This weekend President Bush asked Congress for authority to waive all existing restrictions on U.S. militaryassistance and weapons exports for the next five years to countries he says are helping the US fight againstinternational terrorism.
Separately, on Saturday, Bush lifted all military and economic restrictions on India, and he also removedrestrictions that barred Pakistan from economic assistance and that prevented it from making commercial militarypurchases from U.S. companies.
The new proposal would allow the president to lift human rights restrictions imposed by Congress on U.S. militarycooperation with other countries, effectively undoing decades of work by human rights and arms control groups.President Bush is anxiously cultivating support from countries like Indonesia, which is prohibiting from receiving USmilitary assistance because of its horrific record in East Timor and Indonesia itself.
- Kurt Biddle, Washington Coordinator, Indonesia Human Rights Network.
- Tamar Gebelnick, Federation of American Scientists, Director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project.
- John Roosa, post-doctoral student at the Center for International Studies at UC Berkeley.