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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.1)
    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/02/15/africa.thanks.bush.ap/index.html

    " Her head tilted back, Juli Endee pulls the microphone close and belts out, "Thank you, George Bush."

    "Thank you for democracy," she croons over the electric guitar, shaking her hips wrapped in yellow cloth. "Thank you for the rule of law," she sings. "Thank you for debt relief."

    Bush is scheduled to head to Africa on Friday for a visit that will bring him to one of the few parts of the globe where people still have a favorable view of America. A recent Pew poll of 47 nations found that America's popularity is exceptionally high in Africa, where some hold the U.S. in higher regard than Americans do themselves.

    America's popularity verges on exuberance in this nation founded in 1847 by freed U.S. slaves. "If you were to take a survey, you would find that there is not one Liberian that doesn't love George Bush," effuses pop star Endee, whose songs calling for peace were among the most played during Liberia's civil war.

    The Bush administration has made Africa the centerpiece of its aid strategy. Twelve of the 15 countries receiving funding from the five-year, $15 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief are in Africa. Nine African countries are among the 16 drawing grants from Bush's Millennium Challenge Corporation, which provides support to nations that have reached benchmarks from stemming corruption to investing in immunizations.

    Since Bush took office, U.S. development aid to Africa has tripled, funding for HIV programs have vaulted from under $1 billion to over $6 billion per year and garment exports from Africa to America, fueled by special trade deals, increased sevenfold, according to U.S. statistics.

    "His Africa policy has taken us by surprise. None of us expected this," said Tom Kamara, editor-in-chief of the New Democrat, a leading Liberian daily."

    The article goes on to point out that much of Bush's Africa policy is driven by American interests (in particular oil) but its a useful reminder that even the man widely regarded as one of the worst Presidents in history may have ctually doen some good.

    Now of course someone will explain to me why I'm a naive fool and Bush's Africa policy actually involves feeding puppies to piranha.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbrianwood
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.2)
    Well, there's always this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7245002.stm

    Wherein Bush follows Clinton in choosing to sit back and let a genocide go on.

    bri
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008 edited
     (1037.3)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    So, we're pissed when they invade countries, but also pissed when they don't invade them.

    Americans really can't win.

    Maybe they should the corrupt and protectionist European Union clean up the mess instead? Not likely.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.4)
    Not to mention that the funding of AIDS programs is dependent on the programs putting a third of those funds towards abstinence only programs that not only don't work but are harmful in the long-run.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008 edited
     (1037.5)
    Re: Bush & Africa, he's been smoking the Bono pipe, and, in all likelihood, smoking the Pope's pipe of HIV prevention through abstinence.

    Don't get me wrong, the medicines making their way over there would be great (we don't need any here at home, what with our state of the art veterans homes and universally beautiful nursing home facilities). And while preventative programs preaching abstinence won't do a thing for victims of assault (or for children here at home who could use a few more classes and a few less tests), it <em>is</em> what Jeebus would do.

    And that really is what's important, isn't it?

    - Z

    <em>Edited to add: </em>
    <strong>@Jon Wake </strong>
    Ha!
    •  
      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.6)
    Shit, something's better than nothing, and with any luck a less religious bent President may come into office in November and the existing aid will be expanded without all the horseshit caveats.

    With Bush's existing record on foreign policy someone oughta mark this one a draw so he moves up from oh and infinity to oh-1-infinity.
  1.  (1037.7)
    Well, just like nobody's perfect, nobody's a complete fucking bastard.
    •  
      CommentAuthortedcroland
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.8)
    Well, just like nobody's perfect, nobody's a complete fucking bastard.


