News Release

G8 Agenda: Rhetoric vs. Reality

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday: “Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack, or a series of terrorist attacks, it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8. … It is particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa, and the long term problems of climate change and the environment.”

The following analysts are available to assess the rhetoric and reality of G8 policies:

MARK CURTIS
Author of the book Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World, Curtis said: “Two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Blair was presented with an intelligence report saying that an invasion of Iraq would increase the likelihood of an attack on the UK.” Curtis is also the former head of the World Development Movement.
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GEORGE MONBIOT
Author of the books The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order and Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, Monbiot said today: “The G8 does not exist as an NGO to help the poorer nations — it exists to extend its own interests. The idea that the G8 leaders have been interrupted in the task of saving the world is pure humbug. They have been interrupted in bypassing legitimate global mechanisms with a set of decisions which will govern the lives of other nations but to which those nations have not been party. Blair’s attempt to portray this as a battle between good and evil is disingenuous. While the atrocity in London was unquestionably evil, the work of the G8 is hard to describe as good.”
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DAVID MILLER
Miller is professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, 35 miles from Gleneagles where the G8 is meeting. He is co-editor of the recently released book Arguments Against G8. He said today: “What happened yesterday in London is all too familiar to the Iraqi people living under U.S./UK occupation. Our thoughts should be with all the civilian victims of war and violence, in London, Baghdad and elsewhere, as we try to build a world without war. … By claiming to help Africa, Blair is being more clever than Bush. But the gap between their rhetoric and reality is just great. The ‘aid’ being talked about for Africa is a way of spearheading a corporate drive into Africa.”
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BILL FLETCHER
President of TransAfrica Forum, Fletcher said today: “In terms of the G8, there remains a lack of seriousness as to what needs to happen to actually assist Africa rather than provide Africa with charity. For the USA, there is the promotion of collective amnesia by the Bush administration, acting as if there is no responsibility that the USA has for the situation in which Africa finds itself.”
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JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, Paul said today: “This G8 action in Africa is an attempt to give a small fig leaf to Blair’s foreign policy and provide a shred of credibility to the idea that he is trying to help the downtrodden and that UK foreign policy is not about oil, corporate interests and geo-strategic advantage but rather about improving the world. This is similar to traditional justifications for imperialism — recall the ‘white man’s burden’ and ‘mission civilisatrice.'”
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ROSE GENTLE
Rose Gentle’s son Gordon Gentle was killed in Iraq in June 2004. She said today: “I feel ill thinking of all the families that have lost loved ones. Blair should bring the troops home now.”
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OSAMA SAEED
Saeed is spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Britain. He said today: “There can be absolutely no justification for the taking of innocent lives. The MAB with its unique insight into the Muslim world has warned for a considerable time that the root causes of terror need to be addressed.”
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GILL HUBBARD
Hubbard is with the group G8 Alternatives, which organized the largest protests ever in Scotland.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167