar).

At the same time, they are resorting to blatant lying about their policies 
and intentions, using language that is deliberately designed to mislead and 
confuse.

Writing before the WTO conference, Martin Khor for Third World Network 
wrote: "An extremely dangerous and outrageous situation has arisen in the 
WTO. The meeting is being set up by the WTO Secretariat and the major 
countries (particularly the US and EU) to pressurise developing countries 
to accept a New Round ... In the past few weeks, the WTO has been subjected 
to incredibly manipulative practices."

Practices already apparent at the Seattle WTO conference which ended when 
the Third World countries refused to be bullied and rejected the demands of 
the developed countries were applied at Doha. Third world delegates were 
bullied and threatened. The US, EU and other Western powers negotiated in 
secret in the "green rooms". 

US Trade representative Robert Zoellick was among those attempting to 
intimidate and threaten Third World countries when he linked support for a 
new round of negotiations, "as the best answer to terrorism". 

Yet another commentator said, "The undemocratic and manipulative methods 
which have characterised the operations of the WTO have moved into higher 
gear barely six hours after the official opening of the Doha conference.

"Many delegations see this development as a worsening of the undemocratic, 
secretive and manipulative "green room" methods which excluded many African 
and other developing countries and led to the collapse of the Seattle 
conference. The tactic of simply ignoring contrary views has now emerged as 
part of the arsenal of tricks being employed by the powerful members of the 
WTO to sideline the demands of the developing countries."

There are many more similar comments.

The same pressure tactics are used against smaller countries in the United 
Nations.

Although lip service has been paid to a peace-keeping, negotiating and an 
aid role for the United Nations in Afghanistan, the British Government 
landed troops outside of Kabul without any consultation with Afghani 
authorities. Nor was there any decision by the United Nations.

The ultimate weapon in the armoury of pressure and threats is outright 
military intervention and war.

Pursuing the declaration that if you are not with us you are against us, 
George Bush in addressing the General Assembly of the UN said that "Some 
governments, while pledging to uphold the principles of the UN, have cast 
their lot with the terrorists ... For every regime that sponsors terror, 
there is a price to be paid, and it will be paid ..."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at a Lord Mayor's banquet made 
clear that the new word is "intervention". He outlined a considerable 
agenda of countries and policies and what Britain and her US partner in 
crime have in mind.

Just in case one should conclude that the US and British objectives are to 
be pursued by negotiations and dialogue between equal countries, Blair 
concluded by saying, "Once again the vital role in foreign policy that our 
Armed Forces play has been demonstrated. They give us a standing which few 
can match ... to build a solid future of influence for our nation."

However, the comments of observers attending the WTO meeting and the 
obvious hypocrisy, double standards, manipulation, pressure and, as a last 
resort, the threat of military destruction, is awakening many people and 
many governments to the real intentions of the developed capitalist powers. 
Resistance to their policies is growing on a wide front.

In time, this resistance is capable of moving the world forward to a real 
civilisation, not one based on the naked power of money backed by a rain of 
bombs dropped from high-flying aircraft.
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