August 5, 2002
Miscellaneous Subjects #150: Untwisting The Truth
Most politicians are extremely adept at twisting the truth to make us believe them and follow them into their follies - for the sole benefit of their greedy, palm-greezing cronies. Most of this compilation deals with just some of the consequences of their cunning manipulations and shenanigans.
Hopefully this will help untwist some facts...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
NOTE: I recommend to all the interested U.S. subscribers on this list to get the LFA ACTION ALERT UPDATE on Military Exemptions just issued by the International Marine Mammal Project, Earth Island Institute. In it you'll find what you can do during the month-long break of the Congress to lobby your local representative so that the U.S. military is not exempted from the current environmental laws and so avoid an attempt by the Navy to gut the protections in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as they apply to LFA Sonar and other destructive military operations. You can get a copy of it from Mark J. Palmer <firstname.lastname@example.org> - see also the relevant Earth Island Institute webpage at http://www.earthisland.org/immp/
See also my latest Media Compilation #83: Who Would Benefit From Yet Another War? --- Posted at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Archives2002/MediaCompilation83.htm
1. Isn't that STRANGE?
2. War and Forgetfulness - A Bloody Media Game
3. Bush Plots Military Strikes - Sixty Countries Targeted
4. Smart Sanctions Gut Iraq
5. IRAQ FROM ONE WAR TO ANOTHER
6. The Codex and the outlawing of simple herbal medicine in Europe
7. Stop the Corporate Takeover of our Water
Slouching to Johannesburg
In the ten years since the last World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the U.S. has increased its consumption of energy and resources, and offers less willingness to help reverse the damage.
Speak out for clean energy (July 30)
World leaders will meet for the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in less than a month. They will chose to lead us down the path of two possible futures - a world devastated by global warming and nuclear threat, or one powered by the force of the wind. See the future, make a choice.
Bush's cuts to the Superfund reward corporate polluters for stonewalling and leave neighbors of toxic sites frustrated and desperate.
Marine mammals unite in beaching against Bush
Marine mammals are fed up with Bush's inaction on climate change, and his latest announcement that he will not attend the Earth Summit in Johannesburg has prompted protest on both coasts.
(...) One rescue worker overcome with emotion at the sight of the dying whales said it was desperation that drove the whales to beach themselves. When will Bush see that he is responsible for destroying not just life ON Earth, but under the seas as well? said the heartbroken rescue worker.
Human impact: how we trigger global warming, and what each individual can do about it.
Global warming is arguably the biggest environmental problem that we face in the 21st century. (...) The average American is responsible for about 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year!
Global Warming: The scientific consensus is that human activity is altering the planet's climate. Reports from the International Panel on Climate Change have made it clear that the warming atmosphere will cause dramatic changes that will affect every corner of the earth.
READ THIS REPORT AT http://www.enn.com/indepth/warming/index.asp
Here is what you'll find in this report:
Signs of Global Warming: Global warming thaws tropical ice caps; Increased shrubbery found in arctic
Clouds' role in global warming studied
Moon sheds light on climate change on Earth
Stormy weather: Amphibian declines linked to climate change
Coral conditions: Marine diseases: symptoms of an unhealthy earth
Global warming triggers public health warning
Rising oceans threaten to destroy ecosystems
Rising seas imperil Pacific island nations
Methods of Prevention: EU pushes U.S. to label products that impact global warming
Biodiversity: a buffer against climate change
A gram of prevention worth tons
Don't forget methane, climate experts say
Don't let your engine idle
Sound science a good basis for political policy
11 AFRICAN COUNTRIES UNITE TO CURB BEACH EROSION
PARIS, France, August 1, 2002 (ENS) - Large parts of the African coastline are receding rapidly, according to newly issued reports by 11 African nations. The seafront of Grand-Bassam, the colonial capital of Côte d'Ivoire is in danger of crumbling into the Atlantic Ocean. Sections of the Nigerian coastline are disappearing at the rapid rate of up to 30 metres (97 feet) a year.
