Goodbye to Independence?|
William F. Jasper
The New American, February 7, 2005
Besides driving whole industries and millions of jobs offshore, U.S. trade agreements are threatening our national independence and freedom.
The Jolly Green Giant has been a landmark around Dayton, Washington, for generations. But he does not seem so jolly these days. In fact, the fading outline of the 300-foot tall brand name icon is barely visible now on the hillside above town. This June, Dayton’s asparagus cannery, the world’s largest, will see its last season. Seneca Foods, which cans about half of the state’s $30 million asparagus crop for General Mills’ Green Giant label, is closing the Dayton plant and moving operations to Peru.
For this proud farming town, with a population of about 2,700, and for the whole surrounding county, the closure is a huge blow. For 70 years, the cannery has been the area’s biggest employer and biggest taxpayer. It provided 50 year-round jobs and 1,000 seasonal jobs during the summer harvest months. The closure will also mean the end of about 2,000 seasonal jobs in the asparagus fields across southeastern Washington.
In 2003, Seneca Foods closed its other asparagus cannery in Walla Walla, about 30 miles south of Dayton. Around the same time, Del Monte Corporation closed its asparagus cannery in Toppenish, Washington. Those jobs also have gone to Peru. Without these processing plants to take their crops, asparagus farmers have been forced to plow under thousands of acres of expensive asparagus fields. In Washington, which has been second only to California in asparagus production, asparagus farming will soon be a thing of the past.
The fate of Washington’s asparagus industry was sealed when Congress passed the Andean Trade Preferences Act in 1991, eliminating tariffs on products from Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. In addition to doing away with the tariffs, the U.S. government has sent billions of dollars in direct foreign aid to these Andean countries and billions more in loans, credits, and grants through the IMF, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank. With no tariffs, massive assistance, and a huge wage differential — $5 per day in Peru, versus $7.35 per hour in Washington, for field and cannery workers — it’s little wonder that Peru has quickly captured much of the world asparagus market.
It’s an all too familiar story. For the past two decades, all across America, communities and whole industry sectors have been devastated by federal aid and trade policies. Thousands of factories, mills, processing plants, and offices have shut down and moved to foreign lands. Virtually everything produced (or once produced) in America, from basic necessities to hi-tech products, has been dramatically affected by fraudulent “free trade” agreements.
But this is not a story about “free trade” versus “protectionism.” As this magazine has made clear in many previous articles, that trade debate has lost all meaning because the terms and definitions have been totally corrupted. Genuine free trade is brought about by removing government-imposed obstacles to commerce among willing buyers and sellers. But the profusion of so-called free trade agreements that have erupted onto the world scene over the past few years have been taking us in the opposite direction. They are massive regulatory monstrosities thousands of pages long. They are creating an edifice of supranational government, at regional and global levels, that increasingly is overriding our national and state laws, our Constitution, and our national independence.
Hidden World Government Trap
Completely unbeknownst to the American people, the same international trade agreements that are causing such economic and social havoc also are, piece by piece and brick by brick, subjecting us to rule by subordinate agencies and adjuncts of the United Nations. (See article on page 17.) This development is especially amazing in view of the fact that public support for the UN has hit an all-time low.
Recent exposés of the massive corruption in the UN’s oil-for-food program, together with other UN scandals and the UN’s notorious anti-American bias, have stirred a swelling of popular support for efforts opposing the UN. In this present anti-UN climate, not even the most liberal-left, internationalist congressman or senator would dare propose publicly that control over U.S. domestic issues be transferred to the UN, or that the UN be made into a fully-functioning world government with legislative, executive, and judicial powers. They know that would be political suicide.
This political reality, however, has not stopped internationalist politicians and their one-world sponsors from pursuing their world government agenda. It has simply forced them to be more devious. They are patiently building world government piecemeal through a host of treaties and conventions on the environment, human rights, children, education — and especially trade.
Trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the GATT Final Act, which created the World Trade Organization (WTO), have been designed specifically to destroy national independence and establish the basis for regional and global government. Pending trade agreements, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), have been crafted to accelerate this betrayal of America’s independence.
This entire sellout process has been very consciously, methodically planned and implemented over the past several decades. The game plan was divulged over 30 years ago, in an astounding admission that appeared in the April 1974 issue of Foreign Affairs, the house journal of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In an essay entitled “The Hard Road to World Order,” Columbia University Professor Richard N. Gardner, a leading CFR planner (and later a key adviser to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as adviser to the UN), explained to fellow globalists that the UN could not impose world government through an “old-fashioned frontal assault.” Instead, he said, “the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down.” It would have to be built piecemeal, through “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece.”
Gardner approvingly noted that the march toward “world order” was progressing “even as nations resist appeals for ‘world government’ and ‘the surrender of sovereignty,’” thanks to the leadership provided by the CFR elite. Gardner also listed 10 important programs key to advancing the world government agenda. Number two on that list, following the International Monetary Fund, is the GATT/WTO, through which, said Gardner, trade policies will “subject countries to an un-precedented degree of international surveillance over up to now sacrosanct ‘domestic’ policies.”
To the outsider, said Gardner, this process “will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion.’” But to Gardner and his fellow Insiders, there was clear design in the chaos. To the outside observer, the various moves would appear to be independent, unconnected initiatives, not part of a grand chess strategy. But Gardner left no doubt that there was indeed a grand strategy behind the planned confusion. “In short,” he wrote, “the case-by-case approach can produce some remarkable concessions of ‘sovereignty’ that could not be achieved on an across-the-board basis.”
That is precisely what has been happening in the 30 years since Prof. Gardner penned those words. One-world internationalists masquerading as both Republicans and Democrats (in Congress and the White House) have been implementing the treasonous policies he outlined. These policies have caused untold personal tragedy to farmers, businessmen, and workers. However, the greater tragedy that has gone unreported and unlamented is the immense damage that is being done to our Constitution and our national independence. Farms, businesses, and whole industries can be rebuilt. But what will we do if we lose our country? And we are in the process of losing it. Not to an invading foreign army, but to a cabal of globalists who are betraying their oaths of office.
Does this sound too fantastic to be true? We wish that were the case. But if this is news to you, we can assure you that you are not alone. Far too few Americans are aware of the fact that international bureaucrats, legislators, and judges already are busily rewriting our laws and building the “house of world order,” meaning, the world government described by Richard Gardner.
New “Law of the Land”
This startling fact was brought home last year when an international tribunal set up by NAFTA overruled the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the U.S. Supreme Court. “NAFTA court is law of the 3 lands,” proclaimed the headline in the Sacramento Bee on April 18, 2004. The subtitle of the article read: “Obscure tribunals are the last word on trade spats involving U.S., Canada and Mexico.” The story, which was taken from the New York Times, reported on a lawsuit brought by a Canadian real estate company against Massachusetts. The Massachusetts high court had ruled against the Canadian firm, and the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to hear the company’s appeal. Case closed, right? Not anymore.
The Canadian company, Mondev International, appealed the decision to a NAFTA court. American jurists and politicians expressed amazement at this development. “To say I was surprised to hear that a judgment of this court was being subjected to further review would be an understatement,” said Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall. “This is the biggest threat to United States judicial independence that no one has heard of and even fewer people understand,” John D. Echeverria, a law professor at Georgetown University, told the Times.
“It’s basically been under the radar screen,” Peter Spiro, a law professor at Hofstra University, said. “But it points to a fundamental reorientation of our constitutional system. You have an international tribunal essentially reviewing American court judgments.” Professor Spiro has been one of the leading advocates of this subversive process and has written unabashedly in the CFR’s Foreign Affairs in favor of overthrowing “the edifice of sovereignty” and subjecting the U.S. to a “broad array of international regimes.”
