Bronwen Maddox
'We are on a knife edge – we have to engage Bush'
Mon Jan 8, 2007 02:54

January 08, 2007

'We are on a knife edge – we have to engage Bush'
Bronwen Maddox, David Charter in Brussels and Tom Baldwin in Washington

Peter Mandelson says that a global trade deal is doomed unless the American President backs it today
Global trade talks that are intended to improve the lives of billions of poor people stand on the brink of failure, Peter Mandelson, the European Trade Commissioner, has told The Times.

At a meeting today, Mr Bush can either breathe new life into trade negotiations that were suspended last July because of international disagreement over cutting tariffs and farm subsidies, or he can effectively kill the five-year process, said Mr Mandelson.

The financial consequences of failing to liberalise World Trade Organisation rules through the so-called Doha Round of talks will be huge, with the World Bank estimating that a deal could generate an extra $287 billion (£150 billion) by 2015.

The political impact could be even greater. The talks, that were convened in Doha two months after 9/11, are sometimes known as the Development Round to emphasise the goal of helping the world’s poorest people to escape poverty and also to remove a key motivation for terrorism.

“We are on a knife-edge,” Mr Mandelson said, before his meetings today with President Bush and Susan Schwab, the US Trade Representative. “We have to engage President Bush personally, because this deal can only be done with his authority.” Mr Mandelson will meet Mr Bush alongside José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President.

They will call for the US to cut its maximum annual spend on farm subsidies from $23 billion to $15 billion. In return, they will offer a further reduction in EU trade tariffs.

Mr Bush has repeatedly stated his commitment to the Doha Round, but Mr Mandelson emphasised that the President had a very tight timetable to prove that he is serious about re-engaging with the talks. In March Congress will settle subsidy levels for US farmers and set a figure that could signal the end of meaningful multilateral dialogue.

Mr Bush’s own “fast-track” mandate from Congress to negotiate runs out at the end of June and Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organisation chief, has already said that he will need to ask for an extension.

Mr Mandelson’s team is hoping for a commitment on extending the mandate in Washington this week, along with a sign from the White House that it is prepared to support cuts in farm subsidies.

Otherwise, Mr Mandelson said, “it means putting Doha on ice until at least a year into the next president’s term, so we would be talking about a delay of three to four years from now. Even reviving it then would not be a quick or easy thing to do because the confidence of developing countries in the multilateral system would be greatly damaged.”

Officials close to Mr Mandelson are even more apocalyptic. “We see this as our last big shot at trying to get the Americans to do something on the Doha Round,” one said.

The EU has offered to cut agricultural subsidies by two thirds but Mr Bush, under heavy presssure from the American farming lobby, is reluctant to make the reductions that are demanded by Mr Mandelson unless there are tariff changes that would improve market access for the US in Europe and other parts of the world.

European negotiators admit that the EU agricultural tariffs are high but have said that they are prepared to go beyond the reduction of 29 per cent that is proposed. This would be “close to but not all the way to” the 54 per cent reduction that is demanded by the G20 developing nations, that include Brazil and India. The US wants a 64 per cent cut in EU tariffs.

Mr Mandelson rejected the suggestion that the Democratic control of Congress spelled the end for multilateral trade deals.

Mr Mandelson, who is expected to meet the congressional leadership, said: “Democrats want the US to re-engage with the world. And they want to be re-elected in 2008. They won’t do that if they get a reputation for being anti-business and anti-free-trade.”

Fairer future

# The Doha round of trade talks started in November 2001 in the Qatar capital

# Its main aim is to make trade rules fairer for developing nations

# World Bank says a deal could increase world income by $287 billion by 2015

# The talks collapsed in Cancún; the main sticking point was farm subsidies

# They got back on track in Geneva in 2004

# In 2005 in Hong Kong, a plan to end farm export subsidies by 2013 was agreed by most countries

# In Geneva last year the Doha round was suspended after a failure to agree a final deal on cutting farm subsidies and import tariffs

# The last round of talks (the Uruguay round) took eight years to reach a deal

# President Bush’s “fast-track” mandate to negotiate ends on June 30,,3-2536621,00.html

'Completely wrong': Tony Blair has finally spoken out over Saddam's execution

Scott Ritter Says Israel and Israel Lobby
Pushing Iran War
Forward (New York) lobby-pushing-iran-war/

A former United Nations weapons inspector and leading Iraq War opponent has written a new book alleging that Jerusalem is pushing the Bush administration into war with Iran, and accusing the pro-Israel lobby of dual loyalty and “outright espionage.” In the new book, called “Target Iran,” Scott Ritter, who served as a senior U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and later became one of the war’s staunchest critics, argues that the United States is readying for military action against Iran, using its nuclear program as a pretext for pursuing regime change in Tehran... Ritter adds: “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”

The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age
Paul Craig Roberts articleid=10239

All societies have elements of myth, untruths that nevertheless serve to unite a people. But many myths serve as camouflage for evil. One of the greatest myths is that “GIs have died for our freedom.” GIs have died for American empire, for the American elite’s commitment to England, and for the military-industrial complex’s profits... The Nazis were defeated by Russia before US troops landed in Europe. The US never faced any threat of invasion from Germany, Italy, or Japan... The US has entered a dark age of dogmas and unaccountable power.

