The Global Citizen
This afternoon I chaired part one of a panel on "Reduction of Conventional Weapons and National Forces." GlobalSolutions.org just signed onto a letter supporting a House resolution urging President Bush to engage in the new Arms Trade treaty that negotiations will begin on next week. Unfortunately the United States was the only nation to oppose a U.N. resolution examining the parameters and feasibility of an Arms Trade Treaty.
A draft of the House resolution (which should be introduced next week) notes that the U.S. as the:
"world's largest exporter of conventional" weapons, has a special obligation to promote responsible practices in the global arms trade and should actively work to prevent arms from being used to perpetrate:
Now that I'm done gloating (for now) about the New York Giants Super Bowl triumph, I can pay more attention to important things like our country's energy choices. My friend and former colleague Heather Hamilton reports back from a forum that confirms what we've been discussing here for a while:
U.S. in the World research for a meta-analysis of polls and focus groups on climate change has found that the argument that the U.S. needs to reduce its dependence on foreign or Middle Eastern oil to protect national security actually increases public support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other non-renewable, domestic energy sources like coal and nuclear energy.
Unfortunately, while talk of "ending dependence on foreign oil" leads to losing policies, for now, it also leads to winning politics. For the time being, most voters think energy independence is important and achievable and candidates are unfortunately all too willing to indulge them.
While most people in our nation are gearing up for Sunday's Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Giants, there is also a political 'super Bowl' next week as 22 states hold primaries for the 2008 presidential election.
While not quite as amusing as Tom Brady visiting his supermodel girlfriend in New York, I did come across some interesting political news today.
I'm taking a long weekend away from the Law of the Sea Convention and other related issues here in Jackson Hole, WY. My view from the Jackson Hole Gondola was a bit less clear this morning than in this picture, but it was wonderful nonetheless.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to remove all foreign aid payments from the US Government budget. Sure, the US has funded nasty, anti-democratic regimes like General Musharraf in Pakistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but our foreign aid programs quite often help people in dire situations. Cutting off all foreign aid could throw some countries into unnecessary civil strife or famine, and this would have real world consequences that Ron Paul seemingly does not take note of. Paul's 'non-interventionist' foreign policy would undoubtedly improve some countries' situations, but we cannot therefore implement this ideological strategy across the board, and hope that the world gets better on balance.
Taking his isolationist stance one step further, Paul wants to end US involvement in the United Nations. As he reports on his campaign website, and as GlobalSolutions.org has reported via the "08 or Bust!" Campaign, Paul has said some quite radical things about the role of the United States in the world, including this tidbit :
It has recently come to light that the Canadian government has put the U.S.
Sudan acknowledged Thursday that its troops shot at a United Nations convoy in Darfur, reversing an initial denial, but it in part blamed the peacekeepers saying they should have notified Khartoum of their movements.
I'll paraphrase: if you guys hadn't gotten in the way of our bullets, we wouldn't have had to shoot at you.
It's taken me a couple of days to digest what transpired in the New Hampshire primaries on Tuesday. Not the results. The voters came out and made their voices heard by tabbing Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ) as their favorites in the Granite State.
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