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Volume 68, Issue 144, Monday, June 2, 2003


Leaders just can't get along

Craig Byrnes
Opinion Columnist

Among the natural springs and lush landscape of Evian-les-Bains, France, the spirit of a world coming together is attempting to take hold. But just as a drain plugged with hair, this summit will be no different than any other meaning. So donit rush just yet to buy T-shirts that read "The World is One."

French President Jacques Chirac has stepped into the spotlight as the humble host of the G8 Summit, scheduled for the first three days in June. Many issues on the platter for the meeting will encompass globalization, environmental concerns and the War on Terror. The United States will come through with a message separate from the rest. The already distinct problem in Africa must be looked at, and now that Saddam Hussein is either dead, injured or in hiding, it seems Bush is ready to take that leap and deal with the bureaucratic pressure.

Does anyone see a problem here? Does something not seem kosher? Pictures of Bush standing with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with Chirac are enough to make a few shiver in their boots.

These countries were leading the opposition to Bushis baby: the war against Iraq. These countries were standing in the center of the U.N. Security Council jumping up and down like three-year-olds stripped of their favorite toy. Bush should hate them, but outward appearances seem to point to just the opposite. Relationships between world powers are important, especially during times of unrest brought on by the people Putin and Chirac want to keep alive.

It is no surprise that Russia and France would all of a sudden be right back on board with the crackdown on terrorism, but they shouldnit be allowed to. France wouldnit join because it wasnit on their terms. They wanted to be the leaders and cannot stand to be in line behind the United States.

Russia. Money. KGB. That should be enough to explain Putinis stance, but he is not stupid, and everyone knows he is being kept in line by the frequent visits to the western White House in Crawford.

Now that it seems dissenting nations have experienced an epiphany, they want to conquer issues such as Franceis proposal and focus on four themes. According to the official G8 Summit Web site (<I> <P>), the themes are: "solidarity, with particular emphasis on the Partnership for Africais development, and access to water for all; the spirit of responsibility that not only governments, but all economic actors, especially business corporations, need to display in the financial, social, environmental and ethical spheres; security, in order to strengthen the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and democracy, through ongoing dialogue with civil society and with other States."

This is ludicrous. Can governments be nominated for an Oscar?

Byrnes, a junior print journalism major, can be reached via


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