A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
However, the US representative sought to remove language from the non-binding resolution calling on governments to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding” and called for governments to restrict promotion of products that experts believe harmful to children.
When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.
The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.
The United States does much good in the world, but the US also bullies other nations to protect corporate interests.
Also noteworthy: The US made effectively devastating threats against Ecuador to protect the interests of infant formula makers, but maybe just nudged Ecuador a little (if at all) to expel Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.