Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jaw droppers


Part of the current art of journalism is to get others to say what you mean. Stoat's beloved Gruniad said

The conference, attended by more than 20 countries, including China, India, Britain, France and Germany, broke up with the US isolated, according to non-Americans attending. One of those present said even China and India, two of the biggest polluters, accepted that the voluntary approach proposed by the US was untenable and favoured binding measures, even though they disagreed with the Europeans over how this would be achieved.

A senior European diplomat attending the conference, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the meeting confirmed European suspicions that it had been intended by Mr Bush as a spoiler for a major UN conference on climate change in Bali in December.

"It was a total charade and has been exposed as a charade," the diplomat said. "I have never heard a more humiliating speech by a major leader. He [Mr Bush] was trying to present himself as a leader while showing no sign of leadership. It was a total failure."

The London Times put it this way

Speaking at his own climate-change conference in Washington, which European diplomats dismissed as a cynical attempt by the White House to derail UN efforts on a new global-warming accord, Mr Bush called on polluters to cut emissions, but only through voluntary steps.

Before Mr Bush spoke, John Ashton, the special representative on climate change for David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, expressed Britain’s growing dismay at Washington’s refusal to sign on to mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

And saying it with applause (Sudwest Radio Germany)

During his twenty minute long speech the US President received a round of spontaneous applause only once: when he mentioned the United Nations. "Today we have a new beginning to reduce greenhouse gases, strengthen out energy security, promote economic development and that we continue the climatic negotiations under the roof of the United Nations.”

The applause was a clear sign from the other participants. Even when President Bush was planning to sideline the United Nations with this conference - the representatives of the developing and industrialized countries obviously want no part of that.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Europeans have been saying such things about Bush since day one.

It's just that until just recently, no mainstream journalist in this country had the guts to print it -- and even today, you could count those journalists on the fingers of one hand. (Seymour Hersh is one of them and as Arthur Eddington once said about the small group of people in the world who understood general relativity, "I'm trying to think of who the other one is.")

"Bush as statesman and leader" was a fiction created by Karl Rove and popularized by a lapdog American press. the guy never had any leadership qualities to speak of. He's a bully, not a leader.

tamino said...

Thanks for an excellent update. I've borrowed some of your post to update my latest. Keep up the good work!

DanW said...

Thanks for the quotes Eli.

Bush is the spokesman for “business as usual”. This should be very clear to everyone by now.

David B. Benson said...

BAU Bush?

Fergus said...

Surely that should read 'Baush'...

Anonymous said...

or perhaps "Baush and Lomberg"

...for nearsightedness.

Fergus said...

Oh, and the delicious irony of those initials...

The impression is that Bush's people got this one badly wrong; my guess is that nobody was going to come at all, so they made some broad hints that something new and interesting would be on the table, and then we got the usual guff, result; several severely pi$$ed off international delegates who made no effort to disguise their own feeling that this particular exercise in manipulation was not very funny...

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Bush, but a lot of the criticism (since day one) has been really nonconstructive (or is it unconstructive?), hypocritical and personal too. As seen from an unnamed European country.
That kinda lessens the value of valid criticisms (which there is a case for. Lots of cases, of course).
It also stifles own action and changes attitudes to reactionary ones.

So let's keep the rabbetry and mousings in the point (not forgetting humor of course, but not too rash).

-Flavius Collium

Anonymous said...

A lot of the criticism (since day one) has been really nonconstructive (or is it unconstructive?), hypocritical and personal too."

It was only nonconstructive because we Americans did not act on any of it. :)

Had we done so -- and thrown the bums out after his first term -- some of the criticism might have been "constructive."

As fas as personal, whom else do you criticize other than the guy at the top who is responsible for all the f...ed-up policies?

As far as hypocritical, to each his own.

As far as keeping to the point, the way I see it, Eli's post is about how some people are calling a spade a spade (or a clown a clown) and how a few American journalists are finally printing the truth about the guy.

If there is something wrong with that, I sure as hell can not see what it is.

It's about damned time is all I can say.

Hank Roberts said...

http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs36.htm

Peace in our Time
Speech given in Defense of the Munich Agreement, 1938
Neville Chamberlain

Anonymous said...

Of course, that's the typical example used in defense of what Bush has done.

The irony is that most of what Bush has done over the past 7 years (eg, in Iraq) has actually made the world a more dangerous place, just as Chamberline's actions did (according to the assessment of our own intelligence services as laid out in their public reports.)

Anonymous said...

A little reality is always a good thing.

btw Eli, do you and tamino run 'science' blogs or political blogs? Whatever the case it is very clear that your politics guide your 'science'. A very beautiful thing. The two of you along with RayP make a most powerful trio.

Dano said...

Whatever the case it is very clear that your politics guide your 'science'.

How fortunate for the denial industry that their bots are easily confused and lacking in conceptual knowledge.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:46
"The two of you along with RayP make a most powerful trio."

Yes, the truth is powerful, isn't it?

...and that obviously drives you and your pals (ee-ee-ooo-ooo) bananas, doesn't it? (or why else would you even comment?)

Hank Roberts said...

Wait, Chamberlain's speech is the "typical example used in defense of what Bush has done"?? Really?

I didn't think so many had noticed.

Cleverly Bush left everything for voluntary options watched over by but not enforced by the UN:

".... a step in the right direction. It is no longer an ultimatum, but is a method which is carried out largely under the supervision of an international body.

"Before giving a verdict upon this arrangement, we should do well to avoid describing it as a personal or a national triumph for anyone. The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great Powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilisation as we have known it.....
...
"... the House ought to recognise the difficulty for a man in that position to take back such emphatic declarations as he had already made amidst the enthusiastic cheers of his supporters, and to recognise that in consenting, even though it were only at the last moment, to discuss with the representatives of other Powers those things which he had declared he had already decided once for all, was a real and a substantial contribution on his part."

You can't make this stuff up.