Prof. Spiro and his kindred spirits at the CFR believe, as the Sacramento Bee headline indicates, that rulings by international tribunals become “the law of the land.” So, apparently, do President George Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom have caved in to the supposed authority of NAFTA and WTO judges. Last year the California Legislature passed a bill to help the state dispose of millions of scrap tires by recycling them into asphalt for road construction. Mexican rubber producers claimed this was a violation of NAFTA. Gov. Schwarzenegger, citing the supposed supremacy of NAFTA, vetoed the bill. Likewise, President Bush has cited the supposed supremacy of “international law” when knuckling under to rulings by the WTO against U.S. cotton farmers and steel producers.
Yet, according to the U.S. Constitution (Article VI), which all of our elected and appointed officials have been sworn to uphold and defend, it is the Constitution which is the “supreme law of the land” — not trade agreements or treaties that conflict with the Constitution.
The proponents of NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and other trade regimes have been very careful to keep this side of their program hidden. According to the Sacramento Bee/New York Times story cited above, “The part of NAFTA that created the tribunals, known as Chapter 11, received no consideration when it was passed in 1993.” The Times story went on to quote Senator John Kerry. “When we debated NAFTA,” said Kerry, “not a single word was uttered in discussing Chapter 11. Why? Because we didn’t know how this provision would play out. No one really knew just how high the stakes would get.”
But Senator Kerry and other members of Congress who voted for NAFTA cannot exculpate themselves through pleas of ignorance. Senator Kerry is a longtime member of the CFR, the internationalist organization that has led the campaign to submerge U.S. sovereignty in global government for almost the entire past century.
It is important to note that the CFR’s NAFTA promoters consciously followed the subversive model that had already proven so successful in Europe. The council’s leading members served as architects of the European Common Market and carefully shepherded that project through decades of gradual, deceptive transformation from a reputed free-trade agreement into the current European Union. Documents now show that the Common Market advocates planned from the very beginning to build a centralized, supranational, socialist government that would overwhelm its member nations. That objective has almost been completed; the EU is in the final stages of transferring all significant legislative, executive, and judicial powers to unaccountable bureaucrats and institutions. Once the new EU Constitution is ratified, virtually all remaining vestiges of national sovereignty will be extinguished. Many of the same globalists are now using their experience gained from building the EU to do the same thing in this hemisphere through NAFTA, FTAA, and other trade agreements.
Lies, Deception, Obfuscation
Some of NAFTA’s most fervent apostles have admitted that NAFTA is indeed an assault on America’s independence. In a 1993 pro-NAFTA article written for the Washington Post after NAFTA passed, William Orme, Jr. pointed out that when NAFTA was first proposed, “critics in all three countries claimed that its hidden agenda was the development of a European-style common market.” Mr. Orme, a contributor to the CFR’s Foreign Affairs and author of Continental Shift: Free Trade and the New North America, acknowledged that these critics were correct, even though NAFTA proponents had acted as if such concerns were loony. Orme noted:
Didn’t Europe also start out with a limited free trade area? And, given the Brussels precedent, wouldn’t this mean ceding some measure of sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats? Even worse, would this lead to … policy making in many other sensitive areas, from monetary policy and immigration to labor and environmental law?
NAFTA’s defenders said no. They argued that the agreement is designed to dismantle trade barriers, not build a new regulatory bureaucracy. NAFTA, declared one congressional backer, “is a trade agreement, not an act of economic union.”
Yet the critics were essentially right. NAFTA lays the foundation for a continental common market, as many of its architects privately acknowledge. Part of this foundation, inevitably, is bureaucratic: The agreement creates a variety of continental institutions — ranging from trade dispute panels to labor and environmental commissions — that are, in aggregate, an embryonic NAFTA government. [Emphasis added.]
Along the same lines, British journalist and commentator Sir Peregrine Worsthorne is but one of many knowledgeable observers who have commented on the fact that the EU would never have made it off the ground if its proponents had honestly proclaimed their intentions. “Twenty years ago, when the process began, there was no question of losing sovereignty,” he wrote in a 1991 column for Britain’s Sunday Telegraph. “That was a lie, or at any rate, a dishonest obfuscation.”
