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Old 05-31-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
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Bush Requests $30 Billion to Fight AIDS

A good step:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/wa...1prexy.html?hp

May 31, 2007
Bush Requests $30 Billion to Fight AIDS
-New York Times

WASHINGTON, May 30 — President Bush called Wednesday for Congress to spend $30 billion to fight global AIDS over the next five years, a near doubling of financing that is part of a White House effort to burnish Mr. Bush’s humanitarian credentials before he meets leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized nations next week.

The initiative, if approved, would build on a program that grew out of the president’s 2003 State of the Union address, when he asked for $15 billion over five years for prevention, treatment and care of AIDS patients in developing countries. Congress approved more than $18 billion, but the program is set to expire next year.

Mr. Bush’s announcement, delivered in the White House Rose Garden, adds to what has become an unexpectedly high priority for the White House. AIDS was not a signature issue for Mr. Bush when he ran for office in 2000. But it has become one in part because the Christian conservatives who make up his political base have embraced it, and in part because Mr. Bush wants to build a legacy for the United States and a more compassionate image abroad to counter international criticism of American policies in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

That sentiment was reflected in Mr. Bush’s remarks on Wednesday.

“Once again, the generosity of the American people is one of the great untold stories of our time,” he said. “Our citizens are offering comfort to millions who suffer, and restoring hope to those who feel forsaken.”

AIDS advocacy organizations praised Mr. Bush for proposing the additional money, but said the plan — which he said would provide drugs for 2.5 million patients — did not go nearly far enough toward meeting the international community’s stated goal of treating the estimated 10 million patients in developing nations.

“It’s a modest increase, it’s important that he reaffirmed it, but we will need the next president to do more,” said Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group. “We’re not getting ahead of the AIDS crisis. We’re tempering it.”

Administration officials concede that point and say the White House is hoping Mr. Bush’s announcement will prod other Group of 8 countries, as well as nations that have growing economies, to make spending commitments of their own.

“The goal of universal access isn’t a United States goal, it’s a global goal,” said Mark R. Dybul, the administration’s global AIDS coordinator. “The rest of the world is going to need to respond if we are going to achieve these goals.”

International development and human rights issues will be high on the agenda of next week’s summit, but so will climate change — an issue on which Mr. Bush finds himself at odds with his fellow Group of 8 leaders, notably the meeting’s host, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Dan Bartlett, counselor to Mr. Bush, said the president intended to address climate change in a speech on Thursday at the United States Agency for International Development.

But so far this week, Mr. Bush has been devoting most of his attention to human rights and poverty, issues that draw him less criticism than his stance on climate change. In an interview Monday night, a senior administration official said Mr. Bush planned to spend the week in advance of the Group of 8 conference spotlighting humanitarian issues and “demonstrating U.S. leadership around the world.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Bush announced he was imposing stiff economic sanctions on Sudan to press its government into cooperating with a United Nations peacekeeping force that is trying to end the violence in Darfur.

On Wednesday, in addition to the AIDS announcement, Mr. Bush named Robert B. Zoellick, his former trade representative, as his candidate to head the World Bank, calling the nominee “a committed internationalist” who “wants to help struggling nations defeat poverty.” In Thursday’s speech, Mr. Bush also intends to talk about education programs in the developing world, and his initiative to combat malaria.

The AIDS initiative, which is likely to generate bipartisan support in Congress, would cover federal spending for the 2009 to 2013 fiscal years, meaning the vast majority of the money would be spent after Mr. Bush left office. To promote it, the White House is sending Laura Bush to Africa next month.

“She and I share a passion,” Mr. Bush said. “We believe that to whom much is given, much is required.”

The United Nations reports that there are nearly 40 million people worldwide living with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS; last year three million died from their infections. In his announcement in 2003, Mr. Bush said he was committed to offering treatment for two million H.I.V. patients by 2008. But so far, he said, the program, called the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, has paid for treatment for just 1.1 million people in 15 nations.

