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US: Money as a weapon in international affairs

The US suspended military assistance to Colombia and six nations seeking NATO membership because they failed to exempt US citizens from prosecution in the International Criminal Court (ICC). As the deadline passed for governments to sign exemption agreements or face the suspension of military aid, US President George Bush issued waivers for 22 countries. But the 22 countries did not include Colombia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Colombia, where the government is fighting leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers, has been one of the largest recipients of US military aid in the world. A US official said that if countries had ratified the treaty setting up the international court and had not received a waiver, the ban on military aid would apply. (Reuters 7/2/03). RH: To suspend aid to Colombia seems foolish. The US conducts its foreign affairs largely through bribes.The coalition of the willing, dubbed the coalition of thr billing, were bribed to send troops to Iraq. When Bush receives the leader of most countries, a large money grant is usually a farewell present. Likewise Bush carries gifts when he travels around the globe, the latest example being South Africa. Every national leader wants to cut an international figure, and Bush uses large sums of money for this purpose, while at home essential services are starved for funds.

Ronald Hilton - 7/9/03