Mr. Worsthorne was being charitable. Literally every step along the way — from the initial creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 to its transformation into the European Economic Community (Common Market), then into the European Community and, now, the European Union — has been laid amid a non-stop deluge of lies and obfuscations.
The same can be said for the campaign to pass NAFTA a decade ago, as well as for the current deception campaigns aimed at stampeding the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) through Congress before the grave dangers they pose can become widely exposed. These proposed agreements would “broaden” NAFTA, expanding it southward to bring in as new members all the countries of Central America and then South America and the Caribbean. These agreements (following the EU process) would also “deepen” our entanglements — politically, economically, and socially — with our hemispheric neighbors.
In the globalese spoken by internationalists, broadening and deepening are essential components of regional “integration,” a process aimed at achieving full merger under a regional government. Our national, state, and local governments would become mere administrative units of regional — and ultimately, global — institutions. Of course, the advocates of broader and deeper integration do not normally come right out and forthrightly announce to the public what this will actually mean, in terms of destroying national independence, constitutional checks and balances, and the separation of powers. Nor do they craft unequivocal public documents that clearly set forth their full game plan for all to see.
As Mr. Worsthorne noted, integration is not a one-time event clearly defined in a single agreement or document, but an ongoing subversive process. The agreements are very complex, open-ended, purposely vague frameworks that set evolving standards, regulations, and norms. Following this model, the documents creating NAFTA amount to a mammoth 1,700 pages of legalese and government intervention. The WTO Agreement claims that the WTO has “exclusive authority” over thousands of pages (26,000 pages at the time of passage, many more thousands have been added since) of regulations!
Thus, last year when the U.S. government cracked down on Internet gambling, the tiny island nation of Antigua and Barbuda (population 68,000) protested to the WTO that this violated its trade rights. Not surprisingly, the WTO has ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda. The Bush administration feebly protested that it never intended to yield jurisdiction over domestic Internet gambling when it signed onto the General Agreement on Trade in Services. We already are losing control over our own country, our communities and our lives. This is set to explode exponentially, as the “EU process” kicks in through the multiplying trade pacts being pushed by the administration.
Unlike constitutions, which normally aim at protecting citizens from the power of government, the EU documents show an unbroken pattern of concentrating and centralizing power in the EU institutions in Brussels, at the expense of national and local governments and the rights of citizens. There is now an EU Central Bank, an EU currency (the euro), and an EU army. The one-world socialists who run the EU have arrogated unto themselves power over almost every area of life: taxes, elections, education, agriculture, fishing, civil and criminal law, defense policy, fiscal and monetary policy, abortion, homosexual rights, transportation, financial services, immigration, weights and measures, environment, labor, health care, welfare, foreign aid — you name it.
The European Commission, the body that exercises executive authority in the EU, has become a sort of super Soviet Politburo, running roughshod over national laws and constitutions. When national governments challenge or violate an EU edict or “norm,” the commission takes the matter to the European Court of Justice, which reliably (90 percent of the time) rules in favor of the EU. Hence, when former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev approvingly remarked, during a March 2000 visit to London, that the EU is “the new European Soviet,” he was, in that instance, speaking the truth. And though the face of socialism in the EU is relatively benign (relative to the Soviet-style boot-in-the-face socialism, that is) at the moment, there can be little doubt, by anyone who is closely observing EU developments, that the steady accumulation of power in the EU institutions is taking Europe toward the despotic abyss.
EU: Model for NAFTA, FTAA
It is not a matter of idle speculation that NAFTA and the FTAA have been consciously modeled after the EU. The two leading political champions of the agreements, U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox, have each publicly and enthusiastically endorsed an EU-style “common market” for this hemisphere. At the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec, President Bush announced that the FTAA accord was a top priority for his administration, so that “we can combine in a common market.” The New York Times accurately noted at the time that this would be a “complex task,” and went on to state: “The biggest problem comes down to one word: sovereignty.”
