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WTO declares hatred for RTMark (and uzs106@ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de)(fwd)

Yes Rudi !!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 11:19:05 -0500
From: Not the WTO <announce0017@rtmark.com>
To: Not the WTO <uzs106@ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
Subject: WTO declares hatred for RTMark (and uzs106@ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de)

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December 1, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (contacts mailto:wto@rtmark.com, 
    mailto:jean-guy.carrier@wto.org, mailto:enquiries@wto.org)


The World Trade Organization, the principal organization in charge 
of enforcing the rules of global commerce, has issued a press release 
stating that it is "deeply concerned" about RTMark's "illegal and 
unfair" website, http://gatt.org/.

In the release (http://www.wto.org/wto/new/press151.htm), WTO 
Director-General Mike Moore accuses RTMark of attempting to 
"undermine WTO transparency" by copying the WTO website's design and 
using "domain names such as 'www.gatt.org' and page titles such as 
'World Trade Organization / GATT Home Page' which make it difficult 
for visitors to realize that these are fake pages."

RTMark spokesperson Ray Thomas says that, on the contrary, 
http://gatt.org/ is much clearer than http://www.wto.org/. 
"Following any of the Gatt.org links--or reading any of the text--
will make clear our interpretation of what the WTO is about, and 
that RTMark is behind the site. Mike Moore must have a very low 
opinion of people to think they won't figure it out."

It is the WTO, according to Thomas, that is misleading. "They claim 
to be 'transparent' because their site includes thousands of 
official documents and the minutes of many meetings, but who could 
possibly have the patience to read any of that, besides corporate 
planners? All anyone actually sees is their bold declarations that 
they're 'delivering better living standards for everyone,' or 
somewhat bizarre assurances that 'The WTO is not a world government 
and no one has any intention of making it one'... but the site 
doesn't even mention the violent riots in Seattle, London, etc., 
nor the reasons they're happening." [Links to news about the 
violence and some of its reasons can be found at http://gatt.org/.]

Thomas said that while the WTO admits on its front page the obvious
truth that free trade has resulted in environmental catastrophe--
"The growing world economy has been accompanied by environmental 
degradation, including deforestation, losses in bio-diversity, 
global warming, air pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, 
overfishing and so on"--this openness is illusory.

"WTO.org says that the WTO response to environmental catastrophe 
is to do 'new studies,'" said Thomas. "But as you can read at 
Gatt.org, what Moore says in the press is that freer trade will 
lead to higher living standards, which will in turn make for a 
cleaner environment. It's incredibly bad logic at every step, 
and it's what has created this disaster in the first place."

Explaining this sort of trickery is Gatt.org's reason for being, said 
Thomas. "We're just making the WTO a little bit more transparent--for 
example, to help explain why the WTO prevents democratic governments 
from imposing sanctions based on human rights abuses, or from 
including economics in their foreign policy at all."

RTMark found out about the WTO release, dated November 23, from Jean-
Guy Carrier, the WTO's Manager of Information Technologies for 
Development. In an e-mail dated November 24, Carrier writes: 
"Greetings, to be accurate you should update your WTO clone site to 
include the text of the news release deploring efforts such as your 
to confuse the public. Any honest group with information and sincere 
views to convey usually does so without having recourse to 
subterfuge and deception.  Others such as yourselves consider they 
are above all that. Too bad." In another, to a news service 
advertised on the Gatt.org site, Carrier encourages the service to 
withdraw its sponsorship; in another one week later, he accuses 
RTMark of having "little regard for any law." (Carrier can be 
reached at mailto:jean-guy.carrier@wto.org.)

Director-General Moore shows a similar tone in the release: "It's 
ironic that while the WTO is accused of lacking transparency, some 
critics who put out misleading or false information are camouflaging 
their identities."

Thomas says that by accusing RTMark of not playing by the rules, 
Moore and Carrier seem to be implying that the WTO and RTMark are 
equal opponents in the same game. "We're supremely flattered that 
the WTO is acting as if RTMark were its equal," said Thomas, "but 
it's ironic that they're so upset. Despite the neo-liberal myth of 
equal opportunity for all, the WTO is not enjoying this little 
dialogue. They'd rather just shut us up."

http://gatt.org/ is not the first time that RTMark (http://rtmark.com) 
has used website imitation to render an entity more transparent. 
RTMark has performed the same service for George W. Bush (with 
GWBush.com, archived at http://rtmark.com/bush.html), Rudy Giuliani 
(http://yesrudy.com/), Shell Oil (http://rtmark.com/shell/), and 
others. RTMark's principal aim is to publicize corporate abuses of 
democratic processes.

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