The U.S. Declines (in more ways than one)

Anglican Communion News Service>[ENS] In response to the United States’ proposed revisions to UN poverty-reduction strategies – as reported in today’s

More info: Accessing the NY Times archive through their RSS feeds.New York Times and Washington Post – the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, issued the following statement:

“I am deeply troubled by reports today that the United States has proposed revisions to UN global-poverty-reduction strategies that would undermine international commitments and partnerships already at work in the developing world. The Administration’s sudden opposition to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the international target for rich nations to contribute 0.7% of GNP toward poverty reduction places an unwelcome obstacle in the path toward a more stable and secure world.

Guess who? It’s our newly “appointed” ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton. He’s raising all the old righty-tighty objections, and more than a few hackles. The work of hundreds of middle- and higher- level functionaries from dozens and dozens of countries could totally “unravel”, because if we stomp into the sandbox with a laundry list of objections, other countries may bring their laundry lists back with them to an upcoming meeting:

Mr. Bolton, who was appointed by the White House three weeks ago while Congress was in recess after he failed to gain Senate approval, was championed by President Bush as the best man to bring about needed reform at the United Nations.

Among the changes under consideration are the substitution of the Human Rights Commission with a more powerful Human Rights Council that would no longer allow rights violators onto the panel; the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission to help countries emerging from conflict; the defining of terrorism to exclude its justification as a national resistance or liberation tool; and the empowerment of the international community to intervene in countries that fail to protect their people from genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The American objections center on parts of the document that approve measures and offices that the United States has opposed in other forums.

Among them are the International Criminal Court, which the United States says could hear frivolous actions against Americans abroad; the Kyoto Protocol on global warming; the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; and a pledge to devote 0.7 percent of gross national product to development.

The United States also objects to the document’s stress on disarmament rather than nonproliferation and says it lacks clarity in assigning responsibility to a management oversight committee and fails to make clear the needs for developing nations to provide better governance so that aid can be properly directed to the needy.

Dammit. DAMMIT. We’re supposed to be the leaders of the free world. We’re supposed to be leaders. And we’re backpedaling furiously. How the hell can we MakePovertyHistory with an administration of cold-hearted bullies whose only “concern” is for big business and imposing their “my way or the highway” politics on the world?

These bastards are not leaders, unless it’s to lead the rest of the sheep bass-ackwards into the 19th century.

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