Tuesday, August 30


Unconscionable, but consistent.

Does anyone seriously still consider Bush a "compassionate conservative"? As usual, he considers help for the desperately poor to be a left-wing conspiracy to take the escargot and creme brulee out of the mouths of the truly deserving rich.

The U.S. used to have a reputation throughout the world as the most generous of nations. It's only taken four and a half years for Bush to completely reverse that.

The L.A. Times agrees:

His most odious change was to delete all references to the Millennium Development Goals, which commit industrialized nations to cutting world poverty in half by 2015. Part of the deal was that rich countries would eventually contribute 0.7% of their gross national product to foreign aid. The goals were a world-changing burst of optimism from international leaders in 2000, a recognition that all people have the right to be free from misery, starvation and preventable disease and that those able to pay have some responsibility to alleviate needless suffering.

Most of Europe is moving closer to the 0.7% goal, but the United States has long lagged; last year it contributed 0.16% of national income to foreign aid. Bolton's amendments make it clear that the Bush administration would like to pretend the millennium agreement never happened. This is a slap in the face for the aid organizations and international donors that have been working for years toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. But it's far worse than that for the Third World, where their abandonment would be a death sentence for millions.


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