Sen. J. Bingaman
Bush, Blair, Brown and Bingaman.
What does such a busy bunch of blokes, currently have in common? [ Besides the blindingly obvious. ]
Take a tour through today's 'teaser' list, to see .
** Tomorrow, Tony Blair will venture into the lion's den, to beard George Bush on the two questions that most sharply divide Britain and the United States: aid to Africa, and global warming.
Publicly, British officials have been stressing the points on which London and Washington agree. They praise George Bush for having trebled the US's aid budget during his presidency, and say that the US and UK are united in their view that aid must be strictly monitored to ensure it goes into projects such as hospitals and schools, not into financing war or corruption.
Privately, the British officials preparing for the summit have been amazed and angered by the "utter intransigence" of the Bush administration.
Suggestions that Mr Blair needs to be rewarded for supporting the US in Iraq have met a dismissive response: "That was then; this is now." **
( snip )
I ask you, how the hell is that - for standing "shoulder to shoulder," eh? With friends like these, who needs enemies?
** Gordon Brown's idea of creating an International Financing Facility (IFF) for Africa has been brusquely dismissed. "We have made our position pretty clear on that: that it doesn't fit our budgetary process," President Bush said last week. He reiterated his position privately to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa ... **
( snip )
But it was mainly this - which surprised me so much.
** In these unpromising circumstances, Mr Blair has taken the unusual step of inviting up to 20 senators to a meeting at the British embassy to put his case directly to them.
A spokeswoman for Senator Bingaman said last night: "I guess [Mr Blair] is aware that the Bush administration is not interested, but he must know that does not apply to everybody else. Things can be done in Washington without the White House, especially if there is strong support in Congress."
( snip )
I have to admit that don't know much about Senator Jeff Bingaman. However, I'm most certainly intrigued.
** Here's the link for today's relevant 'Independent' piece. Written by a formidable, five man reporting team; Andy McSmith, Andrew Buncombe, Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell.