Where's the Religious Left on this story?
I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration.
So why doesn't America know about this? "I tried to tell them. But the press weren't much interested," says Bush. It's half true. There are always a couple of lines in the State of the Union, but not enough so that anyone noticed, and the press really isn't interested. For them, like America itself, Africa is a continent of which little is known save the odd horror.
The odd horror usually used in some Bash America soliloquy by the Left, especially the Religious Left, who seem more interested in making political points than they are actually making a difference in Africa. So along comes Chimp Bushitler and actually makes a difference and it's ignored. So typical.
Hats off to Mr. Geldoff whose piece should be read by all but especially those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. A particularly good excerpt follows:
I have always heard that Bush mangles language and I've laughed at the satires of his diction. He shrugs them off, but I think he's sensitive about it. He has some verbal tics, but in public and with me he speaks fluently and in wonderful aphorisms, like:
"Stop coming to Africa feeling guilty. Come with love and feeling confident for its future."
"When we see hunger we feed them. Not to spread our influence, but because they're hungry."
"U.S. solutions should not be imposed on African leaders."
"Africa has changed since I've become President. Not because of me, but because of African leaders."
Good stuff. Good read.