Greetings, Faithful Readers,
Today I received a bit of feedback asking my opinion on the upcoming G8 Summit. I usually only casually skirt the edges of politics here at The Corner, not because I have no political opinions (those of you who know me can attest to that), but because I don't want to post rumors or inaccuracies. So to do a truly political comment would require homework, and I usually don't feel like doing homework. (I'm a teacher, dammit. I give others homework) ;-) But, be that as it may, I have spent some time reading transcripts of the foreign misiter's meeting that occurred in London last Thursday. It read more like a UN meeting, but they touched on most of the major hot points in the world. I'll list a few here:
1. The need to maintain the economic infrastructure of Gaza after the proposed Israeli pull-out.
2. Iran's nuclear program, and the need to keep it from becoming a weapons program. They also expressed concern about Iran's human rights and freedom violations.
3. Kosovo's efforts toward stabilization. There was talk of Kosovo turning over the remaining indictees from the Srebrenica massacre of a decade ago to The Hague.
4. UN reforms were discussed in light of recent administrative impropriety. Some of the measures mentioned were the "establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission to assist countries emerging from conflict", and "the need for an enlarged and more representative Security Council that was able to address effectively the challenges of the 21st Century".
5. Concerns over conventional weapons proliferation in unstable regions, and a UK proposed arms trade treaty.
6. Darfur was discussed in detail, with the hope that, with assistance, the African Union Mission would be able to get the situation under control.
7. North Korea must return to the 6 point negotiations. And Kim Jong Il must relinquish his ability to transform into a giant, heavily armed robot fighting machine. (what, you expected me to stay totally serious?)
8. People in Iraq should just keep on keeping on.
9. Syria needs to keep its fingers out of Lebanon.
10. The government of Zimbabwe needs to make things all better there.
11. Haiti's a mess, and we all need to pitch in to fix it.
That about sums it up. I'm not sure what it all means, but we have seen politicians in the past who are very good at saying what must happen, but not so hot on how it will happen. The summit itself is next week, and I will keep an eye on what goes down and give my opinion after.
Now, as for the agenda of the person who asked me to look into this. They sent me a link to a web site dedicated to sending a message to President Bush through a form you can sign. If you want to check it out, the url is:
Ok, some of you have heard me say this before, but now I'll put it here on the blogosphere. On line petitions are an easy, relatively anonymous way to get your voice out there, but they carry very little weight in Washington. There are two things that motivate our elected officials: money and votes. A better way to get your voice heard is 1) register to vote, and 2) contact your senators and congresspersons. Here are links to do just that.
Direct e-mails carry much more weight, and good old-fashioned paper letters even more so. Now I'm not saying that on-line petitions don't have any effect, but when the current administration was planning to invade Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered in protest, they acted like it never happened. How much more easily can they hit their delete key?
Tomorrow: More fart jokes!