- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

The strong-armed and the pink-haired have descended on Genoa today to protest globalization and the rule of a few rich countries over many poor. Tens of thousands of angry protesters will fight for environmental protection, refugee rights and goodness knows what else. They will take up cudgels against big business and George W. Bush. But is it really the American president they are protesting?
Mr. Bush's purpose is not to advocate the right of the G-8 to control the rest of the world, but to ensure that independent member states are able to care for their own people. Take Kyoto, for example. If the G-8's reduction of greenhouse gases to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels, as called for by the Kyoto Treaty, is not matched by similar efforts from developing countries, that reduction may have little impact on climate change, but great impact on businesses and jobs in the United States. The fact that Mr. Bush is protecting in practice what the protesters are demonstrating for a nation's right to preservation and self-determination seems of little consequence to the band of traveling thugs who have made their way to Seattle, Goteborg and Genoa to fight, loot and destroy their way to world peace.
Interestingly, while protesters deplore American business, they have been only too happy to import North American cultural icons like Doors drummer John Densmore during the WTO protests in Seattle and actress Sarah Polley during trade talks in Quebec City this year. They would surely protest if deprived of their cell phones and Japanese cameras, even as they decry the evil corporations, the trade treaties and the free enterprise that have made these products possible, provided their airborne transportation and shaped their heroes.
If the anti-globalization forces would stop throwing rocks long enough, they might realize that on the other side of the police barricades, world leaders at these global summits are working together to fight poverty by knocking down trade barriers, give financial aid to developing nations and establish a fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Perhaps the protesters should be asked in what way they are contributing to the cities they invade, or how they propose to further respect for human rights and the environment.
As it is, Italy has learned from Seattle and its over $10 million worth of property damage left in the wake of the demonstrations last November. It has learned from Goteborg, where battles in the streets were monuments to anarchy, not peace. Genoa didn't want to risk anything, and called out 15,000 policemen to handle what could be as many as 120,000 protesters. Many of its inhabitants evacuated the town in fear. Even the prostitutes packed up.
Despite all this, the G-8 nations are determined to move forward together to assist developing countries and promote economic growth at home. If the anti-globalization protesters plan to inflict another town with violence, they will prove that what they are really protesting is progress.

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