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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/1/15

TPP: The Case for Treason

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Reprinted from Reader Supported News

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Under US Law: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason."


Clearly the United States is engaged in what can only be described as an ongoing series of wars. George W. Bush's "War on Terror," as he called it, was in reality an extension of the Natural Resource Procurement Wars the U.S. has been engaged in off and on, mostly on, for over a century.

However, nothing that has gone before has matched the scope of the 21st century Global, Natural, and Energy Resource Wars. The U.S., on behalf of powerful Multinational Corporations (MNCs), is engaged in military efforts to dominate regions rich in natural resources. Everywhere. From South America to Asia, from Africa to the Arctic, the U.S. is using its military might to procure -- for powerful, privately held corporations -- vital natural resources.

These powerful private interests, both foreign and domestic, are often acting against the best economic and security interests of the United States of America and the American people.

So yes, war is on the table, and innocent people die as a result of the ongoing Natural Resource Procurement Wars every day -- including Americans.

Against that backdrop comes the effort by the Obama administration, in concert with Congressional Republicans, to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and its deeply troubling Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system provisions.

What is specifically of interest to the investors whose interests are central to the TPP agreement is natural resources. Not production, of course. Goods can now be produced anywhere. As long as workers are willing or compelled to accept ruthless exploitation, the international investor class has plenty of "jobs" available for them. Will American workers see more jobs? Yes -- if they are on their knees.

From old-growth forests to agricultural products, to fracked natural gas, to Arctic oil, to bobcat pelts, the international investor class will pay, and pay well. This is where the betrayal begins.

Enforcing a global agreement of this scope requires muscle, military muscle. That is where the Global Force for Good, as the U.S. military likes to market itself, comes in. Effectively, the U.S. military, which routinely channels and directs the efforts of young Americans who have enlisted to serve America, is into protecting not U.S. national security but the interests of the international investor class.

For the record, peace leads to stability, which in turn leads to security. But not to profit. Therein lies the motivation for perpetual war.

What makes the TPP treasonous is its betrayal of America's natural resources, vital economic interests, military service members, and national security as a whole.

The TPP seeks to directly subjugate and invalidate American law, granting to multinational investors and to the agreement itself and its dispute resolution process ultimate authority, literally, over American home rule. All while American service members fight and die to protect the interests of whoever the investors are.

The Obama administration is not the first to memorialize an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) agreement system in the form of a trade agreement. The Clinton administration's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) granted the same rights to MNCs. But ISDS agreements have been incorporated in literally thousands of international treaties over the past half-century, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits by MNCs against nation states -- with the the result that the nations being sued choosing to comply with the dispute panel's decision in an overwhelming majority of the cases.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

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