Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, May 05, 2008
How useless is George W. Bush...
When his unpopularity runs so deep, he has to send his wife out to do the press conference on the U.S. humanitarian response to the 10,000 or more storm deaths in Myanmar. And by the way, it was bugging me to no end to hear Laura adopting her husband's preference of repeatedly calling the country Burma, rather than Myanmar, until I looked up the context and noted that her usage is apparently a political swipe at the country's ruling junta. Laura, being the brighter spouse, most likely knows what she's doing and why. (I suppose sticking "Burma" in the junta's faces is the Bushian substitute for actually confronting that government, or the Chinese over Tibet, for that matter...)

All of that said, Laura did about 1,000 percent better at the presser than her rather pitiful husband ever has in front of the press. 

CNN just pointed out the important fact that in order to get aid to Burma/Myanmar, the Bush administration will have to get around its own sanctions against that country, which the libertarian CATO Institute lambasted this way:
The U.S. policy of imposing unilateral trade and investment sanctions against Burma has proven to be a failure on all fronts. By forcing U.S. firms to disengage from Burma, that policy has harmed American economic interests and done nothing to improve the living conditions or human rights of the people of Burma.

Sanctions have denied Burmese citizens the benefits of increased investment by American multinational companies--investment that brings technoloygy, better working conditions, and Western ideas.

State and local sanctions against Burma have compounded the problem caused by federal sanctions and raised troubling constitutional questions.

Unilateral sanctions have alienated our allies in the region and strengthened the hand of China but achieved none of the stated foreign policy aims. If Washington had allowed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take the lead in setting policy toward Burma, the United States could have enjoyed a "win-win" situation--better relations with our allies and more influence over the regime in Rangoon.

As an alternative to the failed policy of sanctions, the United States should allow U.S. companies to freely trade with and investment in Burma. A pro-business approach to engagement would more effectively promote political, civil, and economic freedom around the world. Congress should enact legislation requiring a full accounting of the cost of sanctions and explicit justification on national security grounds before they can be imposed.

Ah yes, let the corporations in. That'll fix it for the Burmese little guy...

Lord, is there a conservative out there with a a conscience?


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posted by JReid @ 3:18 PM  
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