They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Friday, September 23, 2005

Contrast US stance on ICRC aid to Falluja vs aid to Uzbekistan

reutersalertnet: U.S. shows double standards and lack of respect for NGOs

For shock and awe, there's nothing to beat an American government spokesperson discussing humanitarian action and revealing both double standards and a failure to grasp the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Like precision bombing that does "collateral damage" to their own troops, the officials making these pronouncements often miss the point, whether it's the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) urging NGOs to promote their American funding in high-risk war zones or the latest State Department verdict on Uzbekistan.

After the Uzbek regime of President Islam Karimov mowed down perhaps hundreds of its citizens following a politically-inspired jailbreak, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher carefully urged restraint by both sides.

He added: "We urge the allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organisations full access to the region so we can get the facts, so that they can help take care of people that may need their help."

Leaving aside whether humanitarian agencies are there to "get the facts" for America, the U.S. stance on ICRC access to those in need in Uzbekistan is directly at odds with its blocking of ICRC and Iraqi Red Crescent Society access to the Falluja enclave in Iraq during a 2004 siege. Read more