Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Former President Clinton Says That For The Current Cost Of The Iraq War, The U.S. Could Fund 10 To 12 Years Worth Of Sustainable Global Development

"The situation in the Middle East has become so bad that a fresh peace initiative is a strong likelihood within the next two months, Bill Clinton, the former US president, said in an interview with the Financial Times.

President Clinton, whose annual conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, begins in New York on Wednesday, said the deteriorating situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the aftermath of the war in Lebanon had created the conditions for “some kind of positive movement to take place.”

While emphasising that he had no “insider knowledge”, President Clinton said: “All these bad news stories have created a sense that if we don’t want further disintegration to occur then we had better come up with a strategy that goes forward in creating a new sense of order that enables everybody to live together. I’m not sure you won’t see some positive things come out of the Middle East in the next 60 days.”

“It is time to think about what we can do to break out of this, otherwise we have three choices. We can say: “We know who our adversaries are and we can accelerate the confrontation, or we can kick the can down the road and hope the underlying realities change, or we can try to rearrange the pieces and players and try to put a puzzle together”. It seems to me the latter course is the best…It wouldn’t surprise me to see some fairly interesting things come out.” ...

"Finally, the US should win over the developing world by committing between $25bn to $30bn a year to achieving the development goals agreed by the group of eight leading global economies in 2000. “We have to recognise – as we have learned in Iraq – that even a country as big and powerful as America cannot handle these problems alone. We need allies, we need friends, we need more partners and fewer enemies.

“Since we have spent so much money in Iraq – more than $300bn - we need to spend more money to get kids into schools, to keep healthy people fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and to provide sensible economic strategies to help people lift themselves out of poverty. These would cost a fraction of the war in Iraq and dramatically enhance our security as well as fulfil our moral responsibility to help other people fulfil their dreams.”"

Chrystia Freeland and Edward Luce "Clinton sees hope of fresh Mideast initiative" Financial Times September 19, 2006

Transcript of President Clinton FT Interview on his Clinton Global Initiative, a non-partisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Tanzanian health care worker prepares mosquito-abatement spray.

Photo credit: World Health Organization. With thanks.


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