"While in office, President Bush has consistently refused to support a treaty to fight global warming. His stated reason: The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, ratified by 169 countries, doesn’t do enough to prompt India, China and other developing nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
"That might be a reasonable stance if the United States, through its international loan programs, was working to help countries develop with the least possible environmental impacts. Instead, it is heading in an opposite direction. As the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. are pumping billions of dollars into oil refineries and other fossil fuel projects, adding to the ever-growing carbon footprint of the developing world.
"Make no mistake: The United States needs to help impoverished countries develop their energy infrastructure. Yet, as even some Republicans note, the administration’s approach is scattershot, with little consideration of alternative energies or impacts on the environment."
—Sacramento Bee, "U.S. loans hurt effort to limit climate change," on Wednesday
"The United Nations set up an office in Baghdad soon after the U.S.-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein. It was the right move, given the international concern over the Bush administration’s go-it-nearly-alone attitude. But that was the United Nations under Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which was cautious to a fault when it came to taking definitive actions.
"So it was hardly surprising that the weakened organization shuttered its Baghdad operations after insurgents killed several employees, including a popular and effective envoy, Sergio Viera de Mello, in two attacks during 2003. It has run a skeleton staff since then, but the U.N. Security Council voted last week to expand the agency’s presence. The fact that sectarian and insurgent violence remains a daily occurrence in Iraq — despite President Bush’s troop surge — is evidence that post-war Iraq has needed a stronger U.N. hand all along.
"The Security Council resolution beefs up the U.N.’s Baghdad office specifically to help reconcile rival factions, something neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. contingent in the country has been able to do. A fresh team is badly needed, which presumably is why the United States and Great Britain sponsored the resolution. The United Nations also may be better able to negotiate with Iraq’s neighbors, particularly Iran, over keeping foreign guns and fighters out of Iraq."
—Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, "In Iraq, a U.N. role," on Wednesday