Road map leads to Free Trade zone

TEL AVIV – During this last week, just after the dramatically-performed “road map” proclamations, more blood was spilled than in any other week during the past 30 months of the Palestinian Intifada uprising against the Israeli military occupation. This increased bloodshed from the Israeli military and terrorist actions, plus the motives of Sharon’s government and their “greater-Israel” policies, have called into question the legitimacy of the road map.

Astonishingly, what has been almost the entirely left out of the road map equation is George W. Bush’s message, calling for the establishment of a U.S.-Middle East “Free Trade Zone.” This zone would be dominated by U.S. monopoly corporations, and set-up to oust the European Union, particularly Germany and France, from their current position of being the main trading partners in the region. Bush’s real aim is to strengthen the “New World Order” globalization policy in the interests of the leading capitalist power and its big corporations.

According to the Agence France-Presse, Bush’s “move to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of a wider policy to redraw the political map of the Middle East after the U.S. victory in Iraq and his war on terrorism.”

In addition to moving toward a regional free-trade area, similar to one contemplated for Central and South America, the U.S. would also lobby on behalf of some Middle Eastearn countries that want to join the World Trade Organization, according to CNN.

Although Bush’s words about “free trade” bringing peace and democracy to the region sound nice, the reality faced by many workers around the world is that “free trade” means more exploitation, war and insecurity with the erosion of wages, jobs, workers rights and environmental protection.

Terrie Albano contributed to this article. The author can be reached at pww@pww.org