Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 09.29.03


Diplomatic debacle

It all began when George Bush told the rest of the world to go to hell and refused to sign the Kyoto Accords. Despite the US being the biggest contributor to global warming on the planet, the Bush Administration thumbed their noses at the rest of the world.

Following this, the United States helped design an international court that would try war criminals and seek to prosecute those responsible for ethnic cleansing-type crimes. Bush then refused to sign the agreement. To most countries and to non-jingoist Americans it seemed as if the Bush Government wasn't about to put themselves in a legal jackpot for any future "preemptive strikes." "Let's not sign on to agreements that we intend to break" was the interpretation of U.S. reasoning by the rest of the world. Bush followed this isolationist arrogance with his unsanctioned invasion of Iraq.

In his speech to the U.N. recently, Bush stated that a coalition of nations has set Iraq free. He also mentioned that he had saved the credibility of the United Nations. A smattering of stunned and hollow applause followed these preposterous pronouncements. Who was Bush speaking to? It wasn't the U.N. that much is certain.

Members of the Security Council had vetoed Bush's application to invade Iraq. He marched anyway. Even if he had been correct about his reasons for the invasion it would have been the wrong thing to do.

As it stands, he lied about the Al Queda connection and lied about "knowing" about weapons of mass destruction. They may yet find some WMD's but their "knowledge" has long since been proven a lie at worst or a moronic miscalculation at best.

Bush had his chance to make amends during his speech to the gathered global representatives. Instead of making even the slightest attempt at amelioration he followed his chauvinist star. He demanded money and troops from countries who were against his Iraqi adventure to begin with. He wants the money and he wants the U.S. to administrate it. No compromising, no sharing of responsibility, no voice in Iraqi policy-making for any country but the US.

It wouldn't be so bad if we had a paternalistic administration with world-domination ambitions. The Bush Administration wants to run roughshod over the other civilized countries of the world and make them to contribute to the process.

His first military response to 9/11 was justified and initially successful. The destruction of the Taliban was lauded all over the world. Was there a plan to rebuild Afghanistan? Apparently not.

The new American-inspired government is a virtual prisoner in Kabul, waiting for the reconstituted Taliban to retake the country. His next invasion is shaping up to be a disaster. From the beginning, when troops were not permitted to protect Iraqi museums and hospitals from looting, to the refusal of our state department to relinquish decision-making power in Iraq, the U.S. seems determined to fail.

Our administration is hated all over the globe. Diplomats from former allies say, "It's not the American people that we despise, it's their elected representatives." How long will that attitude last if we re elect Benito Bush and his fascist underlings?

We need the rest of the world to survive. We need our allies to support this war on terrorism. If we had reached out to other countries with a spirit of cooperation instead of bull-headed arrogance maybe Bin Laden would be dead and Al Quaeda in shambles. We live in a community of nations and we must learn to play nice. America is trying to captain the rest of the world with an idiot at the helm. Other governments recognize this, and so must we.