Fast Track Bill Headed for Bush's Signature
WASHINGTON, DC, August 2, 2002 (ENS) - The Senate has passed the conference report of a bill giving President George W. Bush the authority to craft international trade bills without Congressional input. (...) Conservation groups say the bill could allow trade agreements that threaten the environment to be pushed through by the executive branch. "Now more than ever, Americans want Congress to hold corporations accountable, not give them more breaks," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. "The House's capitulation to powerful business interests could jeopardize many of the environmental protections Americans take for granted." (...) "Here in California, we fought hard to keep our drinking water safe from dangerous toxic chemicals. But that progress could be undone by NAFTA's corporate friendly provisions," added Pope. "Now thanks to the House vote, many more environmental protections across the country could soon be under attack."
Byrd blasts fast track for homeland security bill (July 31)
SOME BARE FACTS TO CONSIDER
Sent by "Georgia Pearson" <email@example.com> on Aug 2, 2002
Isn't that STRANGE? (But not very funny)
The Russians got into their Vietnam right after the USA got out of theirs.
The USA supported Bin Laden and the Taliban for years, and viewed them as freedom fighters against the Russians.
As late as 1998 the US was paying the salary of every single Taliban official in Afghanistan?
Isn't that strange...
There is more oil and gas in the Caspian Sea area than in Saudi Arabia, but you need a pipeline through Afghanistan to get the oil out.
UNOCAL, a giant American Oil conglomerate, wanted to build a 1000 mile long pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea.
UNOCAL spent $+/- Billion on geological surveys for pipeline construction, and very nicely courted the Taliban for their support in allowing the construction to begin.
All of the leading Taliban officials were in Texas negotiating with UNOCAL in 1998.
1998-1999 the Taliban changed its mind and threw UNOCAL out of the country and awarded the pipeline project to a company from Argentina.
John Maresca VP of UNOCAL testified before Congress and said no pipeline until the Taliban was gone and a more friendly government was established.
1999-2000 The Taliban became the most evil people in the world.
Isn't that strange...
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
9/11 WTC disaster. Bush goes to war against Afghanistan even though none of the hijackers came from Afghanistan.
Bush blamed Bin Laden but has never offered any proof saying it's a "secret".
Taliban offered to negotiate to turn over Bin Laden if the USA showed them some proof. They refused; they bombed.
We have a new government in Afghanistan. The leader of that government formerly worked for UNOCAL.
Isn't that strange...
Bush appoints a special envoy to represent the US to deal with that new government, who formerly was the "chief consultant to UNOCAL".
The Bush family acquired their wealth through oil.
Bush's Secretary of Interior was the President of an oil company before going to Washington.
George Bush Sr. now works with the "Carlysle Group" specializing in huge oil investments around the world.
Condoleezza Rice worked for Chevron before gong to Washington.
Chevron named one of its newest "supertankers" after Condoleezza.
Dick Cheney worked for the giant oil conglomerate Haliburton before becoming VP.
Haliburton gave Cheney $34,000,000 as a farewell gift when he left Haliburton.
Haliburton is in the pipeline construction business.
Isn't that strange...
There is $6 Trillion dollars worth of oil in the Caspian Sea area.
The US government quietly announces Jan 31, 2002 we will support the construction of the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline
President Musharref (Pakistan), and Karrzai, (Afghanistan -Unocal) announce agreement to build proposed gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan via Afghanistan. (Irish Times 02/10/02)
"It's the Oil, Stupid!"
By Mr. Joseph Clifford
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
August 01, 2002
WAR AND FORGETFULNESS -- A BLOODY MEDIA GAME
By Norman Solomon/Creators Syndicate
Three and a half years ago, some key information about U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq briefly surfaced on the front pages of American newspapers -- and promptly vanished. Now, with righteous war drums beating loudly in Washington, let's reach deep down into the news media's Orwellian memory hole and retrieve the story.
"U.S. Spied on Iraq Under U.N. Cover, Officials Now Say," a front-page New York Times headline announced on Jan. 7, 1999. The article was unequivocal: "United States officials said today that American spies had worked undercover on teams of United Nations arms inspectors ferreting out secret Iraqi weapons programs.... By being part of the team, the Americans gained a first-hand knowledge of the investigation and a protected presence inside Baghdad."
A day later, a followup Times story pointed out: "Reports that the United States used the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq as cover for spying on Saddam Hussein are dimming any chances that the inspection system will survive."
With its credibility badly damaged by the spying, the U.N. inspection system did not survive. Another factor in its demise was the U.S. government's declaration that sanctions against Iraq would remain in place whether or not Baghdad fully complied with the inspection regimen.
