Yo, G8 Leaders, Love Your Act

Nigeria good, Zimbabwe bad, among summit silliness

This week's G8 summit in Japan was welcome comic relief after all the bombast and threats flying back and forth between the U.S., Israel and Iran.

The world leaders dined on caviar as they discussed hunger and the global food crisis. They agreed to do something about global warming by 2050. That's real courage and leadership.

"Yo, Harper," called out President George W. Bush, beckoning Canada's prime minister to come meet the president of Nigeria. Stephen Harper now joins Britain's late, unlamented former PM Tony Blair in being treated like a White House car jockey.

Bush and Harper, who had just come from a session blasting Zimbabwe's ruler, Robert Mugabe, as a wicked, corrupt tyrant, glad-handed with Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua, who won office last year in one of Nigeria's most spectacularly rigged elections.

That's saying a lot, since Nigeria is without doubt the world's most corrupt nation.

But Nigeria has oil. Mugabe's Zimbabwe, which I fondly remember when it was prosperous, beautiful Rhodesia, is now dirt poor.

Obedient western-backed dictators who rig elections are hailed as "statesmen." Insubordinate rulers who don't co-operate are branded "dictators" or "tyrants."

Good for Mugabe for refusing to be pushed around by the hypocritical western powers screaming about his electoral fraud while blessing worse fraud and oppression in the Arab, Central Asian, and African dictatorships they support.

Ethiopia, Algeria guests

Invited guests at the summit included Ethiopia, which is inflicting wide scale atrocities in Somalia and facing famine, and Algeria, whose brutal military rulers proudly call themselves "the eradicators."

One of Bush's official briefing books fell into media hands. It described Italy as "known for governmental corruption and vice," and called Bush's "best pal" PM Silvio Berlusconi a "political dilettante" who holds power thanks to his ownership of the media.

"Are the courts still after you, Silvio?" tactfully called out buddy Bush.

Adding to the surreal aura and exposing the utter falsity of the faux "war on terror," the Bush administration announced it was taking Nelson Mandela off its terrorist list. Who is next? The late Mother Teresa? Bambi?

Meanwhile, Bush's girl Friday, Condoleezza Rice, flew to Prague to initial a truly daft plan to build a U.S. anti-missile system (ABM) in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Washington claims the system is designed to shoot down Iranian long-range missiles, which Iran does not have, carrying nuclear warheads, which Iran also does not have. "We are protecting Europe," chirped Rice. Of course, Condi. Those mad mullahs in Tehran are just itching to attack Belgium and Norway.

Predictably, Moscow went ballistic. The Kremlin actually threatened a "military-technical" response, whatever that means, if the U.S. installs an ABM system on its doorstep.

Nearly 70% of Czechs and Poles oppose this crazy plan. Poland is demanding a $3-billion air defence system from Washington as their price for basing the interceptor missiles. One wonders how much Czech politicians are getting paid to go along with Bush's little Central European Maginot Line?

Dacha dare

If the White House is so determined to provoke Russia, why doesn't it just go and bomb Putin's country dacha or Lenin's tomb?

Bush and Rasputin Dick Cheney have broken a 1991 pledge President Bush Senior made to Soviet chairman Mikhail Gorbachev. In exchange for Gorby's not crushing revolts across the dying Soviet Union, Washington agreed not to advance NATO eastward toward Russia or into the old U.S.S.R.

Gorbachev kept his side of the bargain, allowing the Soviet Union to implode.

The U.S. quickly reneged and began advancing NATO to Russia's borders. Washington currently is mucking around in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia's backyard.

Small wonder Bush's foolish ABM system so outrages the Ruskis. Bush's paranoia and obsession with Iran is causing him to risk provoking a military clash with Russia. He is fast pushing Russia's new President Dmitry Medvedev and PM Vlad Putin to the wall.

John McCain is cheering Bush on. At least old crocodile Mugabe isn't threatening to start a war or two.

--Eric Margolis

Copyright (c) 2008, Canoe Inc.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

© 2023 Eric Margolis