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At least Africa appreciates President Bush

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Jeffster, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Jeffster

    Jeffster Contributing Member

    Jun 9, 2003
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    With all the media focus on Iraq, they don't spend much time talking about what President Bush's programs have accomplished in Africa:

    By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

    President Bush on Sunday said Congress should renew his global AIDS program and preserve a requirement that steers money into abstinence efforts.

    "We don't want people guessing on the continent of Africa whether the generosity of the American people will continue," Bush said in Tanzania, the second stop of his African trip.

    Congress strongly backs the program, which is credited with getting medicine and preventive treatment to millions of people — most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet its renewal has gotten hung up over ideology and political debate about disease prevention.

    Some Democrats want to eliminate a provision in the bill that requires one-third of all prevention spending go to abstinence-until-marriage programs. Critics say that while they don't oppose abstinence programs, the inflexible requirement hampers the effort.

    Bush said the time for debate is over, and that those seeking changes on both ends of the political spectrum should "stop the squabbling."

    The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEFPAR, expires this year.

    "My attitude toward Congress is, see what works," Bush said. "PEPFAR is working. It is a balanced program. It is an ABC program — abstinence, be faithful and condoms. It is a program that's been proven effective."

    Tanzania is one of the countries targeted by Bush's emergency AIDS relief effort; more than two-thirds of all people infected with HIV across live in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Standing with Bush, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete thanked U.S. lawmakers for the program, but also prodded them to keep it moving. "If this program is discontinued or disrupted, there will be so many people who will lose hope," he said.

    Bush is pushing to renew the program at $30 billion over five years, twice his original commitment. Congress has put more than $18 billion into it so far. It is the largest effort to ever target an infectious disease.

    Nearing the end of a presidency dominated by the war in Iraq, Bush is targeting disease and poverty in his visits to five African nations. The president and first lady, Laura Bush, began their African trip in Benin in West Africa, then flew to the east coast of the continent to Tanzania. He also plans to visit Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia.

    Unlike in the United States, where his approval rating hovers near his record lows, Bush is treated here with reverence. A crowd of people, some wearing clothing bearing Bush's image, waved tiny U.S. and Tanzanian flags to welcome him as he walked down a red carpet toward the State House.

    "People may have different views about you and your administration and your legacy," Kikwete said. "But we in Tanzania, if we are to speak for ourselves and for Africa, we know for sure that you, Mr. President, and your administration, have been good friends of our country."

    Later, Dar es Salaam's dusty, rutted streets were again lined with the curious as he drove to Amana Hospital. Strolling through the complex of low-slung buildings and sun-drenched courtyards, Bush met with HIV-positive patients and doctors in the facility's AIDS treatment wing, funded in part with PEPFAR dollars.

    "I'm very lucky,' said Tatu Msangi, who was tested for HIV while pregnant, received treatment and delivered a healthy baby, Faith, now 2.

    Bush said the hospital was the best exhibit he could imagine in his campaign to convince Congress to fund the program the way he wants. He made another appeal for the HIV/AIDS program to be extended beyond his presidency, as Congress is expected to do.

    "One of the main reasons I want to make sure the American people know that the program is successful is because I want this program to continue to be funded," Bush said.

    The president, who started his remarks at a news conference with a folksy "Howdy" in Swahili, signed a nearly $700 million aid pact with Kikwete to help Tanzania build up its infrastructure.

    It's the largest deal under a Bush program that offers economic aid to countries that treat their people fairly, rule justly and root out corruption.

    "I'll just put it bluntly, America doesn't want to spend money on people who steal the money from the people," Bush said. "We like dealing with honest people, and compassionate people. We want our money to go to help human condition and to lift human lives as well as fighting corruption in marketplace economies."

    At the news conference, both leaders dodged a question about the presidential race in the United States and the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., whose father was Kenyan.

    Bush, momentarily taken aback by a question about the excitement surrounding Obama's candidacy, said: "Seems like there was a lot of excitement for me."

    Kikwete would say only: "Let him be as good a friend of Africa as President Bush has been."

    In the afternoon, Bush visited with the families of victims from the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy here. He said a silent prayer in front of a plaque in the garden of the new embassy before going inside for private talks. A total of 224 people were killed in the twin bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

    In their customary gift exchange, Bush received a stuffed lion and leopard, and a zebra skin. In return, Bush gave his Tanzanian host a big black box. Inside was a large pair of autographed basketball sneakers, courtesy of the 7-foot-1 basketball star, Shaquille O'Neal.


