Libertarian Party:”Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill lets foreign governments and foreign special interests control American medical care, banking, the Internet, and even civil liberties”

Republicans howled when Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass [Obamacare] so that you can find out what is in it.” Now GOP lawmakers, who control the U.S. House, are following suit in their passage of a new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bill.

After rejecting an earlier version of the bill last week, the House passed a new TPP bill on June 18 which gives President Obama carte blanche to negotiate and sign a massive anti-American trade treaty with eleven other Pacific nations without public oversight or news coverage. They’ll have a short period of time, after the hundreds-of-pages-long treaty is finally published, to cast an up-or-down, take-it-or-leave-it vote.

Although Congress will get to see the text of the final treaty before the final vote, they and the American public will have insufficient time to review it. Congress will be under intense pressure to pass it, and serious objections will likely be given short shrift. This appears to be their plan, allowing them to avoid public scrutiny of TPP’s provisions until after it is passed and the heat is off.

“The two old parties will happily work together to get special favors for particular industries and interests, even if they have to hide the specifics from the American people to do so,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

While the current version of the treaty remains hidden from public view, portions of it have been released by WikiLeaks. They already show that it betrays and trumps the U.S. Constitution, sells out American freedoms, and grants foreign governments vast control over American medicine, the Internet, banking services, intellectual property, and civil liberties. It also grants multi-national corporations the right to sue the U.S. government where domestic companies are forbidden to do so.

“The Libertarian Party opposes TPP and other secretive pacts being negotiated between the U.S. and countries worldwide, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA),” said Sarwark. “The Libertarian Party supports free trade with all people and countries around the world. Real free trade is the reduction of barriers and the de-escalation of trade wars — not secret negotiations over winners and losers.”

“The vast majority of job losses in America did not result from trade agreements,” he continued. “The real culprits are the politicians and special interests who push for onerous government regulations, high taxes, and trade barriers that weaken American companies and which also prohibit American families from openly and freely shopping for the best buys for their families.”

“To actually help the American economy, we should simply repeal laws and withdraw from trade agreements that violate the Constitution or restrict free and open trade. This will stimulate the American economy, preserve and expand our diminishing freedoms, and maintain our sovereignty as a nation,” said Sarwark.
Source: The Libertarian Party @ http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/secretive-trans-pacific-partnership-trade-bill-lets-foreign-governments-and

Paternity Test for an Orphan War

by Gene Berkman
Many years ago President John F Kennedy observed that “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.”

The relevance of this view was brought home to former Governor Jeb Bush. During an interview on Fox News, he was asked if the Iraq War was the right thing to do, given the information that we have now. He initially responded that invading Iraq was the right policy, then decided that he had new information on the meaning of the question. With new information, he still gave an answer midway between fudging and fumbling. If anyone needed a reason to oppose Jeb Bush’s campaign for President, a reminder of the disaster that his brother bequeathed the country should be more than adequate.

More than a dozen years after President George W Bush unleashed 20,000 precision guided weapons of mass destruction on Iraq, and occupied the country with more than 130,000 American troops, no weapons of mass destruction belonging to the Hussein regime have been found. George W Bush himself has admitted that the WMD threat turned up missing. But the cost, in lives and money, has been much easier to find. Trillions of dollars in tax money and new government debt, thousands of Americans dead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties, destabilization and continuing violence in the Middle East, and new threats against Israel – these are the bitter fruits of George W Bush’s pre-emptive war.

Except for Sen. Marco Rubio, who continues to defend the failed policy of the Bush administration, Jeb Bush has been on his own, with Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie both making clear that they now believe that the invasion of Iraq was “a mistake.”

Some Republicans have gone farther. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a vocal supporter of the war who actively backed the re-election of President Bush in 2004, is now saying that he opposed the war all along. More soberly, William F Buckley Jr in 2006 came to view the Iraq war as a failure; with the failure to find WMD in Iraq he noted that the Hussein regime had not posed “an existential threat to the United States” that would necessitate military action.

If every major Republican today except for Jeb Bush realizes that George Bush’s war was a disaster for America, why did Congress approve the authorization for the use of military force? In 2002, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimous in support of the war. Rep Ron Paul spoke out against the war, but only 5 other Republicans in the House of Representatives joined him in voting against the AUMF. In the Senate, closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, only one Republican and one Independent joined with 21 Democrats to vote no; 29 Democrats joined with 48 Republicans in support of Bush’s war.

Except for Sen. Rand Paul and the confused former Governor of Florida, the field of Republican candidates for President consists of politicians who were for the war before they were against it.

The Iraq War has a Republican brand, but plenty of Democrats have joined in as belligerent bipartisans. In 2004, the Democrats nominated John Kerry for President and John Edwards for Vice-President – both had voted for the war. In 2008, Sen. Hilary Clinton was defeated for the Democratic nomination at least partly because of her vote for the war, but Sen. Obama picked prowar Sen. Joe Biden for Vice-President. And now, Sen. Hilary Clinton, who now describes her vote for the war as “a mistake” is the leading candidate for the Democrat nomination.

Bipartisan belligerence has been the norm in American politics for many years. Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats got America into the Vietnam War, and Republicans went along with that war. Even as the Vietnam war became unpopular among wider segments of the American population, the Republicans failed to run an antiwar candidate for President. Among Democrats, the 1972 nomination of Sen. George McGovern – who had voted for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution but came to oppose the war – was a fluke. In 1976 the Democrats nominated Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who had loyally supported Lyndon Johnson’s war.

In 1992, as Democrats sought to take back the White House, they nominated Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, who had voiced support for President George H W Bush’s war in Iraq. Gov. Clinton stated at the Democrat convention that he picked Sen. Al Gore for Vice-President because Sen. Gore was one of 10 Democrats in the Senate that supported the (first) war in Iraq. In 2000, after Al Gore was nominated for President, he picked Sen Joe Lieberman of Connecticut because he too was one of the 10 Democrat Senators that voted in support of the first President Bush’s war.

As America faces a world in chaos in the aftermath of the Iraq War that nobody wants to be blamed for, we face two parties that will offer up support for continued military intervention as the only choice. But if we understand the paternity of our orphan war, many Americans will seek another choice as a foreign policy prophylactic.