[Mb-civic] Wishes_for_a_new_world - Boston Globe Editorial
swiggard at comcast.net
Mon Jan 2 05:45:09 PST 2006
Wishes for a new world
January 2, 2006
AMERICANS drawing up a foreign-policy wish list for this new year might
be inclined to stop after asking for US disengagement from a tolerably
stable Iraq and a subsiding of the jihadist fever that has spawned Al
Qaeda and like-minded terrorist groups. But these immediate concerns,
because they occupy the headlines, may be blocking out other dangers,
other burgeoning crises.
From a human rights perspective, there is no greater crime in the world
today than the slow-motion genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The
principal perpetrators are leaders of the National Islamic Front regime
ruling that country. Instead of tacitly acquiescing to a genocide it has
acknowledged, the Bush administration should honor its obligation under
the UN Genocide Convention to punish and prevent this crime.
Underlying several looming conflicts in the world is the ever-more
obvious imbalance between the mushrooming demand and the finite supply
of energy resources. In this realm, President Bush has been doing the
opposite of what he should be doing. Instead of compromising national
security by making Americans more dependent on carbon fuels that hasten
global climate change, he should be promoting conservation, renewable
energy sources, and US investments in tomorrow's green technologies.
Neoconservatives around Bush may aspire to conduct a foreign policy
predicated on America's status as an utterly independent,
unchallengeable superpower. But the enormous federal debt caused by
Bush's tax cuts is leaving this country dangerously dependent on the
patience and goodwill of creditor nations who may also be competitors.
No wish list for 2006 can leave out vaccines for AIDS and avian flu or
generous international efforts to succor the 3 million people left
homeless by the earthquake that devastated areas of Kashmir and Pakistan
on Oct. 8.
All the peoples of the world have a human interest in halting the
proliferation of nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons programs of North
Korea and Iran must be stopped not solely because the regimes in those
countries seem capable of using or transferring those ultimate terror
weapons, but also because their acquisition would be certain to provoke
their neighbors into developing nuclear arsenals of their own.
This will be a year to remember if Israelis and Palestinians finally
negotiate a two-state solution to their conflict; if the vicious
military junta in Burma releases Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi and permits a democratic revival; if the government of Sri Lanka
grants self-government to the Tamil minority; and if India and Pakistan
overcome their destructive enmity. Peace is never too much to wish for.
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