In a May 16, 2002 speech in Madrid, Spain, Mexican President Vicente Fox said his long-range objective was the creation of “an ensemble of connections and institutions similar to those created by the European Union” — but only if internationalists could defeat “what I dare to call [the American peoples’] Anglo-Saxon prejudice against the establishment of supra-national organizations.”
We know from the admissions — verbal and in writing — of key NAFTA/FTAA proponents that they fully intend to follow the EU path all the way to forming a regional supranational government.
The FTAA campaign was officially launched at the Miami Summit of the Americas in 1994, as an immediate follow-up to the successful passage of NAFTA. Thomas “Mack” McLarty (CFR), President Clinton’s chief of staff and major overseer of the Miami event, candidly noted at the time: “This is not a trade summit, it is an overall summit. It will focus on economic integration and convergence.” That is precisely what happened. With the FTAA as its “central component,” the summit initiated a broad plan for regional merger on programs ranging from education and health care to crime, infrastructure, energy, and environment.
Robert A. Pastor (CFR) wrote in Foreign Affairs last year that “NAFTA was merely the first draft” of a new “constitution for North America.” In spite of many similar admissions — which visibly track with the observable reality of the unfolding process — the vast majority of public utterances by FTAA Insiders are aimed at conveying exactly the opposite impression, i.e., that the FTAA is only about trade.
But in their own private circles, the one-world elite are more frank. Top CFR strategist and Dean of International Affairs at Princeton University Anne-Marie Slaughter refers to the regional EU-style subversive networking by globalists in various branches and levels of government as “transgovernmentalism.” In her essay in the CFR journal Foreign Affairs, entitled “The Real New World Order,” Professor Slaughter declared that “transgovernmentalism is emerging as the real new world order, rapidly becoming the most widespread and effective mode of international governance.” What she means is that dedicated activists in various countries are working with their foreign counterparts intentionally and subversively to erode and destroy national borders and the checks and balances built into national constitutions — without arousing the opposition that would result from an open frontal assault through the United Nations. The new global networks, she says, “work with their subnational and supranational counterparts, creating a genuinely new world order in which networked institutions perform the functions of a world government — legislation, administration, and adjudication — without the form.”
Slaughter is especially inspired by the transgovernmental destruction of national sovereignty in Europe performed by left-wing judges networking at the national and EU levels. And she sees the same exciting potential for our hemisphere in the Supreme Courts of the Americas Organization, formed in 1995.
Fernando Carillo Flórez, an official with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), approvingly cites Slaughter in an article for the St. Louis University Law Journal, where he makes this astounding statement: “ The Supreme Courts of the Americas Organization (SCAO) is the best example of the kind of relationship that today joins common purposes and destroys the imaginary frontiers that the nation-state has left as a legacy. They are expressions of the world order, with potential to create supranational jurisdiction and goals. The judicial powers must prepare to conform to these types of new roles and the creation of SCAO is a good example of the path to be taken.” (Emphasis added.)
It’s hard to get much more blatant than that! Mr. Carillo is a high official of the IDB, which is one of the three organizations that make up the FTAA Tripartite Committee, the official administrative body of the FTAA. And he is praising SCAO as a subversive judicial activist organization that helps destroy national sovereignty!
Fortunately, there is growing awareness of and alarm over the very serious and imminent threat that NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA and other FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) pose to our freedoms and our continued independence. Much of the credit for this growing awareness and mounting opposition is due to the efforts of The John Birch Society, which launched an intensive nationwide Stop the FTAA campaign last year. This year was set as the target year for establishing the FTAA. Members of Congress are being lobbied heavily by the White House and special interests to rush this through. All sides agree that this battle is too close to call and that the outcome will be determined by the efforts of those who are involved in the immediate months ahead. If you are not already participating in the Stop the FTAA campaign, there is not a moment to lose.