Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Andrew professes astonishment at a report which says that the Bush Administration is encouraging companies to leave the UK and take jobs back to the US. The story itself is not that well-sourced but, assuming that it's true, I don't see why -- with respect Andrew -- it would be so surprising.

On a range of issues the US government has behaved unilaterally, claiming to be both above, and yet the enforcer of, international protocol. In Guantanomo Bay, the Bush Administration is flagrantly breaching the Geneva Conventions -- the same conventions that, we should remember, Donald Rumsfeld invoked during the Iraq war in defence of captured US soldiers shown on television. The war itself was, of course, justified by reference to international law and security council resolutions, despite the fact that the Administration generally showed impatience with the UN process and questioned whether it was worth going to the UN in the first place. The US has refused to sign up to the Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court and is employing strong-armed tactics to ensure that countries who have signed up (including South Africa) agree to exempt US citizens from the ICC's jurisdiction. The US is also currently engaged in a global campaign against dictators, except those whom it is fond of (such as the leaders of Pakistan and Uzbekistan). And US exceptionalism on environmental issues is famous.

What, then, is so surprising about adding trade to this list? To me, its simply the logical extension of a well-established pattern.

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