I believe in the UN when it works.Prime Minister Howard, commenting on President Bush's speech to the General Assembly, said,
There are some circumstances where it does not work and you have to reserve the right for coalitions of the willing or whatever you want to describe it - you have to.
I thought his remarks were stronger than I have heard before and clearly they are remarks that need to be addressed and absorbed by others including the Europeans and the Japanese.The president's offer to drop all US trade barriers in return for everyone else in the world dropping theirs was met with the usual derision by the usual suspects. Oxfam spokeswoman Nicola Reindorp said,
(Developing countries) need time and space to adjust their trade policies and should not be forced to open markets too fast.Right. The developed nations, especially ones like the United States, Australia and Great Britain who have spent centuries developing systems of government that have allowed their peoples some measure of prosperity and have shed vast amounts of their own blood to protect those systems and those peoples, are now supposed to bend over to accommodate poor countries who have, for the most part, squandered those same centuries and avoided that bloodshed?
This trade round was meant to be about putting poor countries first, not demanding tit-for-tat concessions.
Bend over to accommodate the likes of megalomaniacal murderers like Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong Il? Bend over to accommodate the likes of lavish living self-appointed kings with 13 wives, a specious palace for each one, $820,000 in BMW's for each, a $45 million royal jet and a $500,000 Maybach Mercedes Benz with 21 surround-sound speakers for himself while almost 70% of the country's one-million population live on an average daily income of $1 or less, like Swaziland's King Mswati III? Bend over to accommodate the likes of a dozen or more Central, South American and Caribbean narco and banana republics with their centuries-old cultures of corruption and theft?
I think not. Stronger words come to mind but this is a family blog.
TAGS: John Howard, Australia, United Nations, coalition of the willing, poverty, trade barriers