News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terror — Viewing Item

Bush goes offensive european critics aids { May 21 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Posted on Wed, May. 21, 2003

Bush goes on offensive against European critics
Knight Ridder Newspapers

NEW LONDON, Conn. - President Bush took the offensive against America's prickliest foreign allies Wednesday, accusing European nations of hindering the fight against famine and not doing enough to combat AIDS.

The tough talk, a week before Bush meets with European leaders in France for a summit of the world's leading economic powers, signaled he isn't ready to soothe hard feelings over his handling of the war in Iraq. Relations with France and Germany are in a tailspin, and polls indicate that anti-American sentiment is sweeping Europe.

Without mentioning any specific countries, Bush challenged European leaders to follow his lead in spending more to fight AIDS in Africa. The House of Representatives gave final approval Wednesday to Bush's $15 billion, five-year plan for AIDS research and treatment in Africa and the Caribbean.

In a commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Bush said he intended to remind European leaders next week that "the clock is ticking" on AIDS and urge them to "match their good intentions with real resources." The annual Group of Eight summit of select industrialized democracies brings together leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia and Japan.

In Washington, one European Union official, who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to quarrel publicly with the U.S. president, nonetheless expressed dismay at Bush's words.

"We've been involved in development in Africa for a long time, and I think we are probably the major donor of all forms of aid to Africa," the EU official said.

Bush used harsher language in criticizing European agriculture policies, asserting that European opposition to genetically engineered crops could prolong famine in Africa.

The European Union has banned the importation of genetically altered crops - soybeans, corn and other plants that have been altered to thwart pests and disease - because of health and environmental concerns that Washington contends are groundless.

U.S. agriculture companies have taken the lead in biotechnology, and the United States filed papers last week asking the World Trade Organization to declare the ban illegal. Advocates of genetic engineering say it can help end famine by dramatically increasing crop yields, but many developing nations are reluctant to try it or accept genetically modified grain for fear that they would be unable to export their agricultural products.

"We have the ability to confront this suffering. ... Yet our partners in Europe are hindering this effort," Bush said. "European governments should join - not hinder - the great cause of ending hunger in Africa."

He said Europe's concerns about genetically altered crops stemmed from "unfounded, unscientific fears."

The EU official said European governments didn't counsel African nations about importing genetically modified food: "As far as GM food imports, it's up to the countries in Africa to decide what they want. Mixing up the issue with the GM stuff is not really honest."

As for Bush's combative tone, the EU official said: "My personal reaction is that it's not uncommon, even in this age of television, for people to speak to one audience and think another audience is not listening. It wouldn't surprise me if he takes a much more diplomatic line next week. Still, there is a tendency for Europe-bashing, and it's annoying."

Bush also criticized European agricultural subsidies, a longstanding source of friction between the United States and France, in particular.

"When wealthy nations subsidize their agricultural exports, it prevents poor countries from developing their own agricultural sectors," Bush said, calling on "our partners in Europe" to "immediately eliminate subsidies" on agricultural exports to developing nations.

The U.S. government heavily subsidizes many agricultural crops that are exported.

Bush's aggressive tone signaled to European leaders that if there are fences to mend, it's up to them to make the first move. Focusing on AIDS and agriculture also might help the president head off attempts by his critics to turn next week's summit into a debate over dealing with postwar Iraq.

But Bush's remarks were almost sure to offend Europeans who consider him a swaggering bully and resent Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's dismissal of them as "old Europe." A March poll in Russia, Turkey and six European nations found widespread ill will toward the United States, and Bush in particular.

More than two-thirds of the respondents in France, Spain, Germany, Russia and Turkey, and more than half in Italy, said they viewed the United States unfavorably. The poll was commissioned by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center.

Anand questions support war on terrorism { September 9 2003 }
Belfast police station bombed { June 6 2002 }
Bush goes offensive european critics aids { May 21 2003 }
Canada liberals defeated in elections { June 29 2004 }
Canadian liberals face loss after 12 years { December 2006 }
Canadians elect fragile conservative government { January 23 2006 }
Children increasing used as soldiers
Fake macedonia terror tale and deaths { May 17 2004 }
Food prices causing world social unrest { March 2008 }
Fueling terrorism { November 21 2002 }
Global apartheid africa iraq { December 23 2002 }
Global military spending hits over trillion
Global military spending tops one trillion { June 7 2005 }
Ira accused of betraying dublin { February 22 2005 }
Irish group designated terrorists
Italian prime minister silvio berusconi media mogul
Japan missing plutonium { January 28 2003 }
Journalists killed by military at high rate
No evidence for victories in terror war
Pakistanis blame america for sectarian violence { May 31 2005 }
Serbian prime minister shot { March 13 2003 }
Study says conflicts genocide are in decline { October 18 2005 }
Terrorism kills tiny number compared to war
This war on terror is bogus { September 6 2003 }
Top general says war on terror will last generations { December 13 2006 }
Usps iodide pills { December 3 2002 }
War on terror breeds terrorism { March 11 2004 }
Widening violence in poor nations { September 17 2004 }

Files Listed: 28


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple