Out of their own mouths
The Bush administration's "hostile attitude" in dealing with the rest of the world shows "a sense of arrogance and contempt" for international co- operation which will eventually undermine American interests, said The New York Times, one of the leading newspapers in the United States. The New York Times, in an editorial lashed out at President Bush for turning about from his presidential campaign remarks that a country as powerful as the United States should remain "humble" in relations with other countries. Since taking office, the newspaper said, "Mr. Bush has shown a surprising disdain for the kinds of treaties and international agreements that set the tone for America's engagement with the world and that have figured prominently in Washington's foreign policy for most of the years since World War II." "In January, even before Mr. Bush took office, his spokesmen declared that he would not seek Senate ratification of the treaty creating the International Criminal Court. In March, the White House announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. In May, Mr. Bush made clear that he was ready to set aside the constraints of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to test and build missile defenses," the newspaper noted. "This month, American delegates insisted on diluting a United Nations agreement to reduce illegal trafficking in small arms. Last week, Washington pulled out of long-running efforts to negotiate enforcement provisions for the convention banning biological weapons. "Meanwhile, the administration has indefinitely deferred seeking Senate ratification of the 1996 nuclear test ban treaty and the 1993 nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia negotiated by Mr Bush's father," the newspaper said. The New York Times editorial voiced support for preservation or adoption of the treaties that the Bush administration opposes, and insisted that the flaws in imperfect treaties can generally be fixed, whether through further negotiations or in the Senate ratification process. It pointed out that last week representatives of nearly 180 countries met at Bonn and made important changes to address previous American complaints about the Kyoto Protocol. "But instead of engaging in serious negotiations in Bonn, Washington's representative was instructed to stand aside." The newspaper whacked the Bush administration for having thus far "ignored a useful opportunity to address many of the objections it has raised to the nuclear test ban treaty." "This is not a productive role for the world's leading country. Contempt for the concerns of other countries will only erode American influence," The New York Times said.