News Release

Bush’s Asia Trip: Interviews Available

MARGO OKAZAWA-REY
Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and a visiting professor at Mills College in California, Okazawa-Rey has authored a number of papers about U.S. bases in East Asia. She said today: “Many activists in South Korea, the Philippines and Okinawa/Japan are opposing their governments that support U.S. policies, largely due to political and economic pressure from the U.S…. As Bush alludes to, the U.S. will ‘help’ the Philippines. In exchange for [President Gloria Macapagal] Arroyo’s support of the ‘war on terrorism,’ the Philippine government received over $4.6 billion of economic and military aid….”
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JOHN FEFFER
Author of the new book North Korea / South Korea: U.S. Policy at a Time of Crisis, Feffer said today: “Contrary to common perception, Bush has not really changed policy. The U.S. government continues to refuse to sign a bilateral security pact with North Korea…. North Korea has said that it is willing to negotiate away its nuclear program but is worried about U.S. plans to attack. Given the Bush administration’s targeting of North Korea in the Nuclear Posture Review, placement of North Korea in the ‘axis of evil,’ and threatening troop movements in the region, North Korea’s fears are not mere paranoia.”
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SEUNG HYE SUH
Suh is an organizer with the group Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and assistant professor at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. She said today: “President Bush’s proposal for six-way talks on North Korea’s nuclear program is welcome as an alternative to war. But even that much simultaneous translation cannot drown out the facts. As Russia, China, North Korea, and even Jimmy Carter indicate, only the U.S. can resolve this crisis, because only the U.S. threatens a first-strike attack. North Korea has said it will drop its nuclear program, allowing international inspections, if the U.S. drops its threat to attack. So whether it’s a treaty, a pact, or assurances, two countries at the table or 20, the central question is: When will the U.S. commit to peace?”
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JEFFREY WINTERS
Author of Power in Motion: Capital Mobility and the Indonesian State, co-editor of Rethinking the World Bank and associate professor of political economy at Northwestern University, Winters said today: “Skipping Jakarta and instead spending only three hours in Bali reveals a deep U.S. nervousness about keeping Bush safe. As elsewhere, the U.S. embassy in Jakarta is now a fortress behind barriers, razor wire, and steel plates covering the windows. Bush is visiting the Hindu enclave of Bali even though Indonesia is the largest population of Muslims in the world. Although he will meet a hand-picked group of moderate Muslim intellectuals there, he should still be ready to get an earful about how people on the receiving end of U.S. foreign policy view the United States. Indonesians are skeptical of claims the U.S. is pro-democracy because they know the U.S. supported Indonesia’s dictator Suharto for over three decades and now is itching to re-establish close ties to Indonesia’s murderous and unreformed military…. The APEC summit is devoid of bold economic initiatives. The notable thing about the Asian economies is that the ones following the reckless liberalization policies pushed by the World Bank and IMF were the most vulnerable to the Asian financial crisis and the least likely to achieve rapid and sustained development.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167