Oh, the irony inevitability:
November 20, 2001 12:48 AM   Subscribe

Oh, the irony inevitability: "The United States is putting at risk a key United Nations conference on deadly biological weapons which gets under way in Geneva on Monday."
posted by donkeyschlong (10 comments total)
Irony? Right, we'll never stop bioterrorism unless we throw yet another United Nations resolution at the problem. That'd show Osama.
posted by frednorman at 2:58 AM on November 20, 2001

It has been fairly clear to many writers on terrorism that stomping out the bad guys means gloabl cooperation rather than going it alone....Bush, who had distain for treaties and other countries, seems now to be learning that any form of terrorism has global inmplications.
Terror groups and cells are world-wide. And they have shown the ease with which they cross national boundaries.
posted by Postroad at 3:27 AM on November 20, 2001

frednorman - I don't think it's so much about OBL reading UN declarations as it is about working with others. Couldn't at least part of the reason for the 911 disaster be the way the USA has pushed what it wants without the kind of consensu politics the UN encourages?

[And if this post causes some horrible mess in a log file somewhere - apologies, I'm testing some HTTP proxy code ;-]
posted by andrew cooke at 4:00 AM on November 20, 2001

This treaty is a good idea if you believe that criminals follow laws. If, on the other hand, you're a bit skeptical of that - it's just another flash vs. substance issue.
posted by revbrian at 5:43 AM on November 20, 2001

The Bush administration's opposition has nothing to do with the intent of the UN declaration. Rather, the administration is making a stand against any global authority that does not effectively put the US in charge. Imperialism is the driving force.
posted by yesster at 5:44 AM on November 20, 2001

Really, it's a problem of inspections. The US has one of the most advanced biotech industries in the world, and I'm not sure we want to allow foreign inspectors to compromise our trade secrets.
posted by ph00dz at 7:27 AM on November 20, 2001

Those of you who post little but to whine at every single US policy decision might want to take a look at exactly what the proposed "enforcement protocols" are.

The blame cannot be put on the detractors alone, however, as journalists who are supposed to cover the issues are clearly neglecting to do their jobs in favor of taking a few jabs at the Bush administration (like that's anything new). Here's a few highlights of the so-called "tough new protocol" -- voluntary disclosures, two-week advance warning of any inspection, inspections limited to those sites listed in said warning, etc. In other words the treaty was deliberately so watered down that even Iraq could sign up without significantly changing their attitudes towards weapons inspectors from the UN or indeed any other regulatory body.

Sure, this is a treaty which everyone can sign without thinking twice -- especially those who produce large quantities of weapons of mass destructions. When you're given two weeks' notice of upcoming inspections at specified sites, there's very little ground to oppose said inspections. When the notice comes in you just pick up your lab gear and move it to some location whose name does not appear in the memo, then rinse, lather, and repeat if necessary.
posted by clevershark at 7:56 AM on November 20, 2001

This treaty is a good thing. Bush Inc. opposes the treaty because the large pharma contributors oppose it. To paraphrase Dubya, "Gotta dance with them what brung ya.'" What harm would being a signatory to this treaty do other than the possible perceived harm to the pharmas? Now, what good could come out of such an international treaty?
posted by nofundy at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2001

There's absolutely no sense in the administration spending any of its resources backing something so ill-conceived that it will manage to both a) do absolutely nothing to reduce the spread of WMD and b)give legitimacy to the nationa that produce said WMD because, after all, they're "compliant".

Considering how quickly the UN's inspection program simply folded and walked away at the first hint of resistance from Iraq, there is also a great deal of skepticism as to the value of UN-sponsored resolutions at all. If the UN can't even enforce its present rules what is the point of lending legitimacy to another "group grope" type treaty which will change nothing?
posted by clevershark at 10:51 AM on November 20, 2001

Good riddance to this unverifiable and unenforceable parchment defense system otherwise known as the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. George Bush is doing the right thing by ignoring this and any other idiotic UN conference that happens down the pike.
posted by Real9 at 11:29 AM on November 20, 2001

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