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Old 02-18-2008, 08:01 AM   #1
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Africa's American Hero

[Q]President Bush may be struggling at home, but he remains surprisingly popular here in Africa, where his face adorns everything from billboards of thanks, to women's dresses.

The main reason for his popularity is that the fund to combat AIDS, which he created in 2003, has spent more than $15 billion on the continent over the past five years.

"It was incumbent upon us to help deal with this pandemic that ... could have literally wiped out an entire generation of Africans," Bush told reporters in the Tanzanian capital today.

The fund is the largest international health initiative ever to fight a single disease, and Bush wants to double that amount to $30 billion over the next five years.

"Different people may have different views about you and your administration and your legacy," Tanzanian President Jikaya 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, and have been good friends of Africa."

Critics want even more funding and fewer strings, like the requirement that some money go to abstinence programs. But even critics concede what is obvious to thousands of HIV-positive patients, like James Kan, a patient at a clinic in the capital — the program has saved lives. [/Q]

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4303636&page=1
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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In many ways, the old adage is still true. All politics are local.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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I love how the article makes the sweeping generality that "here in Africa" he is well loved. Um, Africa is a huge continent with some 53 independent nations and thousands of different ethnic groups and cultures. Generalization much? In my two years in West Africa, I think I can count on one hand the number of people I met who had anything good to say about him. And in my experience, whenever any kind of big name politician comes to visit, the local government will throw out the welcome mat (like the billboards mentioned in the article) in order to make the visiting potentate feel loved and hopefully more generous. It's all about setting yourself up for more money in the future. lol. But of course that doesn't make for snappy headlines, does it?

That said, HIV prevention and treatment is extremely important so it's good to see funding continue.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


That said, HIV prevention and treatment is extremely important so it's good to see funding continue.
Unfortunately though, I haven't gotten any word that they're going to ease up on the "abstinence only" thing. That's denying a lot of people the means to protect themselves from HIV.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:22 AM   #5
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All that being said, I'm pleased to give praise for any progress.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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Someone needs to like the guy besides Sting and Diamond...
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Someone needs to like the guy besides Sting and Diamond...
Haha
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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He's being showered with praise by our President Jakaya Kikwete at least; I posted it in my journal.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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Just as no leader is without errors, no leader is without at least some good choices.

While the "abstinence" thing is probably holding the program back somewhat, the HIV/AIDS program is a definite bright spot in these past eight years.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:12 PM   #10
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I should have added in my previous post that I am in no way trying to discredit the progress that has been made. I do agree that things have been looking better for many people. I just think the abstinence is a stupid thing to hold in such a promising program.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:20 PM   #11
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However, it's going to a LOT more besides financing from the US to overcome the internal problems, to see the progress actually is being made at grassroot level.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:28 PM   #12
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What is not covered in the article is that the trip is about other things such as access to vast natural resources and possibly setting up US military bases. China and Russia have been moving into Africa in a big way - e.g. signing contracts for energy and minerals exports, and now the US needs to compete with them in Africa.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:18 PM   #13
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I saw him say the word "condoms" there and I thought I might pass out

I would say this is the most positive aspect of his Presidency-the Africa aid, not the use of the word condom
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:27 PM   #14
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President Bush shows the students the last book he read, at the Maasai Girls School in Arusha, Tanzania, Monday, Feb. 18, 2008

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Old 02-18-2008, 02:34 PM   #15
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At least it's not My Pet Goat.
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