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Old 07-03-2002, 10:47 AM   #1
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Bush Backtracking on aid

I posted this in the depths of a thread on PLEBA but it was an interesting article. Get ready to throw things....The Philadelphia Inquirer
July 1, 2002

Bush Backtracking on AIDS a Slap in the Face for Bono

By David Corn


So this is the thanks Bono gets?

Just weeks ago, the U2 front man was jetting through Africa with Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill and exploring the deep poverty of the
continent. Media in tow, the unlikely duo visited cities and villages, often
inspecting hospitals, orphanages and clinics where the tragic effects of the AIDS
pandemic could be witnessed.

By conducting high-visibility public appearances with O'Neill and George W.
Bush, the rock star has shared his hipness with the Bush squares. Not since a
decked-out Elvis Presley posed with President Richard Nixon has there been
such a lopsided transfer of cool in Washington.

To be fair, Bono has probably prompted the misers to open the purse more than
they otherwise would. But when Bush the other day announced a supposedly
"important new" anti-AIDS program for Africa, it was not only an insult to the
millions being killed overseas by this plague, it was a slap in the face to Bono.

At the White House, Bush said, "In Africa, the disease clouds the future of entire
nations...In the hardest hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa, as much as
one-third of the adult population is infected with HIV, and 10 percent or more of
the schoolteachers will die of AIDS within five years." He proposed "to make
$500 million available" to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to children.

Stopping inherited AIDS is one of the best bang-for-a-buck components of
an assault against AIDS. A single dose of medication given at birth
will work half the time. This is also one of the least controversial aspects of
AIDS prevention because it has nothing to do with sex or condoms. It focuses
on newborns, not adults. Consequently, it does not offend the religious right
and cultural conservatives.

So what's the catch? First, Bush was proposing funding that does not meet
the actual need. Second, he was taking credit for money already
approved by Congress. Finally, he was covering up the fact that his
administration had pressed Congress to lower spending for this activity. Bush
was spreading it thick in the Rose Garden.

The President expects his project to prevent nearly 150,000 infant infections
over the next five years. The problem is, there are about
800,000 children born with AIDS each year, according to the United Nations.
That means the Bush initiative is aiming at helping less than
4 percent of this population. Moreover, $200 million of this supposedly "new"
initiative was approved for use this year by Congress days before
Bush's announcement. What he added was $300 million for this type of AIDS
prevention in the following two years. Which averages out to $150
million a year -- a cut from the current level.

It gets worse. At the start of June, several Republicans -- notably, Sens. Bill
Frist and Jesse Helms -- were trying to raise overseas AIDS funding this year
by $500 million. But the White House leaned on Frist and Helms and got the pair
to slice that to $200 million.

When Bush hailed his initiative as one that would save lives, he could have as
easily said, "Thanks to me, this program will save fewer lives than it would have
had Frist and Helms gotten their way." As Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat who has
worked with Frist and Helms to increase global AIDS funding, griped, "Just as
we've achieved bipartisan momentum to make a real difference on the toll this
devastating disease is taking on Africa, the administration announces a retreat
and pretends it's a forward charge."

Bush boasts that his administration committed nearly $1 billion to global
HIV/AIDS assistance this year and has sent $500 million to the global fund to
fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. That sounds like a healthy contribution.
But relief and medical groups argue this is far from sufficient. U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been pressing the international community
to kick in $7 billion to $10 billion a year to the global anti-AIDS fund, with the
United States covering about one-fifth of that. Catholic Relief Services has
called for a $2 billion increase in U.S. funding for the effort against AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria, of which half would go to sub-Saharan Africa, where
anestimated 28 million people have AIDS.

Bush shows no signs of rising to the challenge.

Hours after making his disingenuous AIDS announcement, Bush attended a
black-tie Republican fundraising extravaganza that collected $30
million or so, with a major portion coming from pharmaceutical companies. In
fact, Robert Ingram, GlaxoSmithKline's chief operating officer, was the
numero-uno fund-raiser for the event. This drug
company not too long ago tried to prevent the South African government from
manufacturing lifesaving anti-AIDS drugs. This event was, sadly, a true
Washington moment.

That day, Bono issued a statement in response to Bush's "new" AIDS program.
"This crisis urgently demands an historic presidential AIDS initiative," the U2er
observed. "This isn't it but could be the
beginning of it."

Bono deserves credit for pushing the tightwads of Washington and the West to
acknowledge publicly the problems of global poverty and global AIDS. How long,
though, can this Irish musician sing a song of hope regarding Bush, O'Neill and
the rest, when he still hasn't found anything close to what he -- and those
African mothers -- are looking
for?

(David Corn is the Washington editor of the Nation.)

2002, Philadelphia Inquirer
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:57 AM   #2
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Thank you for posting this.

I read this article and several others like it - all say the same. Namely, that Bush is taking credit for something already approved by Congress. Worse, Bush *CUT* the funding approved by Congress!

I find this truly an insult in every way. People complain about Clinton, but I have seen neither Bush President do anything to assist the U.S. I fully believe both will leave the U.S. in worse shape than when they started. The first Bush had a war where the major obstacle was not removed. The second Bush is now having a war where the major obstacle has not been removed. Both are back-pedaling ("read my lips: no new taxes") against their promises made.

I'm not against the Republican party - however, I am against the Bush family. Worse presidential family ever!

Come on 2004 - we'll have Bush no more!
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thank you for the news.

If you see that U2NEWS.COM or U2 News on the Forum does NOT have an article, please PM me so that I can add it.

Thank you.


~HA
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Old 07-03-2002, 12:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the report but this is disheartening news.

