Seattle riots reveal where the real
  threats are coming from

  FOR RELEASE Friday, December 3, 1999

  After several years of the FBI's pother about the
  dire threat of "terrorism from the right," a rather
  more real terrorism from the left descended upon
  the city of Seattle this week with a fury.

  Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995,
  the FBI and the Clinton-Reno Justice Department
  have muttered and moaned about the slaughter
  and destruction the "extreme right" was getting
  ready to inflict upon the country. Only last month
  the Bureau released a near-hysterical report on
  the danger the country faces from right-wingers
  who worry about a "New World Order" and the
  approaching millennium.

  But while the Bureau and its political masters
  have obsessed over the right, the real danger
  started smashing windows in Seattle this week,
  where the World Trade Organization was trying to
  hold a meeting. There are indeed many aspects
  of the WTO that correctly worry people on the
  right, but you don't have to be J. Edgar Hoover to
  deduce that the characters causing violence in
  Seattle were not from the right at all.

  To judge from the news reports, just about every
  weirdo and whacko and wigged-out eco-freak
  this side of the moons of Neptune arrived in
  Seattle to caper and cavort about his, her or its
  favorite bogey-man, to smash windows and throw
  whatever could be lifted and hurled in protest of
  whatever it was they were protesting.

  Crackpots dressed up as what the Washington
  Post described as "pigs, turtles, clowns,
  Superman, vegetables, fish and butterflies" to
  dramatize the supposed threat the WTO
  represents to all these creatures, entities and
  fictitious beings. Others, perhaps a bit more
  serious, dressed up in "black clothes and ski
  masks" and threw newspaper vending machines
  into the streets, while still others sacked a
  MacDonald's, symbol of corporate power, and
  then looted a Starbuck's, which, one supposes, is
  guilty of genocide against coffee beans.

  Anarchists as well as members of the Wicca cult
  were there too, but nowhere do the news reports
  tell of any militia members, "white supremacists,"
  Christian fundamentalists or other adherents of
  what is now routinely lumped together as the "Far

  Yet those groups have at least as much reason to
  object to the WTO as their counterparts on the left
  do. The fact that the fruitier side of the right was
  conspicuous by its absence in Seattle ought to
  tell us (if not the FBI) something important: The
  strength, as well as the danger, of such groups
  has been grotesquely overrated. The Bureau and
  its "terrorist expert" munchkins need to go back
  to their drawing boards and try to figure out
  where the real threat of violence is coming from
  before other cities get their windows smashed
  like Seattle.

  The real danger the WTO represents in fact quite
  sails past the heads of the window-smashers.
  The real danger is that the WTO threatens both
  national sovereignty and local self-government,
  as well as the economic and cultural
  underpinnings of nationality. It is no small irony of
  the left-wing ranting about the WTO that what the
  left demands as a corrective would in fact
  intensify the WTO's dangers.

  What the left demands is that environmental,
  health, labor and other regulatory rules be written
  into the WTO's charter, with the result that these
  rules would then themselves become part of the
  globalized world state. What the crazies and
  crackpots of the left want, in other words, is more
  of what is wrong with the WTO in the first place.

  By contrast, the right-wing objection to the WTO
  is that its very structure is an invasion of national
  sovereignty -- by enforcing bureaucratically
  formulated (not constitutionally enacted) rules that
  govern what a nation can produce and sell -- and
  that in practice the WTO has enforced those rules
  against the interests of the United States and its
  businesses and workers.

  WTO Director General Michael Moore said this
  week the attack on his organization is part of "a
  broader assault on internationalism -- on
  foreigners, immigration, a more pluralistic and
  integrated world." Allowing for some
  exaggeration and tendentiousness in his
  comment, he's right. The WTO represents the
  New World Order, the effort to "integrate" the
  whole planet into a single dominant bureaucratic
  framework that overrides national and local
  governments, throws away sovereignty and
  disintegrates cultural, racial, and institutional
  fabrics. Those who resist it for the right reasons
  do so because it endangers their identities, their
  ways of life.

  It will take a good deal more than smashing a few
  windows and dressing up like vegetables and
  butterflies to stop the threat that the WTO's
  globalization represents. More than anything
  else, it will take a deeper understanding of what
  nationality -- and liberty -- mean than anyone on
  the left or most people on the right seem today to