But such facts don't assist the conditioned media reflex of blaming everything on Saddam Hussein. No matter how hard you search major American media databases of the last couple of years for mention of the spy caper, you'll come up nearly empty. George Orwell would have understood.
Instead of presenting a complete relevant summary of past events, mainstream U.S. journalists and politicians are glad to focus on tactical pros and cons of various aggressive military scenarios. While a few pundits raise cautious warning flags, even the most absurd Swiss-cheese rationales for violently forcing a "regime change" in Baghdad routinely pass without challenge.
In late July, a Wall Street Journal essay by a pair of ex-Justice Department attorneys claimed that the U.S. would be "fully within its rights" to attack Iraq and overthrow the regime -- based on "the customary international law doctrine of anticipatory self-defense." Of course, if we're now supposed to claim that "anticipatory self-defense" is a valid reason for starting a war, then the same excuse could be used by the Iraqi government to justify an attack on the United States (even setting aside the reality that the U.S. has been bombing "no fly zones" inside Iraq for years).
Among the first to testify at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's recent hearing on Iraq was "strategy scholar" Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon and State Department official. He participated in the tradition of touting another round of taxpayer-funded carnage as a laudable innovation -- "our first preemptive war."
Speaking alongside Cordesman was Richard Butler, the head of the U.N. weapons inspection program in Iraq at the time that it was spying for Washington. At the Senate hearing, Butler suggested that perhaps the Russian government could be induced to tell Baghdad: "You will do serious arms control or you're toast."
Like countless other officials treated with great deference by the national press corps, Butler strives to seem suave and clever as he talks up the wisdom of launching high-tech attacks certain to incinerate troops and civilians. As a matter of routine, U.S. journalists are too discreet to bring up unpleasant pieces of history that don't fit in with the slanted jigsaw picture of American virtue.
With many foreign-policy issues, major news outlets demonstrate a remarkable ability to downplay or totally jettison facts that Washington policymakers don't want to talk about. The spy story that broke in early 1999 is a case in point. But the brief flurry of critical analysis that occurred at the time should now be revisited.
"That American spies have operations in Iraq should be no surprise," a Hartford Courant editorial said on Jan. 10, 1999. "That the spies are using the United Nations as a cover is deplorable."
While noting "Saddam Hussein's numerous complaints that U.N. inspection teams included American spies were apparently not imaginary," the newspaper mentioned that the espionage operatives "planted eavesdropping devices in hopes of monitoring forces that guarded Mr. Hussein as well as searching for hidden arms stockpiles."
The U.S. news media quickly lost interest in that story. We should ask why.
Norman Solomon's syndicated column -- archived at http://www.fair.org/media-beat/ -- appears weekly in the San Francisco Examiner and other newspapers.
Bush Plots Military Strikes - Sixty Countries Targeted
BY IRWIN SILBER
Criticized for its pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures, the Bush administration has responded by proclaiming a new military strategythreatening pre-emptive military first strikes against countries that, in its sole judgment, support and harbor terrorists.
Pre-emptive military actions are illegal under international law. The new strategy immediately threatens Iraq; a 250,000 troop invasion plan was recently revealed. It likewise threatens Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba labeled by Washington as an Axis of Evil. Bush has stated that the U.S. might intervene in as many as 60 countries that supposedly harbor terrorists.
Richard Haass, Director of Policy Planning for the State Department, justified these new interventions, asserting that targeted states forfeit the normal advantages of sovereignty, including the right to be left alone inside your own territory. Other governments, including the United States, gain the right to intervene.
Washington is, of course, no stranger to military intervention. A short list of victims includes Vietnam, Grenada, Chile, Haiti and the Congo among others. More recently, the U.S. played an active role in the failed coup against democratically elected President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
NO RESPECT FOR FREE ELECTIONS
And on June 24, Bush demanded the removal of Yasir Arafat as head of the Palestinian Interim Government as a condition for supporting peace talks with Israel. Arafat was elected by 88.1 percent of Palestinian voters in a 1996 election that was certified as open and fair by international observers, including former President Jimmy Carter.
