This will only encourage other nations to bolster their own arsenals, and the arms race will accelerate on every track. And when Bush led the United States out of the Kyoto accord on global warming, he turned Washington into a laughingstock, with 178 nations on one side and the United States on the other. By not requiring U. S.
companies, which produce a huge chunk of the world’s carbon dioxide, to curb their emissions, Bush showed a reckless disregard for the environmental health of the planet. Like many know-nothings, Bush believes the United States is better than any other country. They’re foreigners; what do they know? So what if 178 nations disagree with us? We’ve got the Holy Grail. We’re so different from all these other nations that our interests can’t possibly coincide with theirs. After returning from Europe on his first trip, he bragged to Peggy Noonan, his dad’s speechwriter, that he stood down more than twenty leaders (no matter they were our allies) so he could stand up for America. Bush also has Kissinger’s phobia: the morbid fear that other countries will drag U.
S. soldiers or statesmen to The Hague or elsewhere for prosecution. Belgium is already trying to get its hands on Kissinger, and Bush wants to make sure that Americans elude any court outside our borders. The one job Bush takes seriously is that of chief executive of the corporate class. Boeing, Lockheed, and Philip Morris want to be able ply their wares without interference from any international body, so Bush undercuts those bodies at every opportunity.
The World Health Organization, for instance, is trying to get countries to sign on to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which would, among other things, limit advertising, raise cigarette taxes, eliminate subsidies, and consider the possibility of expanding the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice so that tobacco companies could be tried for crimes against humanity. Tobacco killed four million people last year, according to the World Health Organization, which predicts that ten million people a year will die by 2030, with most of those coming from the developing nations. The Bush Administration has tried to weaken the framework “at every turn,” Judith Wilkenfeld of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids told The Wall Street Journal. (Further repaying a campaign debt to the tobacco companies, the Bush Administration has gone to bat for them in South Korea. “American trade officials have intervened on behalf of U.
S. tobacco companies to stop South Korea from imposing new requirements on foreign firms seeking to sell and manufacture cigarettes in that country,” The Washington Post reported. One of those requirements would have been a 40 percent duty on all imported cigarettes. Philip Morris applauded the Bush Administration’s move. “When it comes to high duties and barriers to our entering markets, we think the U. S.
government has a role to play,” said Mark Berlin, associate general counsel for the company. U. S. arms manufacturers are equally grateful to the Bush Administration for sabotaging the U. N. effort to regulate the traffic in small arms.
In July, more than 170 nations met to impose restrictions on these arms, which include assault rifles, grenade launchers, and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. U. S. arms manufacturers are the leading exporters of small arms, accounting for $1. 2 billion of the $4 billion annual trade, according to the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey.
The United Nations estimates that small arms “are used to kill at least half a million people each year,” The Washington Post reported. “More than 80 percent of the victims are children and women. “The U. N. conference wanted to ban personal ownership of military weapons and prohibit governments from selling such weapons to rebel groups. The United States opposed both of those measures.
“The vast majority of arms transfers in the world are routine and not problematic,” said John Bolton, Under Secretary of