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Old 06-02-2005, 06:21 PM   #16
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I'm actually writing a letter for my editor sometime tonight or early tommorow, I've no problem having you guys use it to send to yours, I'll send anyone a copy: just print and stuff in an envelope.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:13 PM   #17
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OK EVERYONE, this should motivate all of us even more:



Politics and Policy | President Bush Restates Opposition to Doubling Aid to Africa in Advance of G8 Meeting
[Jun 02, 2005]
President Bush on Wednesday restated his opposition to doubling the United States' financial aid commitment to Africa in advance of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meeting in Scotland next month, the New York Times reports. Bush was meeting with South African President Thabo Mbeki at the White House as part of Mbeki's two-week campaign to speak with G8 leaders about Britain's proposed International Finance Facility, which would frontload development aid to help Africa meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (Becker/Sanger, New York Times, 6/2). U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown at a February meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations proposed increasing aid to developing nations to $100 billion annually through the finance facility. Brown has said that more than 50 countries have expressed support for the initiative, although the United States so far has failed to fully endorse the plan. Although the Bush administration supports 100% debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries, the United States does not support the U.K. plan to raise funds for poverty alleviation, according to U.S. Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/18). During Wednesday's meeting, Bush said that doubling the U.S. contribution to Africa "doesn't fit our budgetary process." Mbeki -- who is urging wealthy nations to "choose their own ways to help" Africa -- said that the European Union is considering a new tax to finance Britain's initiative. "I am absolutely certain President Bush is willing to commit whatever is required," he added. However, because British Prime Minister Tony Blair has received opposition over the plan from Germany and Italy, Bush's opposition could "doom the effort" at the G8 meeting in July, according to the Times (New York Times, 6/2).


Imagine how Bono must feel about this news - let alone the thousands of Africans who will lose their lives because of Bush's stance on increased assistance to help them.

WE GET TO CARRY EACH OTHER....
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
I'm actually writing a letter for my editor sometime tonight or early tommorow, I've no problem having you guys use it to send to yours, I'll send anyone a copy: just print and stuff in an envelope.

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Old 06-02-2005, 07:20 PM   #19
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Although the Bush administration supports 100% debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries
*cough*bullshit*cough*


Very saddening to hear...
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:51 PM   #20
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During Wednesday's meeting, Bush said that doubling the U.S. contribution to Africa "doesn't fit our budgetary process."
That is the most pathetic excuse I've ever heard.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:06 PM   #21
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We've money for war. And none for peace....
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:15 PM   #22
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And what galls me is, he actually said this point-blank to an African head of state who had specifically flown to the US for that purpose. What most decent people do is make a polite hem and haw and say, "Welll, maybe, we'll consider it" and then come out 2 weeks later at the G-8 and THEN say no. Taht's what most diplomats and heads of state do, it;s the courteous thing. You could argue that Bush was being honest and not sneaky about it, but you can damed well bet that if whole parts of even the FRENCH countryside were being lost to AIDS he'd be a bit more polite and respectful. There was, IMO< as much racism as anything else in that comment. It meant, in plain English:

"AN AFRICAN LIFE IS WORTH NOTHING."

What DOES git our budget? We can pull $80 bil out of a hat in one year, for war...but not a measly 15 bil over 5, for this.

There's an interesting article in this weeks' TIME about a small town in Arkansas where both the mayor and police chief recently got back from serving in Iraq (!)and came back with very different views about the war. The biggest revelation for the mayor was how much money is just being THROWN AWAY like water over there, for things that keep getting blown up by insurgents. Whereas the town's water supply infrastructure was falling apart and he was haivng trouble getting the state funds necessary to repair it. Let me see if I can find a link...

(back in a sec)

Oh wow..no need for link. It's right on their homepage. Go to time.com and it's "Finding the Way Home".

Now we know why Bonois schmoozing Condi. He;s decided it's hopless to get through to Bush directly, so no more photo-ops. Condi has Bush's intellectual ear, so he's trying to get tohim through her....
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:20 PM   #23
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You know what part of Hotel Rwanda sticks with me the most? The part where Nick Nolte's character is upset and trying to explain to Cheagle's character why nobody is doing anything to help, where he says, "You're black, Paul. You 'aint French. You 'aint Belgian. You 'aint American. You're African. You aren't even a n----"

It's rascism all right, a very insidious kind.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:22 PM   #24
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Appalling.


I still need to see Hotel Rwanda, btw.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:26 PM   #25
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You really should. Just have a box of Kleenex handy. I cried on and off for over a hour after I saw it.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:29 PM   #26
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I recall Bono telling a journalist that a European PM told him the same thing, in so many words.

Well..the time is coming when WE mayhave to suffer for our silence..in one way or the other. I refer to Bono's maxim that poverty breeds extremism..if not terrorism. The other day, a journalist in the NY Times worte an article saying "141 days." as in 141 daysof the genocide in Darfur and we are doing nothing...6 months from now, when half the place is #*$$ dead we'll just say, "Oh, just another tribal bloodbath." *YAWN*.

Have your read Jared Diamond's new book "Collapse"? It s the sequal to his Pulitzer-Prize winning "Guns, Germs and Steel." He had a chapter on Rwanda and the most interesting thing he said was that there was a part of Rwanda where Hutu killed Hutu, with no provocation whatsoever. He linked it to environmental factors. How could it be a tribal bloodbath if the same people were killing each other?

Sorry, this is getting OT. But I can't help seeing how this blase attitude is the same for SO MANY problems. I'm hijacking Jamila's thread Let's get back to constructive commentary about the crisis now.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:35 PM   #27
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I haven't seen Hotel Rwanda either.

Anything to do with genocide and atrocities freaks me out. Movies, I mean. I had to persuade my self for a week to see Schindler's List in the theater, which I felt it was my moral duty to do.