Advocates complain that the new goal, bringing the number of patients treated to 2.5 million, is not that much more ambitious than the old one. “By 2013 there will be 12 million people that urgently need medicines,” Mr. Zeitz said.

The White House, however, said that in addition to providing treatment for 2.5 million, the new money would prevent 12 million new infections and provide care for more than 12 million people.

Mr. Bartlett said the president was convinced America’s image in the world would improve because of it.

“I’ve heard him talk about this is a part of America that gets overlooked,” he said, “and that over time, people will look back and say, ‘At a point in time where America may have been under scrutiny for other reasons, look at the significant contribution they have made. They saved more lives than anybody could have imagined.’ ”
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Old 05-31-2007, 03:03 AM   #2
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This is one of those bitter sweet victories. When Bush has his own party in power look at the voting record towards global AIDS. It was sad. Yes, this is a step forward, but honestly it's nothing in the big picture. Global AIDS will take more than money. Money is a big step, but it needs more...
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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good for Bush. a positive step.

this is one of the two (?) things i admire about Bush. he has done quite a bit when it comes to AIDS in Africa, and he at least hasn't taken a nativist position when it comes to immigration, and has had the guts to risk some anger with his ChristoAmerikafascist base.

other than that, it's all been an abject failure.

but here is one little shiney nugget of goodness.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This was really a step I didn't think he was going to follow through on. I actually liked him for 1 milli second.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by JCOSTER
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This was really a step I didn't think he was going to follow through on. I actually liked him for 1 milli second.
I can't give him credited where I don't think credit isn't due. He is still the same self serving ass he always has been. It just happened to work out for the best, in this case.

Quote:
Mr. Bartlett said the president was convinced America’s image in the world would improve because of it.
Not to mention, his own image. The man can't be that stupid. He probably realizes he needs to save face some how.

And I sure part of the motive behind it is a preemptive strike of sorts. He doesn't want to see places like South Africa become a failed, thus becone a threat further in time.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:18 AM   #6
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And I sure part of the motive behind it is a preemptive strike of sorts. He doesn't want to see places like South Africa become a failed, thus becone a threat further in time.



i dislike Bush as much as anyone, but we also can't be naive and think that nations -- *any* nation -- do things out of the goodness of their hearts and without expecting anything in return.

all nations act in what they perceive to be their own national interests.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

all nations act in what they perceive to be their own national interests.
It's true. And his immigration policy, is IMO largely driven by his pro-corporate, laissez-faire economics ideas. Big business dictates to him more than anyone. At the same time, the adoption of such a policy is far more humane than the right wing would want, so I'll give him credit for doing the right thing even if the motives are not necessarily pure.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:18 AM   #8
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This is a good move, but I still can't say I like the guy, or would ever come close to it.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:19 AM   #9
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I am aware of that. And I'm not suggesting that countries go around helping other countries out of the goodness of their hearts. My point is not about the nation as a whole. It was specifically directed towards Bush. If bombing South Africa to pieces would gain him anything, he would do that instead.

I am very glad of the news. But I think that credit is due far more towards other people that having been raising awareness and lobbying for this for a long time. In short, it pisses me off to see him getting credit where I don't think he really deserves it.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


It's true. And his immigration policy, is IMO largely driven by his pro-corporate, laissez-faire economics ideas.
That seems to be the case with many countries, including Canada and Western European countries. Many have guest worker programs and all review educational background and skills.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
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If bombing South Africa to pieces would gain him anything, he would do that instead.


yes, he probably would.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #12
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That seems to be the case with many countries, including Canada and Western European countries. Many have guest worker programs and all review educational background and skills.
It's true, but Canada is also slightly different because of major underpopulation issues.
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:09 PM   #13
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I think Bush's motives were more genuine than some think.

dbs
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:49 PM   #14
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while he's at it, why doesn't he request an additional $30 billion to help fix this country's healthcare problems?
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:59 AM   #15
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That would be too liberal...
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