    I tend to disagree. Selfishness and bastardism is easier than selflessness and altruism, that's why even people that are good at the latter falter at times.
  2.  (1037.9)
    Up for the nomination of complete fucking bastards, I'd put some relatives of mine.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008 edited
     (1037.10)
    Nope, straight disagree. Complete fucking bastard.
    He's also to meet with the president of Ghana to discuss the possibility of funding a pile of troops to go into Somalia to seize Mogadishu. Which looks like a humanitarian crisis (seriously, no government since 1991), but again his resolution is the same as it was with Iraq. "Let's go kill the warlords." It doesn't work. "Muslim extremists?! Where?! Send the bombs. Send the troops! What's this Ghana will supply all the troops? Right on." The UN opposes this action by the way.
    I am surprised that the foreign aid has tripled under his reign; I definitely did not see that one coming. Still he pales in comparison to what a guy like Bill Clinton has done financially speaking in Africa in the last 8 years. And also Nigeria has A) The largest catholic population in the world and B) a fantastic oil milkshake waiting for someone to drink. This "aid" could easily be construed as a longer straw, but he still has to get some points. He's up to negative fifty trillion! At this rate he may even be out of the hole by the time his great great grandchildren are dying of old age. Assuming natural selection doesn't nip them in the bud, that is. He's no Bono, but I guess he's maybe got one humanitarian bone in his body. I just hope he's not using that same bone to fuck a continent. And I'll admit I have odd reason to suspect such action.
    And I have to say- What president in this time WOULDN'T be giving AT LEAST that much in foreign aid? It'll be interesting to see what Obama does, since it's an extremely important issue that I've never seen him talk about.

    EDIT: Somalia IS a humanitarian crisis. I said looks like, and I don't know why. It IS a humanitarian crisis; his "solution" LOOKS like it's addressing the issue, when in fact I don't think it will help. Violence only engenders violence. Or didn't we learn that in Iraq? Wasn't Ghandi saying this over 70 years ago?
  3.  (1037.11)
    I tend to disagree


    Up for the nomination of complete fucking bastards, I'd put some relatives of mine.


    Nope, straight disagree. Complete fucking bastard.


    Actually, you are all right. I just had a brief moment of optimism about the human race.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.12)
    There are plenty more things to be optimistic about the human race than George Bush. It could be worse: Cheney could be president. He eats African children.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.13)
    "If you were to take a survey, you would find that there is not one Liberian that doesn't love George Bush," effuses pop star Endee,

    Not saying much, as they also loved warlord turned president Charles Taylor.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.14)
    You know, it's amazing, I clicked over to see what Bush did right.

    Less than ten posts in, I find how it's not about what Bush is doing right.


    {i heart internets}
    •  
      CommentAuthorvideocrime
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.15)
    humanitarian aid in a genocide =/= invasion.

    unless we go in guns blazing, demanding shit, I don't see why we couldn't help out just a little...
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.16)
    Cyman,

    The situation in Somalia is slightly different than you describe it.

    Ethiopia has already invaded the country and kicked out the Islamic Courts Union.

    The Ghanaian troops would presumably be to reinforce and maybe replace the Ethiopians.

    Considering that there's literally hundreds of years of bad blood between Somalia and Ethiopia, gettign the Ethiopian troops out as as soon as possible is probably a good idea.

    Of course, the Ethiopian invasion was at least tacitly supported by the US in thd first palce so much of your criticism could quite validly be applied there.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
     (1037.17)
    Jeez, I've gotta stop doing that. I'm developing a reputation as "fiercely opinionated guy who only doesn't check his facts". A few months ago, I'd have been spot on! But thanks for not hauling out the arse eels.
    Long story short: Bush is no longer absolutely bottom of the barrel useless. He has one thing he did making the world a bit more livable.
    •  
      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2008
     (1037.18)
    with Bush's track record, anything he does-- even if, on the surface, it appears to be benign or helpful-- must be suspect.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2008 edited
     (1037.19)
    Actually, looking deeper into this... this is a really really great thing that he's doing. Bush on BBC
    I almost don't believe it's him talking; there are intelligent full sentences coming out of his mouth. Not all of them, but a few of them. Almost close to half of what he says is reasonably intelligent.
    "Those who murder the innocent, to achieve political objectives, are evil people, but they have an ideology. And the only way to recruit for that ideology is to prey on hopeless folks."- Bush
    Weird. I get the feeling he actually understands the difference between good and evil... which would mean that he is making a conscious decision to do evil when he does; he's not just a fool. This frightens me, but at the same time, it's really nice that he's put so much money and not troops into Darfur.
    • CommentAuthormbakunin
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2008
     (1037.20)
    The ways of the Bush/Cheney symbiote are mysterious, their wonders to perform

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