Maybe b/c I'm ethnicaly half Armenian, close to that side of the family, and know the whole family history, I have it on tape, I interviwed my grandpa and he remembered EVERYTHING, like it was yesterday, even though he was 7 at the time. It took some 20 yrs or so for him to open up and finally talk about it, and he cried during some parts. We lost some 70% of the family in 1915...shot, frozen, and starved to death. And worse. Atom Egoyan would have a field day with my famiy's story.

When Bono talks about the Irish being sensitive to famines in Africa etc b/c of Irish history, I relate. I'm sensitive to this kind of stuff b/c of MY family history. I should maybe mention my other half is..Irish Catholic

OK..I'll shut up about this! I PROMISE!!!
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:32 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
Although the Bush administration supports 100% debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries, the United States does not support the U.K. plan to raise funds for poverty alleviation, according to U.S. Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/18). During Wednesday's meeting, Bush said that doubling the U.S. contribution to Africa "doesn't fit our budgetary process." Mbeki -- who is urging wealthy nations to "choose their own ways to help" Africa -- said that the European Union is considering a new tax to finance Britain's initiative.
OK, people, I know we all hate Bush (yes, I do to), but lets look at this one more time for what it is (at least according to this article)...

- 100% debt cancellation is THE BEST way to handle this problem. It is the best first step, which apparently the Bush admin supports (I'm not going to go into whether or not this is just all talk...but just taking this article for what it is)

- the part about the US not being able to double funds comes from the Treasury, as it says so right there. So Bush said it, yeah, but that's not exactly his call and his call only to make

- I like this new tax idea. This isn't true for the people here, but for a lot of my family and friends, it takes a blockbuster hit like Hotel Rwanda to get them to even acknowledge that there IS another half to our world out there. Some light taxation might be just what we need to kick some arse into gear.
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:41 AM   #29
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http://forum.interference.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=2496870#post2496870

Check this out, Hinders the plans slightly
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:25 PM   #30
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Here is a great piece on what the U.K. proposes to help Africa. It's much different from the Bush administration's plans.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4606197.stm


UK pushing for Africa debt plan

Gordon Brown is worried that time is running out for Africa
The UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has put forward a bold plan to tackle poverty in Africa ahead of the G8 Summit of rich countries in Scotland next month.
He called for a doubling of European aid by 2010 and 100% debt relief, as well as an end to many trade subsidies.

But the plan is facing opposition in the US - and particularly from President George W Bush.

Mr Bush's stance sets up a possible clash with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, due in Washington next week.

Mr Bush said on Wednesday that a key part of the plan did not fit with the US budget process.

The UK is pushing hard for major debt relief and a doubling of aid to Africa, and Chancellor Gordon Brown laid out a set of ambitious plans on Friday.

This is not a time for timidity nor a time to fear reaching too high


Brown waives Live 8 VAT

The UK has said that 2005 is a vital year for Africa, and argues that without significantly more money the United Nations' Millennium Goal of halving world poverty by 2015 will be impossible to meet.

The UK is one of six European nations who have pledged to increase their aid target to 0.7% of GDP by that year, a figure which only five countries have managed to reach so far.

However the US has said that the target is not a realistic one for it to work towards.

US Treasury spokesman Tony Fratto told BBC's Newsnight programme: "The problem at looking at targets of 0.7% of GDP is that when people focus on numbers like that they don't know what they are talking about in nominal terms.

"They don't know how much money is available and how much money is in the pipeline."

'Doesn't fit'

Speaking in Edinburgh, Mr Brown said he would present the new British proposals to the leaders of the G8 summit next month, to the European Union, and the UN.

As well as 100% debt relief, Mr Brown wants to set up an International Finance Facility (IFF) to double development aid to Africa in order to pay for education and medical programmes like mass immunisation.

BROWN'S FOUR-POINT PLAN FOR AFRICA
100% debt relief to pay for education and health
Launch International Finance Facility for Immunisation
Large increase in direct development aid, doubling of aid from European countries
Removal of export subsidies and all trade-distorting support to agriculture, which work against producers in the developing world
Source: Chancellor Gordon Brown, 3 June speech




He also said that the EU would double its own aid to $80bn a year by 2010.

But the US remains concerned that the UK is proposing that the debt plans should be financed in part by selling gold reserves held by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A surge in the price of gold has boosted the value of the reserve, and the UK wants to use that extra cash.

The US - along with some other countries including Japan, Germany and Italy - has never been keen on the idea of selling IMF gold.

Washington has also raised questions over the IFF, which would allow developing countries to borrow against future aid pledges.

Mr Bush said on Wednesday that the IFF for Africa "doesn't fit our budgetary process".

The US has already pledged to increase development aid through its own Millennium Challenge Account, but little of the money has been spent so far.

Getting closer

Analysts say the war in Iraq and its related costs have pushed Africa off the US agenda, and think a change in priorities is unlikely.

"What the UK is proposing is not a cost-free policy," said Marina Ottoway, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment in Washington. "Africa has not really had much of a constituency in the US."


President Bush is more focused on Iraq than Africa, analysts said

According to Reuters, UK government sources have been talking about pressing ahead even without US involvement.

Even that may prove difficult, Ms Ottoway explained, since agreements with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are multilateral and any changes would therefore require US backing.

Similar strictures apply to the trade agreements, and the European Union is unlikely to drop subsidies unless the US does the same, she said.

Mr Brown played down reports of a rift or stand-off between the UK and the US.

"In my talks over the last few months, but particularly over the last day or two, with the US Treasury Secretary, we believe that there is common ground on securing that debt relief," he explained.

"We believe it is going to be possible to reach an agreement on debt relief."

"This is not a time for timidity nor a time to fear reaching too high."


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