Corporate-controlled media has hyped the threat from IS (ISIL, ISIS), the self-proclaimed Islamic State. IS has committed horribly brutal acts in part of the Middle East, based on its interpretation of Islam.
Unsurprisingly, the corporate media has managed to ignore ISDS, a far greater threat. ISDS represents a threat to democracy and financial stability as well as to air, water, soil and food — the necessities that make a healthy life possible. Unlike IS’s relatively small reach, ISDS applies to much of the world.
Who are the ones pushing ISDS and what is ISDS? They are those who worship Mammon and who seemingly are willing to sacrifice everything else on the altar of short-term greed. ISDS is the Investor State Dispute Settlement process that is part of recent so-called trade agreements.
Under ISDS, if a foreign investor thinks that a government’s policy reduces his profits or expected future profits, ISDS allows the foreign investor to evade the usual judicial system. Instead, the investor can bring a nation before a hearing of an unelected tribunal of trade lawyers. Public interests takes a back seat to trade considerations in these deliberations. In addition, the state has no corresponding right to bring an original claim against the foreign investor.
This process could lead to a global government — an investor state that overrides national boundaries.
According to an article by Robin Broad in a recent Dollars & Sense story, in 1964, 21 developing country governments voted no on the establishment of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a forerunner of the ISDS, as a new part of the World Bank. All 19 of the Latin American countries attending the meeting voted no.
Felix Ruiz of Chile spoke on behalf of these 19 countries and said, “The new system that has been suggested would give the foreign investor, by virtue of the fact that he is a foreigner, the right to sue a sovereign state outside its national territory, dispensing with the courts of law. This provision is contrary to the accepted legal principles of our countries and, de facto, would confer a privilege on the foreign investor, placing the nationals of the country concerned in a position of inferiority.”
Drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership scheme includes ISDS. Unfortunately both our senators and our representative are likely to vote in favor of TPP and ISDS unless they hear from us.
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.