Cervantes

Hoy es el día más hermoso de nuestra vida, querido Sancho; los obstáculos más grandes, nuestras propias indecisiones; nuestro enemigo más fuerte, el miedo al poderoso y a nosotros mismos; la cosa más fácil, equivocarnos; la más destructiva, la mentira y el egoísmo; la peor derrota, el desaliento; los defectos más peligrosos, la soberbia y el rencor; las sensaciones más gratas, la buena conciencia, el esfuerzo para ser mejores sin ser perfectos, y sobretodo, la disposición para hacer el bien y combatir la injusticia dondequiera que esté.

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
Don Quijote de la Mancha.

30 de septiembre de 2016

The Real Reasons Behind Obama’s Hypocritical Veto of the 9/11 Justice Bill

obama-veto-9-11-1By Darius Shahtahmasebi
Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama suffered an embarrassment this week when Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of overriding his veto of the so-called 9/11 bill. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is controversial because it would allow victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for their alleged involvement in the attacks.
Most interesting, however, is Obama’s response to the congressional decision. Of specific concern is his essential argument that the 9/11 bill could erode the concept of sovereign immunity, which would leave American citizens and assets vulnerable to lawsuits from overseas countries:
The concern that I’ve had is — has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se, or my sympathy for 9/11 families. It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world.
Essentially, what Obama is saying is that he does not want the United States to be liable for all the horrific great work that has accomplished in his name. He has framed the argument as though the bill puts the entire country at risk if it is allowed to become law.
The risk of erosion of sovereign immunity is, therefore, according to Obama, what is really at issue here.
Hasn’t Mr. Obama ever heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) — the secretly negotiated agreement that has been the subject of controversy for a number of years? Oh, that’s right, he’s actually been promoting and fast-tracking it to secure its implementation.
The so-called free trade agreement was signed in New Zealand in February of this year in the face of mass global protests. It is suspected to be an attempt to counter China’s rising economic status in the world, as China was notably excluded from being a party to the agreement. The exclusion came despite the fact China has the largest economy in the region aside from the United States.
Why on earth were people protesting this agreement?
The TPP gives corporations the right to sue foreign governments not only for lost revenue but also for revenue the corporations predict they have lost. The TPP also provides for a system of tribunals that allow companies to override and nullify laws in overseas jurisdictions. The arbitrators on these tribunals are unelected, and these courts are basically unaccountable to any domestic court infrastructure of any sovereign nation.
These lawsuits are already well underway. Tobacco company Philip Morris – victim of oppression they are – sued the overseas governments of Australia and Uruguay. These aforementioned countries were cruel enough to force tobacco companies to feature very effective warning labels, and the tobacco companies were aggrieved enough to take them through a shadowy court system with no accountability to any domestic courts to try to override the respective countries’ legislation.
This egregious system drove Germany to state publicly they would never again sign an agreement with such investor-state dispute resolution clauses tucked into them.
Clearly, the concept of sovereign immunity has all but disappeared. The real question becomes: why does the president believe the rich, profitable corporations of the world can sue governments that, at times, try to protect their citizens from their greedy and destructive ways — yet the victims of the biggest terror attack on American soil should be barred from suing those who effectively sponsored and implemented the attack?
This contradiction of his veto should tell you who President Obama answers to — corporations and Saudi Arabia.
This article (The Real Reasons Behind Obama’s Hypocritical Veto of the 9/11 Justice Bill) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Darius Shahtahmasebi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

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