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Old 02-19-2008, 09:33 AM   #21
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Amazingly enough, this is about the only positive thing I can think of when it comes to Dubya.

Too bad he screwed up just about everything else he touched beyond repair.

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Old 02-19-2008, 12:14 PM   #22
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Monday, Feb. 18, 2008
Laura Bush's African AIDS Crusade
By Alice Park

President and Mrs. Bush are traveling in Africa to visit a handful of countries receiving U.S. aid through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a five-year, $15 billion relief program launched in 2003 to provide HIV treatment in lower-income countries with high rates of infection. Since its inception, PEPFAR has distributed antiretroviral (ARV) AIDS drugs to 1.5 million people, and, through its prevention efforts, has also contributed to a slowing of the spread of the disease.

Despite its successes, however, the program has its share of critics, who take issue with the stipulation that one-third of PEPFAR's prevention funding go to programs that promote abstinence before marriage and target safe-sex messages at high-risk groups such as sex workers and IV drug users, instead of the general, sexually active young population. PEPFAR comes up for reauthorization this year — President Bush has asked Congress to renew it for another five years, at $30 billion. Before leaving for Africa, First Lady Laura Bush talked to TIME's Alice Park about PEPFAR's goals, successes and controversies.

TIME: What are the goals of this trip?
Bush: This will be my fifth trip to Africa since George has been President. This will be my second trip with him to Africa since 2001. We'll be visiting PEPFAR sites, and programs supported by the President's emergency plan, we will be visiting Malaria Initiative sites, handing out insecticide-treated bed nets and really just looking at all of the different programs in Africa that are supported by the United States, both by U.S. taxpayers through the appropriations from the Congress, and of course by a number of NGOs [non-governmental organizations] that are on the ground, faith-based and other community based groups that are either founded by Americans or where Americans are volunteering.
The goals are the same ones we have every time. One major goal, or I hope one really good result of the trip, will be that PEPFAR will be reauthorized with more money, like the President has asked. It has been very, very successful, and we know how many people are on treatment now — many more than when we started with PEPFAR.

Since PEPFAR was launched in 2003, there has been an increased appreciation for how important prevention programs are, to go hand in hand with treatment programs. What have been some of the ways that PEPFAR has incorporated or enhanced that message?
Well, there are two major ways. One of them is mother-to-child-transmission, which can be prevented. If mothers are taking certain antiretroviral drugs when they are pregnant, their children are less likely to be born with HIV, HIV-positive or AIDS. There is also a treatment for babies [and] young toddlers that can help them to not have AIDS. That's a very important part. Most children in Africa who do have AIDS got it at birth from their mothers. If we can have an AIDS-free generation of children who are born HIV-free, then we will be really making a big step. And that's possible because mother-to-child-transmission can be prevented.
Another part of the prevention is the "ABC" part that really started in Uganda — Abstinence, Be faithful and use a Condom. All three of those are very important for prevention. Abstinence prevents HIV 100% of the time. If you're faithful and monogamous with someone who is either HIV-free or you know has HIV and always use condoms, then you can also prevent the spread of HIV.

ABC has been one of the controversial elements of PEPFAR in some respects because of the definition that PEPFAR uses for ABC. Some critics point out that it carries some faith-based imperatives, and feel that PEPFAR's message might be getting diluted a bit. How do you respond to those criticisms?
All three parts of ABC are very, very important. Obviously, they are important for good sexual health everywhere to avoid STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] of all kinds. This [ABC program] came from Africa, this was what Uganda wanted to do. We adopted the program, which started in Africa. That's important as well; it's not the United States government telling people what to do in Africa. Rather it's a program started by Africans. We know all three parts of ABC work.
I also think it's really important to have an abstinence piece for girls, who, a lot of times, especially with gender issues like there are across many parts of the world, think they have to comply with men. We want to get the message out to girls that they don't have to, that they can be abstinent, and to protect themselves.

Why does PEPFAR focus primarily on the high-risk groups — such as sex workers, discordant couples in which one partner is positive, and the other is not, and drug users — rather than on the more general message that other groups have used on the young population in general?
I wouldn't say that. I would say that PEPFAR focuses on all groups that are susceptible — from babies, for mother-to-child transmission, to young children. I visited schools all over Africa and on every one of my visits the schools themselves have big signs and posters painted on their walls about a friend is still a friend, even if they are HIV positive, to address the stigma problem of HIV... I would say PEPFAR focuses on every group that is vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS. We also work with every country on their plan, and what is right for their people.

What do you hope the legacy of PEPFAR will be? I hope it will be millions of saved lives. I hope it will be an HIV-free generation, children who don't get HIV at birth. And many, many more people on ARVs so they can live a positive life even if they are HIV-positive. And I think that is what we are already seeing. We are seeing huge increases in the number of people on ARVs. What we want to see with it, of course, is a large decrease in the number of new infections.

What do you think it will take for Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR? Do you see any barriers or issues?
I feel very confident that the American Congress wants PEPFAR to be reauthorized. I think that will happen. I certainly hope so.

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Old 02-19-2008, 12:21 PM   #23
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars

So what are we supposed to believe?

Imho this funding arguably is the only positive thing Bush has done in 8 years of presidency.