It seems Bush will only respect free elections and the will of the people in other countries if he personally approves of their choicesdespite the cloud hanging over his own election. The administration has also intensified the war at home. To divert attention from its pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures, Washington has sounded almost daily warnings of supposed new terrorist threats against the U.S. since late May.
The White Houses main concern is the prospect of congressional investigations - and even more threatening, a possible independent investigation - into what TIME magazine called the biggest intelligence failure in the history of the Republic. One leading Republican, Sen. Arlen Spector (Penn.), declared: I think they had a virtual blueprint [of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks] and we want to know why they didnt act on it. To divert attention from these developments, but also in keeping with Bushs broader agenda, the administration struck back. The first move was the June 5 announcement of a Cabinet level Department of Homeland Security. This department would significantly weaken the Constitutions carefully structured balance of powers, shifting much of it to the executive branch. The executive would acquire unprecedented authority to override existing prohibitions on government abuses of power. Yet the FBI and CIA, those most directly responsible for the intelligence failures, would hardly be affected.
Then, on June 10, the first day of congressional hearings into Washingtons intelligence failures, the administration once again tried to steal the headlines. The Justice Department announced that it had broken up a terrorist plot to explode a radioactive dirty bomb in the U.S. The supposed perpetrator was a Brooklyn-born U.S. citizen, Jose Padilla, who had changed his name to Abdullah al-Muhajir when he converted to Islam. But with no evidence that a bombing was imminent and with al-Muhajir in custody since May 8, the timing of the announcement seemed to be one more diversionary scare tactic by the Bush administration. Worse, the government has designated al-Muhajir an enemy combatant. Under this category he is being held in custody indefinitely without being charged and without access to a lawyer. This dangerous precedent can now be invoked against any U.S. citizen.
(See Will a Dirty Bomb Kill Civil Rights
(...) Jose Padillas case points in a threatening new direction. As TIME magazine commented, ...history may judge the administrations legal treatment of Padillalocking him up indefinitely with no plan to try himas more alarming than Padilla himself. Now we know U.S. citizens can be declared enemy combatants on very shaky evidence and thereby denied constitutional rights. The question is: who will be next? Why not anti-war protesters?)
NEW WORLD ORDER
Clearly Bush is trying to make good on his promise of permanent war. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has asserted that the Global War on Terrorism, will not end until terrorist networks have been rooted out from wherever they exist; and it will not end until state sponsors of terror are made to understand that abetting terrorism is unacceptable and will have deadly consequences for the regimes that do so.
What is the real objective of this perpetual war? The goal, says Haass, should be to persuade the other major powers to sign on to certain key ideas as to how the world should operate. The increasingly clear perspective of the Bush administration is a program enabling and justifying U.S. military and economic intervention anywhere in the world where U.S. interests are deemed threatened. Bush has set out to do what his father couldntestablish a New World Order led by the U.S.
Irwin Silber is a veteran journalist-activist.
"It's Time to Work Together" - Interview with Yuri Kochiyama
Yuri Kochiyama has been a racial justice and human rights activist for more than four decades.
(...) Q: What do you think about the war on terrorism?
The goal of the war is more than just getting oil and fuel. The United States is set on taking over the world. Its important that we all understand that the main terrorist and the main enemy of the worlds people is the U.S. government. Racism has been a weakness of this country from the beginning. Throughout history, all people of color, and all people who dont see eye to eye with the U.S. government have been subjected to American terror. U.S. intentions have been known for so long, but I feel that right now is a dangerous time for the whole world.
Q: Why should Asian Americans oppose the war on terrorism?
The war on terrorism has expanded into different areas including Asian countries. Already the U.S. has sent its military to the Philippines and it is threatening North Korea. And look whats happening in South Asia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coalitions are very important. If you think about the Vietnam War, it was everybody working together that made that movement grow so fast and it was effective. More and more people are seeing that we have to work together. We must work together to define for ourselves what terrorism is and what resistance is. If ever there was a time when we needed to work together, now is the time. The future is certainly going to be challenging.
Published by EBC/War Times,1230 Market Street, PMB 409, San Francisco, CA 94102 -- http://www.war-times.org - email@example.com
Smart Sanctions Gut Iraq
BY PHYLLIS BENNIS
U.S. economic sanctions, in place since 1990, have devastated the people of Iraq while leaving Saddam Hussein in power. Washingtons smart sanctions proposal recently passed by theUN Security Council wont do much to help the existing disastrous situation.
