Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 15, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH AND THE MILLENNIUM....I normally find newspaper editorials barely worth the effort of scanning, but today's lead editorial in the LA Times has it exactly right about George Bush's nauseatingly hypocritical speech to the UN yesterday:

"We are committed to the Millennium Development Goals....We have a moral obligation to help others," [Bush said on Wednesday.]

But not, apparently, a moral obligation to live up to our commitments, or even tell the truth about them.

U.N. members, including the United States, agreed in 2002 at a summit in Monterrey, Mexico, that wealthy nations would "make concrete efforts" to contribute 0.7% of their national income toward foreign aid by 2015.

....But John R. Bolton, appointed as ambassador to the U.N. by Bush after the Senate failed to confirm him, threw negotiators into disarray last month by introducing hundreds of last-minute amendments. Among them was the deletion of nearly all references to the millennium goals and the 0.7% target. Under pressure, Bolton relented and allowed the language to remain.

The Bush administration has made it abundantly clear that it has no intention of trying to reach the 0.7% goal.

Bush is supposed to be a plain-speaking everyman. So why does he pretend to support an agreement he obviously doesn't? The reality is that Bush has broken every single promise he's made about the millennium goals and has thrown up every possible roadblock in the way of allowing millennium money to be used effectively. It's a wonder he was able to give yesterday's speech with a straight face.

Kevin Drum 12:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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