Ask yourself - why the sudden interest in Africa by major world powers? And then google terms like "China Africa", "Russia Africa", and "India Africa" to give you the answer.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:50 PM   #24
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None of this redeems him for the rest of His sins.

But it does clearly show Bono's influence. Because Bono is one of the few intelligent humans on the entire planet not to condemn Bush vociferously, and it seems to have some positive payback for the people of Africa.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:58 PM   #25
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Originally posted by Anu
it seems to have some positive payback for the people of Africa.
the 3 did good work together
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:05 AM   #26
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Ghana welcomes Bush but wants no U.S. military

By Kwasi Kpodo and Deborah Charles

ACCRA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Ghana welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush as a friend on Tuesday but said it would not host any increased U.S. military presence on the African continent.

Bush, touring Africa in the final year of his presidency, has been supporting efforts to solve crises in Kenya and Darfur. But his trip sought mainly to highlight success stories on a continent often portrayed as a morass of conflict, coups, corruption and famine.

He arrived in Ghana on Tuesday on the fourth leg of a five-nation tour after visiting Benin, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Despite some bloody army takeovers since independence from Britain in 1957, Ghana is now seen by Washington as a model of stable, democratic rule and is receiving millions of dollars of U.S. aid for health, education and poverty reduction.

"Under President Bush, Africa has got more from U.S. foreign policy than any previous American presidency," Ghanaian Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei told Reuters in an interview before Bush's arrival.

He said Bush was leaving a "remarkable legacy" for Ghana.

Under a 2006 deal, Ghana is receiving $547 million in U.S. assistance -- one of the biggest sums given to an African state -- under a five-year anti-poverty programme managed by the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Bush's support for multi-billion-dollar anti-malaria and anti-AIDS projects in Africa has earned him an unusually warm reception there despite widespread condemnation of his foreign policy toward Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Despite the mutual back-slapping, there were limits to Ghana's willingness to cooperate.

Ghana's armed forces -- respected contributors to international peacekeeping missions -- benefit from U.S. military training.

But President John Kufuor's government, like many others in Africa, is unwilling to host any U.S. military facility or base.

"Our sovereignty is something we cherish," Osei-Adjei said, adding that Ghana did not intend to accept any part of the newly created U.S. military command for Africa (Africom).


The Bush administration created Africom last year with a view to strengthening the U.S. presence in Africa, a major supplier of crude oil to the American market.

U.S. officials talked initially of plans to move the Africom headquarters to Africa, but African opposition led Washington to change course and say that Africom will not bring any more U.S. troops or bases to the continent. A base for 1,800 U.S. troops already exists in Djibouti.

Africom commanders have instead suggested a loose structure of Africom liaison staff across Africa, helping to coordinate projects from counter-terrorism and military training to aid.

"Africom is a much more comprehensive concept, so it's taking a little while to get it under way," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters aboard Air Force One.

On Thursday, Bush visits Liberia -- Africa's first republic, formed by freed slaves from America in 1847. It has offered to host Africom, and Bush says he'll consider this seriously.

Despite warm bilateral ties Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, may still face some hostility in Ghana, where rights activists announced plans for public protests against what they call Bush's "inhumane policies in parts of the world", notably Iraq.

Some critics wondered what Ghana stood to gain from the Bush visit. "It's only a move to redeem his lame duck days," said one Ghanaian opposition parliamentarian
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #27
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oooh kay. perhaps i should've read your latest article ntalwar before i posted mine, since we were addressing the same military base issue.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #28
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Like I said it's goint to take way more to see results back home than just US financial aid...
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:44 AM   #29
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Originally posted by unico

What do you think? Is he bullshitting* as usual?
He probably is, but most countries will reject the bases. The US started off slowly with bases in the Middle East as well.

This is a good overview on China's oil trade with Africa.

How is China building its relationship with Africa?

With integrated packages of aid that lead to business opportunities and market share for Chinese companies. "One of the interesting things about doing business with China these days is that it's a full-on supplier," Economy says. "They will come in and provide everything that surrounds the development of the country." In Angola, which currently exports 25 percent of its oil production to China, Beijing has secured a major stake in future oil production with a $2 billion package of loans and aid that includes funds for Chinese companies to build railroads, schools, roads, hospitals, bridges, and offices; lay a fiber-optic network; and train Angolan telecommunications workers. Economy says China is following a very traditional path established by Europe, Japan, and the United States: offering poor countries comprehensive and exploitative trade deals combined with aid.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #30
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President Bush sought Wednesday to dispel rumors that the U.S. plans to bring "all kinds of military to Africa," saying that is "simply not true."

He said the United States has no plans to add new bases in Africa but may open an office somewhere on the continent as part of its plans for Africom, a new U.S. military command that will focus on Africa.

The president did not elaborate on the size of such an office but took pains to say it would not be a military base in the traditional sense.

"The purpose of this is not to add military bases," Bush said. "I know there's rumors in Ghana -- 'all Bush is coming to do is try to convince you to put a big military base here.' That's baloney. Or as we say in Texas, that's bull."
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:09 PM   #31
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Ironically, Ghana recently discovered 3 billion barrels of oil near its shore:

That amount of oil ($300+ billion worth) attracts interest from the big importers like the US and China, who may compete over it.

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