In 1998 the UN reported that about 5,000 children under five were dying every month from the effects of sanctionswater-borne diseases, insufficient medicine, inadequate food. Smart sanctions or dumb, that staggering figure has not changed.
Under the sanctions-based oil for food program, the Iraqi economy remains stalled. Unemployment in some areas is over 70 percent. Iraq can export oil, but all payments are sent to a UN-controlled escrow account. For Iraq to purchase any of the thousands of items on the special review list (including such things as cargo trucks), contracts must be approved by a UN committee.
Within that committee, the U.S. has veto power over every contract. By the spring of 2002 over $5 billion worth of contracts were being held up, almost all of them by U.S. decision. The biggest problem with the economic sanctions is insufficient money to meet the needs of the Iraqi people.
Under the sanctions, only $21 billion worth of goods arrived in Iraq during the first five years of the oil for food program. This is less than $200 per Iraqi per year; not enough to provide food, clothing, roads, schools, hospitals, street cleaning and electricity. Iraq cannot pump more oil because its drilling infrastructure was destroyed in the war and only partially rebuilt. Without massive investment, prohibited by the sanctions, there is simply no money to rebuild the oil equipment, let alone the water treatment, sewage, electrical generators and other components of once-modern Iraq.
So as before, Washingtons smarter sanctions will continue to punish the innocent of Iraq, kill children and the aged, and deny the people their fundamental economic and social human rights.
Iraq Action Ideas
U.S. Threatens Iraq
Forwarded by Michel COLLON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For those who were impatiently waiting, here is now available the original version with French subtitles of the tremendous documentary film : IRAQ FROM ONE WAR TO ANOTHER
A 78 minute film by Béatrice PIGNEDE and Francesco CONDEMI.
The threat of a new war against Iraq is shown each day with more details on CNN. The US president has even announced he might use mini-nukes (low yield nuclear weapons) against a country which is now known as part of an Axis of evil. But what do we actually know? And what is at stake in these wars against Iraq?
At a time when George Bush the son prepares to complete the work of his father, it seems essential for us to understand what kind of war is being waged: following the Gulf war, which we thought had been won, the war which continues in more subtle ways with the embargo, and the new war for which no reasons have been given yet and which has already been scheduled. This film takes as a starting point the European or Westerner perspective of the conflict, and then seeks to encompass the perception of the Iraqis the official account from the regime and above all the viewpoints of the ordinary citizens as well as of representatives of communities traditionnaly opposed to Saddam Hussein (such as the Catholics, the Shiites, the Jews...).
Two British and French veterans from the Gulf war, who since then have left the military, allow us to penetrate the double wall of silence that imprisons the Iraqi population. During further encounters with Iraqi soldiers, scientists or artists, their gaze crosses ours with regard to the alleged will to free the Iraqis.
This film has been self-produced through the association CLAP 36. In order to get the videotape of the film and help promote a large scale debate on the goals of the wars in Iraq, please complete and send to others the following form, joined with a bank cheque adressed to: CLAP 36, 3 boulevard Berthier, 75017 Paris.
- I become a honor membership of «CLAP 36» and thus get for the minimum subscription of 15 euros (European Community) or 20 euros (outside E.U) -and more according to my generosity-, a VHS copy of the film «Iraq from one war to another». My post adress is :
- I can organize a debate and a screening of «Iraq from one war to another».
- I can distribute the film in public places and among organizations.
- I can take charge of the translation and/or the subtitling of the film in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic...
Please direct all your correspondence to <email@example.com>
NOTE: The English subtitles are not done yet.
From: "Lisa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Codex and the outlawing of simple herbal medicine in Europe
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002
GLOBALIZATION OF SUPPLEMENTS? NO THANK YOU!!
Do you want to preserve your access to vitamins, minerals, herbals and other natural products of effective strength?
The EU and Codex are about to cut you off.
Their plan is to give nutritionally efficient products over to the pharmaceutical industry to eliminate competition.
THIS SHOWS HOW "EUROPE" IS RIDING ROUGHSHOD OVER THE WISHES OF THE MAJORITY. 604 MILLION PEOPLE PARTICIPATED IN THE LAST VOTE AGAINST THIS EU DIRECTIVE.