Stalin’s Jews
Sever Plocker -- Ynet (Israel) 1,7340,L-3342999,00.html

We mustn't forget that some of the greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish... An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name Genrikh Yagoda, the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU's deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin's collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity. We'll mention just one more: Leonid Reichman, head of the NKVD's special department and the organization's chief interrogator, who was a particularly cruel sadist.

In Japan, New Nationalism Takes Hold
The Christian Science Monitor 1s03-woap.html

On a pleasant November morning, some 300 Japanese executives paid $150 each to hear a lanky math professor named Masahiko Fujiwara give a secular sermon on restoring Japan's greatness. Mr. Fujiwara spoke quietly, without notes, for 80 minutes. His message, a sort of spiritual nationalism, rang loudly, though: Japan has lost its "glorious purity," its samurai spirit, its traditional sense of beauty, because of habits instilled by the United States after the war. "We are slaves to the Americans," he said... The new nationalist sentiment is seen in popular magazines that use provocative language to advocate a more militaristic Japan, question the legitimacy of the Tokyo war-crimes trials, and often cast racist aspersions on China and Korea.

Japan Emperor Urges War Teaching
BBC News -pacific/6206329.stm

Japan's Emperor Akihito has said the practice of mourning Japan's war dead can help younger generations better understand the past. He said he hoped facts about World War II would be correctly conveyed so the suffering his generation experienced would never be repeated. The emperor's comments came in a speech marking his 73rd birthday. Correspondents say teaching Japan's wartime history and remembering the war dead is still highly controversial.

War Dead Shrine in Japan to 'Soften' Section on China
Reuters ews/shrine.php

The Japanese war shrine at the center of a long- running dispute between Japan and China has decided to soften the references to China in a war museum on its premises, a Japanese newspaper reported. Relations between Japan and China deteriorated to their worst in decades under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, partly because of his annual visits to the site, the Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.

Where the New York Times Is Coming From
George Reisman .html

Below are the headlines of four obituaries that have run in the New York Times. The first is that of the recent obituary of the Anti-Communist Augusto Pinochet. The next three are those of the obituaries of the Communist mass murderers Mao, Stalin, and Lenin. Please be sure to note how many are described as having ruled by terror.

Former Third Reich Elite School to Become Tourist Attraction
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
http://www.dw-,,2273365,00.html?maca=en- bulletin-433-html

The Nazis used the space for a political and military training facility. Soon tourists will be able to spend their vacation there. Much of the architecture has already been landmarked. The state government in North Rhine-Westphalia decided this week to back the development of the former Nazi elite school "Vogelsang" into a significant tourist destination... Since it was opened to the public in early 2006, some 160,000 tourists have already visited the site — in particular to view the architecture, which is considered to be exemplary of National Socialist style and much of which is under monument protection.

Bavarian Academic Center Refuses to Remove Swastikas
European Jewish Press

A university refusing to remove a Nazi swastika symbol from its entrance hall has sparked irritation in Germany. The Munich botanic faculty has a large black swastika, a symbol used by the Nazis, in the form of a tile mosaic on the floor of its entrance hall. But university officials claim that the symbol does not refer to Nazism but rather to its original meaning as an ancient Indian symbol of the Sun. Botanic professor Susanne Renner said: "The swastika in our house has nothing to do with the Nazis." ... But actually, the botanic faculty building was built in 1910 by Ludwig von Stempel und Ludwig Ullmann, and the swastika was installed as a centre piece.

Were the Pyramids Made With Concrete?
Discovery News news/2006/12/08/pyramids_arc.html? category=archaeology&% 5C1guid=20061208120000

Concrete was poured to build the Great Pyramids about 5,000 years ago, according to controversial research, which suggests the ancient Egyptans predated the Romans by thousands of years as the inventors of concrete. Michel Barsoum, professor of materials engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues report in the current issue of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society that the pyramids were constructed with a combination of carved stones and blocks of limestone- based concrete. The study, drawn on a research made in the mid-1980s by the French materials scientist, Joseph Davidovits, consists of a detailed examination of samples taken from the pyramids and their vicinity.

Carter’s New Book Breaks American Taboo About Israel
George Bisharat -- Philadelphia Inquirer news/editorial/16363618.htm

Americans owe a debt to former President Jimmy Carter for speaking long hidden but vital truths. His book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid breaks the taboo barring criticism in the United States of Israel's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. Our government's tacit acceptance of Israel's unfair policies causes global hostility against us.

More Than Six Million Jews in America, New Survey Shows
Arutz Sheva -- Israel National News php3?id=117913

According to a new American Jewish Year Book survey, there are currently 6.4 million Jews in the United States - about a million more than in Israel. The results are significantly higher than the total of 5.2 million American Jews identified in a 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey. About 2.2 percent of the US population is Jewish...

  • REMOVING BUSHMike Macaulay, Mon Jan 8 09:24
  • 'We are on a knife edge – we have to engage Bush' — Bronwen Maddox, Mon Jan 8 02:54

Main Page - Tuesday, 01/09/07

Message Board by American Patriot Friends Network [APFN]


messageboard.gif (4314 bytes)