08/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Failing to Learn the Lessons of 9/11 & the Collapse of the Doha Round

Immediately following the attacks of 9/11 there was a moment when it appeared as though the US was prepared to engage in some serious self-reflection and look at their part in the events and history that led up to those attacks.

Clearly world trade had been lopsided for decades. The US enjoys an "exorbitant privilege" as Charles De Gaulle put it. They rack up trillions in world debts priced in the world's reserve currency the US dollar and whenever debts are due, they just print more dollars. Pressure builds. Bad things happen.

The Doha round of trade deals was a chance for America to come clean and show the world that maybe ugly empire spreading and debt-mongering was not its prime Modus Operandi.

As we see in this NYT article, it failed to take advantage of that opportunity.

After 7 Years, Talks on Trade Collapse

"Talks foundered on the right of India and other developing nations to protect sensitive agricultural products from competition in the event of a surge of imports that would make their own farmers less competitive. The United States argued that such protection, which is not permitted now, would mean moving backward on current world trade commitments.

Mari Elka Pangestu, the Indonesian trade minister, said the failure of the talks reflected the inability of the rich industrial powers to deal with the growing influence of China, India and Brazil in the global economy.

She complained that what she called "a reasonable request" had been blocked because the United States "is not going to show flexibility."