How others see us

How’s this for a lead headline from England: Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Bush says: I put US interests first.

George Bush sounds a warning today to those hoping for a significant deal on Africa and climate change at Wednesday’s G8 summit, making clear that when he arrives at Gleneagles he will dedicate his efforts to putting America’s interests first. . . .

“I go to the G8 not really trying to make [Tony Blair] look bad or good; but I go to the G8 with an agenda that I think is best for our country.”

While Bush is, after all, the president of the United States and should be expected to promote the interests of the US, this makes it sound like the G8 meeting (and the concerns raised at Live8) boil down to his relationship to Blair.

What should happen when US self-interest is in conflict with our responsibility as humans? What about when US self-interest is in conflict with the demands of justice?

And how is it that Bush can suggest that ending global poverty and fighting AIDS isn’t in the best interests of the United States? (And as a notoriously “Christian” man, how can he put a nation’s self-interest above the admonition of Jesus to care for “the least of these”?)

One Reply to “How others see us”

  1. I guess that isn’t how I read Bush’s comments, as quoted in the Guardian. It seems to me that people have accused Blair of having been “bought off” to support the invasion of Iraq, and are now casting about, looking for the payoff. Further down in the article you linked to, Bush specifically denies that there is any quid pro quo, and affirms that the U.S. has a commitment to helping the poor.

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