As far as Bush bashing, well I make NO excuses for him, but don't think Clinton was any better. If Clinton had taken care of this problem it wouldn't still be here today for us to worry about. Not that it makes it okay for Bush, it's wrong of all of them. I really have lost faith in all politicians.
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:15 PM   #5
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I think this shows how wrong and naive was Bono given "photo oportunities" to prominent politicians.
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:18 PM   #6
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ChartAttack: Bono Speaks Out On G8 Rhetoric

http://www.chartattack.com
July 3, 2002
From ChartAttack:

Bono Speaks Out On G8 Rhetoric
Tuesday July 02, 2002

Bono's upset. And it's at least partially Jean Chretien's fault.

The U2 frontman is disappointed following the conclusion of the G8
summit in Kananaskis, Alberta last week. He says that Prime Minister
Jean Chretien promised him last year that a massive relief plan for
poverty stricken Africa would come out of the summit.

Aid for Africa was the dominant issue at the summit, but Bono feels
that Chretien failed to convince the other G8 leaders to do enough
for the troubled continent.

"It was an inspired thing, I think, of Prime Minister Chretien ... to
have it as the centerpiece at this year's G8, but really what I'm
looking at is a lot of rhetoric, a lot of the old numbers just kind of
fiddled with," the star told CBC's The National in an interview that's
available to view online.

"Prime Minister Chretien said to us a year ago that 'I'm going to give
you your voice. I'm going to give you your chance' .... I just hoped
they'd have had the imagination to make a giant, giant leap here."

Bono praised the G8 for their decision to contribute to a $1 billion
fund for third world debt relief and Chretien's pledge of $6 billion,
most of which is already in place, towards Africa, which closed the
summit. The participating countries, however, refused to commit to
a plan which would see 50 per cent of all new funds dedicated
towards Africa.

--Jason Hailman
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed
I think this shows how wrong and naive was Bono given "photo oportunities" to prominent politicians.
I don't think it was wrong or naive of him to try and use the people who control the money to make a difference. What else would he have done- griped about it but not spoken to the people who could change things?

U2 fans understand what Bono was doing and wouldn't be influenced to vote one way or another b/c he's in a picture with a politicans. And if you're not a U2 fan I'm not sure you'd care enough to vote for a politican because some random rock & roll star was hanging with them. For example, I wouldn't vote for someone just b/c they took a pic with Steve Tyler.

It's these politicans fault for using this ISSUE to try and make themselves look better- when in fact they are doing nothing to help.
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tabby
Thanks for the report but this is disheartening news.

As far as Bush bashing, well I make NO excuses for him, but don't think Clinton was any better. If Clinton had taken care of this problem it wouldn't still be here today for us to worry about. Not that it makes it okay for Bush, it's wrong of all of them. I really have lost faith in all politicians.
FOR THE RECORD...
Bush did MORE for Africa then Clinton did.

DB9

Plez learn the facts ppl.
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:39 PM   #9
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bush: *sees a raging inferno*

inferno: *rages*

bush: *ignores said inferno until people start to notice*

people: *notice*

bush: *spits in inferno so he can say he did what he could whilst holding a pitcher of water*


that's what this is. i understand that we are in recession and the economy isn't too hot and we have a conflict going on, but $500 million isn't a lot for us. on top of that, were we to cancel the debt THEN give $500 million, it would be so much sweeter...
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:43 PM   #10
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I don't say this to diminish Bono "honest" efforts, what I say is that he should have known better, Bono has always been a fighter in many fronts, he always has been an inspiration to make people think "what can I do to change my world?" " what can I do to help?" his latest actions with politics have created mixed opinions, and I don't think this has to do with being a fan or not, you can be a fan of U2 and agree or not with this actions.
The important thing, in my opinion is that each of us, that supposedly care, keep doing, or start doing something that would reflect what we admire in a guy like him.
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:45 PM   #11
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What Raf said.
DB9
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
bush: *sees a raging inferno*

inferno: *rages*

bush: *ignores said inferno until people start to notice*

people: *notice*

bush: *spits in inferno so he can say he did what he could whilst holding a pitcher of water*


that's what this is. i understand that we are in recession and the economy isn't too hot and we have a conflict going on, but $500 million isn't a lot for us. on top of that, were we to cancel the debt THEN give $500 million, it would be so much sweeter...
The pt is Lilly-
With ALL this going on..Bush STILL did more, then your favorite son UNDER BETTER circumstances.
Back off plez.

Thanks-
DB9
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:57 PM   #13
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This makes me so unbelievably mad!!!!!!!!!!



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Old 07-03-2002, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed
I don't say this to diminish Bono "honest" efforts, what I say is that he should have known better, Bono has always been a fighter in many fronts, he always has been an inspiration to make people think "what can I do to change my world?" " what can I do to help?" his latest actions with politics have created mixed opinions, and I don't think this has to do with being a fan or not, you can be a fan of U2 and agree or not with this actions.
Just because his actions created mixed opinions doesn't mean they were dishonest or wrong actions.

What I'm trying to say is- he had no other option. He had to go after the people who controlled the money, and he could NOT get them to help by attacking them. He understands they are good people who are trying (as he stated in an article) and he put his hope in them. I'm sure he understood the possibility he would be disappointed - I just think he hoped he wouldn't be disappointed.

The bit I used about being a fan- I guess I don't see how it could help Bush to have his picture taken with Bono. My reasons for this I explained above.

Quote:

The important thing, in my opinion is that each of us, that supposedly care, keep doing, or start doing something that would reflect what we admire in a guy like him.
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Old 07-03-2002, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond


FOR THE RECORD...
Bush did MORE for Africa then Clinton did.

DB9

Plez learn the facts ppl.

So,...?
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