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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
In time for the Christmas holidays, President Bush has presented a lump of coal to the American people: the first withdrawal from a major arms control agreement since World War II. President Bush is doing his best impression of Scrooge, telling the rest of the world ‘Bah humbug. Today’s announcement follows a long list of […]

Bush the Unilateralist

by John Isaacs

In time for the Christmas holidays, President Bush has presented a lump of coal to the American people: the first withdrawal from a major arms control agreement since World War II.

President Bush is doing his best impression of Scrooge, telling the rest of the world ‘Bah humbug.

Today’s announcement follows a long list of unilateralist actions that will undercut international cooperation to cope with the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Indeed, President Bush and his fellow Republicans have taken a unilateralist stance on enough issues to fill out the 12 days of Christmas:

1. Announced withdrawal from the ABM Treaty;

2. Last week, single-handedly brought the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference to a halt;

3. Renounced international efforts to negotiate a verification protocol to the BWC;

4. Abandoned the Kyoto Global Warming Accord;

5. Refused to reconsider Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;

6. Rejected the International Criminal Court;

7. Discarded the Convention on the Prohibition of Landmines;

8. Gutted the U.N. conference on Small Arms;

9. Dismissed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child;

10. Boycotted the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Review Conference in New York;

11. Supported a unilateral embargo on Cuba;

12. Plans to place weapons in space.

Unilateralism harms the U.S. standing and credibility in the world. When we need the rest of the world to cooperate in the war on terrorism, stem proliferation, enforce sanctions on law-breaking countries, prevent environmental degradation from spreading across borders, limit the flow of refugees across international borders, the rest of the world may tell the U.S. ‘Bah Humbug.

John Isaacs is president of the Council for a Livable World.