News Release

Bush’s G8 Trip


Booker, the executive director of Africa Action, said today: “In the G8 Summit, Africa will come up once more to be used for purposes of spin — to make the claim that rich Western countries are compassionate and caring. Unfortunately, the track record suggests this is unlikely to be anything more than a public relations exercise. While the United States and the G8 engage in feel-good talk, Africa’s illegitimate external debts are draining $15 billion from the continent’s poorest countries each year — this is greater than the amount of aid or new direct investment or new loans that goes into Africa annually. In other words, the poorest region of the world is subsidizing the rich through forced repayment of odious debt.”
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A noted historian and author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts and Society Since 1914 and Another Century of War, Kolko said: “Today, NATO’s original raison d’être for imposing American hegemony — which was to prevent the major European nations from pursuing independent foreign policies — is now the core of the controversy that is now raging…. [The Bush administration’s] commitment to aggressive unilateralism is the antithesis of an alliance system that involves real consultation…. The meeting at the end of April between [France and Germany] and Belgium — although still vague in its implications — is an important step in the direction of NATO’s breakup and the creation of an autonomous bloc that Washington cannot control.”
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Njehu is the director of the 50 Years Is Enough Network. She will be in Evian and Geneva, where the G8 summit is being held. Ambrose is the group’s senior analyst. Njehu said today: “At last year’s summit the leaders endorsed the New Partnership for African Development, a collection of failed ‘trickle-down’ policies like deregulation and privatization that the IMF and World Bank are already imposing across Africa…. In Africa, people have read about NEPAD, and they reject it. It ignores the debt crisis, snubs women, and barely deals with the HIV/AIDS crisis.” Protests have already started around Evian. Ambrose said today: “The global justice movement seeks to globalize democracy and human rights. Corporate globalization seeks not to increase diversity and opportunity but to impose a monolithic, profit-centered face on the world economy.”
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Wedel is author of several books on Eastern Europe and Russia including Private Poland, The Unplanned Society: Poland During and After Communism and Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe. She is associate professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. Wedel said today: “Although the Polish people are probably the most pro-American in Europe — and while Poland’s government supported Bush’s Iraq policies — nevertheless 80 percent of the Polish population was opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Poles are strikingly pro-American, but overwhelmingly oppose the current governmental policies.”
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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