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August 19, 2005

Using Aid as a Weapon

So the US doesn't want its soldiers or officials subject to jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court.

So why not starve children in Latin America as a tool to prevent it? That's been our policy, as we've cut aid not only for military training but economic aid as well to countries that refuse to pledge to shield American citizens from the ICC court.

And many countries are pissed off:

But particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, home to 12 nations that have been penalized, the cuts are generating strong resentment at what many see as heavy-handed diplomacy, officials and diplomats in seven countries said...

In an outburst, in June, President Alfredo Palacio of Ecuador told a Quito television station that he would not yield to Washington. "Absolutely no one is going to make me cower," he said. "Neither the government, nor Alfredo Palacio nor the Ecuadorean people need to be afraid."

If economic aid is withdrawn whenever countries refuse to do what the US dictates, it pretty much destroys any good will created by it, since it makes it clear it is just a weapon, not something representing values other countries should be loyal to in a crisis.

If those countries can get a better deal -- and China is starting to offer it -- why shouldn't they take it, since the US has just forfeited any moral superiority to China by choosing to use the denial of economic aid as a weapon of domination.

Posted by Nathan at August 19, 2005 07:33 AM