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What you can do: there is little time left to head off an FTAA agreement. But a small group of determined patriots can succeed by following good strategy.

The Bush administration hopes to conclude an F'FAA agreement with the other Western Hemisphere nations by January 2005. The measure will then need to go before both houses of Congress, where it will be voted up or down following "fast track" rules (now known as "Trade Promotion Authority").

This vote in Congress could occur as soon as three to four months after the agreement is completed, or--if we are especially successful--never. The president, regardless of who he is in 2005, will not submit the agreement to Congress until he believes there is sufficient congressional support. The FTAA proponents have invested too much in this agreement to send the measure to a likely death. If the politics don't look favorable for them, they will simply wait and work at changing the politics.

Unfortunately, there is now too little congressional opposition to the FTAA. We are the ones who need to work to change the politics. And we have little time to do so.

Bluff Hides Real Weaknesses

The globalist proponents of the FTAA religiously follow standard revolutionary procedure. They bluff. They constantly work to create the illusion that their globalist goals are inevitable. Here's their tune: "Every nation with any sense recognizes the global realities and is regionalizing. Regional free-trade blocs are the wave of the future. We cannot afford to be left behind." These regionalism proposals are presented as trends, not choices. The reality, of course, is that the entire regionalism movement is highly orchestrated.

The first step in stopping the FTAA is to resolve not to be affected by such propaganda. The worst outcome is to lose without even trying to put up resistance.

Our judgment is that the drive for an FTAA is far from a slam-dunk. It is very vulnerable to grass-roots opposition. In fact, three big opportunities exist for taking the steam out of the FFAA locomotive:

1. The deception will backfire, if we expose it. FTAA proponents are trying to implement their sovereignty-destroying proposal below the surface of public attention by masking it as just another non-controversial trade agreement to promote economic prosperity. We only need to expose the agreement as having much greater consequences than what the public is being told and alarm bells will go off immediately. If the proponents don't trust the public enough to reveal their true intentions, why should the public trust them?

2. The negative effects of the FTAA are not theory. Proponents are trying to obscure the connection of the FTAA to the 10-year negative track record of NAFTA. Major public opposition already exists to NAFTA. The public is very concerned over the continued loss of quality jobs due to outsourcing and the movement of key industries and manufacturing abroad. We merely need to show the public that the FTAA is NAFTA, super-sized.

The public is already outraged over the federal government's failure to control our nation's borders and will oppose any legislative proposal to provide another round of amnesty--if they know about it. Advocates have seen their support in Congress for such schemes dry up. FTAA proponents are terrified that the impact of the FTAA on immigration may become a topic of discussion before the pact can be ratified. Imagine the outcry if the public were to find out that some politicians support a scheme to eliminate our borders altogether!

3. Influential lobbyists for the FTAA have candidly admitted their true intent in forums outside the public view. We can show the public that the architects intend to model the FTAA after the EU, using similar economic deceptions to lure Americans into the trap. And we can show that they fully intend to open up all borders in this hemisphere to unlimited migration, eliminate independent nation states (that is, abolish America), and create a supranational government of the Western Hemisphere that will rob the American people of their ability to control their own government and destiny.

Since the EU serves as the model for the FTAA, we can point to the EU track record. Unfortunately, the opponents of European regionalism did not have an earlier "model" to point to when the EU scheme was deceptively packaged as a "Common Market."

The real blessing is that it won't take a lot of public opposition to the FTAA to cause Congress to run for cover. NAFTA itself was approved only narrowly in the House by a vote of 234 to 200--after NAFTA promoters had conducted an extended, underhanded campaign employing massive deception, bribery and extortion.

Where to Start

To stop the FTAA, we don't even need to inform a majority of voters. Dedicated minorities always make things happen. We just need to begin to change the political climate and show politicians which way the wind is blowing.

We recommend three lines of activity with increasing leverage: contacting your own representative and senators; informing and mobilizing others; and supporting organized action. A "Starter Packet" (see ad on pages 30-31) outlines these opportunities and strategies in some detail. (The same strategies are outlined on our campaign Web

The packet also contains pamphlets to share with friends and associates, a CD for influencing others, and even a bumper sticker.

Before asking others to contact Congress, you need to set the example and be able to speak from experience. Perhaps the easiest way to start is to go to the campaign Web site and send the "Preserve Our Borders: Say NO to AMNESTY and the FTAA!" petition to your representative and two senators.

However you launch your first communication, the greatest impact on your congressman will come from subsequent communications. Don't he satisfied merely to get a conciliatory response. The first time around you are likely to get a form letter written by a member of the congressman's staff. Your first communication is nevertheless valuable, as the congressman's staff will report to their boss the amount and flavor of the letters they are receiving on a topic. And your initial exchange opens the door for a follow-up letter.

A follow-up letter can greatly raise the visibility of your message. If your congressman is one of the few who says he will oppose any FTAA agreement, convey your thankful encouragement.

More typically, a congressman will express a couple of related but off-target concerns that most constituents will agree with, followed by a pledge to "keep your views in mind." In this case, you should thank your congressman for his letter but tell him why his answer is inadequate based on the seriousness of the FTAA threat. Be polite but firm. If your congressman claims that the FTAA will open up new markets for American products and be good for the economy, make clear that the real issue is not about "free trade" but about submerging the U.S. in a supranational government.

The fact that your subsequent letters will be in your own words (not a form letter) will increase their impact. The congressman or his staff will recognize your letter as the work of an opinion molder--someone who is influencing others in the congressional district.

To help you formulate such letters, we recommend studying this issue of THE NEW AMERICAN as well as browsing our campaign Web site. As you become more conversant and confident, fire off a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

Please don't become discouraged if your congressman initially appears to be unresponsive. You frequently won't know what impact you are having. And the pressure is cumulative. The next step (mobilize others) is designed to ratchet up the pressure.

Other Steps

With so little public recognition of the impending FTAA agreement, our campaign can certainly benefit from more advertising. Our Web site describes many advertising opportunities from lapel buttons and bumper stickers to commercial billboards and a TV ad.

The primary value of advertising is to give credibility to the campaign, help make the FTAA controversial, and stimulate others to visit our campaign Web site. But by itself, such advertising will not cause many to embrace our position and take action. The solution: combine advertising with personal contacts.

Personal contacts are the most effective for persuading individuals to take action. Ask those in your circle of influence to take the time to inform themselves and then to contact their own congressmen. Ask them to read a copy of this issue of THE NEW AMERICAN (to order additional copies, see page 42) and to check out the campaign Web site.

The greatest impact on Congress comes from steady activity, the kind that is most easily sustained through involvement with organization. Signing up for the Web site alert list is one helpful step at tapping the benefits of organization.

And for organizational leadership, we of course recommend The John Birch Society, which, through its "Stop the FTAA" campaign, has taken the lead in building organized resistance to the FTAA threat. (THE NEW AMERICAN is published by an affiliate of The John Birch Society.) To learn more about the JBS, see the ad on page 22.

Contact Your Congressmen

Write to members of Congress at the following addresses:
Your Representative Your Senators
The Honorable -- The Honorable --
House Office Building Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20510

For additional information, including identifying who your U.S. representative and senators are, go to:
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Free Trade Area of the Americas
Author:Gow, Tom
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 6, 2004
Previous Article:Br'er rabbit's FTAA opposition: phony anti-FTAA groups oppose the FTAA only because it doesn't go far enough. They want regional government that...
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