Monday, June 20, 2005

Evening Standard article

Why The US Is Now Our Great Enemy By Peter Oborne Like many people, I was brought up to love, almost worship the United States. We were taught that it was the one sure protector of order, security, freedom and civilization across the world. There was much justice in this. In the Second World War, the US had joined us in the great fight against fascism, and afterwards she led the way against the menace of Soviet communism. But today new threats have emerged. One is Islamic terrorism, while the other—more terrifying by far—is global warming and environmental degradation. Both are just as menacing as fascism or communism, but more complex. It is as urgent that we confront these dangers. But it is no longer clear that America is on our side as we fight them. The meeting of G8 leaders in Gleneagles next month is a reminder that the US has turned from a friend and valued ally into the biggest threat the world had faced in half a century. As The Observer revealed yesterday, the White House is blocking any discussion of global warming at Gleneagles. It has hijacked the summit agenda to make talk on the subject meaningless. The White House has removed all reference to the fact that climate change is “a serious threat to human health and to eco systems”, while banning even the suggestion that global warming has already started. The reason for this is simple. President Bush takes his orders from the giant oil corporations which finance him. Three years ago they insisted that he did not even attend the earth summit in Johannesburg. This month, Bush is still dancing to their tune by blocking discussion of Climate change in Gleneagles. It’s blindingly obvious that global warming is a reality. Anyone who has lived through British winters over the past 25 years has seen it happen. But America, the largest economy in the world, won’t admit we have a problem. The US is destroying the planet that we live on, yet refuses even to discuss the matter. There are some interesting comparisons between this tragic intransigence and the way the US is conducting the so-called war on terror. It regards with contempt the international organizations, above all the United Nations, which should be used to combat the terrorist threat. Instead it has embarked on a series of illegal operations of its own. Rather than hunt down al Qaeda, it embarked on a misguided and tragic adventure in Iraq. There has been no more effective recruiting sergeant for Osama bin Laden over the past three years than George Bush. Those of us who grew up loving America must come to terms with the fact that she is no longer a benign force. There are still some wonderful things about the US. She is still the home of free speech and still has a democracy of sorts. And yet she has now become a rogue state which needs to be tamed.

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