The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, June 07, 2003
US-Chile trade pact signed: some war opponents more equal than others?
Back in the dark days of Uncle Sam's battle for the (ultimately mythical) Second Resolution on Iraq, all kinds of dirty dealings were deemed justified in aid of the Cause. Bribes and threats the daily bread of the Saleable Six - Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Guinea, Mexico and Pakistan - courtesy of the hyper-bully (February, March archives passim).
In Chile's case, the threats were to the free trade agreement painstakingly negotiated with the US, a final draft of which was more or less ready for signature at the time the Second Resolution business blew up.
In my piece of March 16, I mentioned that no less a buffoon than Henry Hyde - MC for the Clinton Impeachment of beloved memory (the man who couldn't count to 67) - had sent a snotty letter to President Ricardo Lagos, telling him (more or less) to shape up on Iraq, or kiss his trade treaty goodbye. Such was the lunacy of the time.
Now the wargasm is over (for the moment), common-sense prevails, amongst those seen acting for USG, at least. The agreement has been signed (Oakland Tribune June 7). Richard Boucher, in his June 6 briefing at State, says that
we are very pleased that the agreement is being signed today. I think it will be taken up in Congress soon. It's good for both the U.S. and Chile, but it's also good for the hemisphere.
Note the deflation inherent in that sentence about Congress. It's going to be a protectionists' picnic, of course: a Florida Sun-Sentinel piece (June 7) even has Jimmy Hoffa  - amongst the whingers.
And I'm far from convinced how much political capital USG will be investing in getting the agreement ratified - especially since resolving the judicial nominations problem in the Senate may well tie things up there for a good, long time .
But opposing Uncle Sam doesn't seem to be the one-way ticket to the deep-freeze that the more vigorous negotiators may have suggested back in March!
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