ALSO VISIT The Silent majority website at
See http://www.laleva.cc for other European languages.
DRUGS LAW IS BITTER PILL FOR HEALTH SHOPS
By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph, 21. July 2002, UK
Representatives of Britain's 2,000 health shops have been told in Brussels that there is now no chance of stopping an EU directive which will close most of them down.
This is because it is part of an avalanche of EU legislation which is being "fast-tracked" to give eastern European countries a chance to comply with it before they join an enlarged Union.
There are several odd features about this "Herbal Medicines Products" directive, for which pharmaceutical companies have been lobbying behind the scenes for years.
Although it is a British initiative, championed by our Medicines Control Agency, it seeks to apply to herbal remedies the principle of continental law that things can only be allowed when they are specifically authorised. This reverses the British tradition that everything is allowed unless specifically prohibited.
Under the directive such herbal remedies as Hypericum, Rhodiola and Echinacea, used by five million people in Britain for a wide range of conditions, could only be sold if they had been through the MCA's prohibitively expensive licensing procedures.
Thousands of safe herbal products will thus have to be removed from the market, which is why many health shops will be forced to close.
What makes this even odder is that the MCA tried it on before, when in 1994 it proposed a statutory instrument which it claimed was necessary to implement a 1965 Brussels directive, passed three years before Britain's Medicines Act specifically exempted herbal medicines from licensing requirements.
When the European Commission explained that this was not what the directive intended, the MCA was told, after heated discussion in Cabinet, to drop its proposal. Now seven years later, the MCA has got its way, by successfully lobbying for an EU directive.
There are no health reasons for banning the 3,000 herbal preparations currently on sale in Britain. Almost all adverse reactions linked to herbal remedies (infinitely fewer than those due to synthetic drugs made by pharmaceutical firms) are caused by preparations made up by Chinese practitioners. These are specifically exempted from the directive.
Stop the Corporate Takeover of our Water
Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown
Recommended by Suzanne Phillips <email@example.com>
July 24, 2002
The greater villains are loose in our world today, literally thirsting to take things that are yours and mine -- and this time they might make off with the greatest plunder of all: our water.
Yes, the ideologues and greedheads who brought us the fairy tale of energy deregulation and the Ponzi scheme of Enron are aggressively pushing for deregulation and privatization of the world's water supplies and systems. They are determined to turn this essential public resource into another commodity for traders and speculators -- a private plaything for personal profiteering.
In just the past few years, trans-national conglomerates already have privatized all or parts of the water systems of Atlanta, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Bolivia, Casablanca, Charleston, Chattanooga, Ghana, Houston, Jacksonville, Jersey City, Lexington, New Orleans, Peoria, Ontario, San Francisco, and many other places.
It amounts to a corporate "water rush." In our country, private control has rapidly become global control: The largest U.S. firm, American Water Works, was recently swallowed up by RWE of Germany (which also got Azurix in Enron's fire sale); Suez Lyonnaise of France took our second biggest company, United Water Resources; and Vivendi of France grabbed U.S. Filter.
Water gets hot
Two years ago, Fortune magazine exulted that water "will be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th." And the magazine was thrilled that "the liquid everybody needs . . . is going private, creating one of the world's great business opportunities." Four factors are powering this rush to privatization: scarcity, greed, ideology, and political weaseliness.
The World Bank predicts that two-thirds of the world's population will run short of adequate water in the next 20 years. You might think that the sheer scariness of this scarcity would prompt policy makers to focus on such goals as protecting the purity of the aqua we have, pushing rational conservation, and promoting the long-term public interest in this irreplaceable resource.
Whoa there, Pollyanna! You forget greed. Speculators look at the looming scarcity of a substance that no one can do without and think: "Wow, if I could control that, I could make a killing." Suddenly, the unsexy task of piping in water and piping out sewage became a hot prospect.
This coincided nicely with the corporate right wing's ideological zealotry for the mumbo-jumbo of deregulation and privatization. Not only can conglomerates do everything better than a democratic government can, goes their religious mantra, but they firmly believe that today's global corporations are magical kingdoms run by new-economy wunderkinds.
Water Privatisation - Global domination by a few (Autumn 2000)
More on this at http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/magazine/issue12/issue12.html
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