Wednesday, January 28, 2004

George Bush: Part I

I'm going to try something new, and post something that doesn't involve sarcasm. Here is a fact sheet I've drawn up on George Bush. This one deals with foreign policy. Its part 1 of a couple.
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George W. Bush
Foreign Policy
•1972 ABM Treaty- He called the treaty “dead” in 2001, again much to the chagrin of most countries. He effectively canceled our participation in the important arms reduction treaty because he wants to build a national missile defense shield. Based on many failures in tests, the huge cost, the fact that it encourages nuclear proliferation, and that it goes against international favor the ending of the treaty was a bad move. After Bush announced his new policy, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation president, set a policy to destroy the decommissioned nukes in his country; Bush responded by refusing to destroy the decommissioned nukes in the US.

•1972 Biological Weapons Ban Treaty- President Bush decided to cut out of another important accord in 2001; the 1972 BWB treaty. Considering that the accord took six years to negotiate and was ratified by 142 countries, including our allies in Europe, this was another misstep. Interestingly enough, it was Nixon who signed the treaty, and George Bush Sr. furthered our support of the treaty. The rationale for canceling our support for the treaty was spotty and was the same reason Reagan used when he did not want to sign a weapons ban treaty; “the verification measures aren’t concrete enough.” It’s a poor excuse and like the leaving of the 1972 ABM treaty, does not discourage, if not encourages countries to test and possess biological weapons.

•UN Population Fund- In August of 2001, he canceled funding to the UN Population fund against the wishes of his advisors and the international community. The UNPF works in 140 countries to provide reproductive health care and advising. The UNPF always advocated contraception, and considering the huge AIDS problem that the world has, the problem of unwanted pregnancies, which leads to poverty and poor health for children, and STDs, contraception is very important nowadays, especially in the third world. This was one of his first acts as president and it was an obvious political move. It is a bad policy that only hurts people.

•2001 UN Conference on Small Arms- Pres. Bush also effectively killed the UN conference on small arms. Small arms are huge contributors in chaos around the world today, as evidenced by the many small-scale wars going on in Israel and Palestine, South East Asia, South America, and Africa. The rationale for not agreeing to the treaty (which most of the world was in favor of) was that he wanted to reserve the right to sell arms to rebel groups. Besides being incredibly selfish, the US support of rebel insurgency groups (especially in South America) has ended disastrously many times.

•Afghanistan- After a quick war and short occupation, Bush essentially left Afghanistan in the lurch. Virtually no attention is being paid to the country at this point, and its showing. The president of the country, Hamid Karzai, has had multiple assassination attempts and has to be guarded by US troops all the time. He is becoming more of a figurehead as time passes and the Taliban regroups, which it is, and at a startling rate. Warlords have taken the country over and are selling opium once again.

•Iraq- The Iraq war was sold to the American people by saying that Iraq was a threat to the US and that it possessed biological and chemical weapons (which Bush enumerated in his 2003 SOTU address) and had a sophisticated nuclear weapons program. The claim that Iraq was trying to buy “yellow cake” uranium from Nigeria was proven false even before it reached the president’s desk and he was urged not to make the claim, yet he did anyway. The Bush administration squandered the enormous amount of goodwill that the world felt towards us after the Sept. 11 attacks by engaging in an unprecedented “pre-emptive” war doctrine. By alienating the entire world community, the president put the entire burden of the war on the United States, and it has cost us significantly, not only in terms of money, but also, world opinion of the US and soldiers lives.

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