  2. ymc

    ymc Member

    Nov 18, 2002
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    Africa is huge. If he goes to Somalia or Sudan, he might meet his maker right now.
  3. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

    Dec 24, 2007
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    Hey, we all know Nixon was remembered for normalizing relations with China ;)
  4. conquistador#11

    Jun 30, 2006
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    now mutombo, he is a man of the people


    deke > bush
  5. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

    Aug 17, 2002
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    Is "Africa" a monolithic continent? The countries he 'toured' were hand-picked for him in advance, and for good reason. I don't think he will be stopping by Somalia, Sudan or Libya any time soon.
  6. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

    Jun 3, 2002
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    Only Angelina Jolie and Madonna can pull off trips to the African axis of evil.
  7. Matchman

    Matchman Contributing Member

    Mar 28, 2006
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    so u ar saying countries like tanzania are not poor enough to get help? i will consider the safety of our president first before picking on which countries to "tour", and somalia, sudan and libya arent exactly safe.
  8. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Aug 31, 1999
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    Dam thas gotta suck!


    Bush, African Host Deflect Obama Query

    Dar Es Salaam, TANZANIA (CNN) – It took two days, but Obama-mania finally crashed President Bush's party in Africa ever so briefly on Sunday.

    The whole point of Bush's six-day trip to this continent is to break away from the presidential campaign that's overshadowing him in the United States, and get some attention for his AIDS relief program that's a popular legacy item. And in fact, Bush was greeted like a native son when he arrived at the statehouse here for a meeting with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete — literally thousands of screaming fans lining a red carpet to get a chance to shake his hand.

    But this is also the home turf of sorts for a real native son, Sen. Barack Obama, whose father hailed from Kenya. So questions about the Democratic presidential candidate are bound to come up. And the first one did at a joint press conference with Bush and Kikwete, and it was politely and somewhat comically dodged by both leaders.

    Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press asked Bush a question about his AIDS relief plan and then turned to Kikwete to note the excitement in Africa about Obama's candidacy and asked the African leader to comment on "what you think it says about America that we might elect a black President with roots in Africa?"

    Even though that part of the question was not directed at him, Bush weighed in first with mock exasperation that everyone seemed to be forgetting he was treated like a rock star on the trip. "It seemed like there was a lot of excitement for me, wait a minute," the President said to laughter. "Maybe you missed it."

    Then after Bush answered the first part of Loven's question, which was about criticism over the focus on abstinence in his AIDS plan, the President turned to Kikwete and wondered aloud whether he wanted to answer the question about U.S. politics. "See, she didn't ask me it because she knew I wouldn't answer the question," said Bush, who has been trying with mixed success to refrain from opining on the exciting race to succeed him.

    But Kikwete ducked any kind of endorsement in the U.S. election, instead heaping some praise on Bush.

    "Well, I don't think I can venture into that territory, either," said Kikwete. "Of course, people talk with excitement of Obama — well, our excitement is that President Bush is at the end of his term, and the U.S. is going to get a new President, whoever that one is. For us, the most important thing is, let him be as good [a] friend of Africa as President Bush has been."

    Public relations crisis averted. If Kikwete had launched into a speech about the wonders of Obama, U.S. journalists here would have been scurrying to file stories about how the Democratic upstart was trumping Bush's Legacy Tour.

    Surely this was just a case of Kikwete being a smart politician who didn't fall into the trap of upstaging his guest. But then again, that $700 million aid check Bush had forked over to Kikwete a few minutes earlier probably fostered a wee bit of goodwill too.

  9. Locke

    Locke Member

    Aug 12, 2001
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    According to my ex-college roommate, who works for the Red Cross, the ABC programs are so painfully religious-based that it makes it close to impossible for physicians to do their work normally. Its the B in the middle. Be Faithful. Sneaky sneaky evangelistic bs.
  10. Locke

    Locke Member

    Aug 12, 2001
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    To specify.....we dont offer AIDS help to sex workers. Sorry, they are immoral. Its doesnt matter that they may be the biggest carriers of the virus... no no no our superior moral code states that they get no help.

  11. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

    Jan 24, 2002
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  12. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2002
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    Yes that's immoral, but these same people feel that torture is A-OK.

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